Civil Society Involvement (CSI) will work to help third sector organisations access European Funding ahead of Brexit and to shape future legacy funds.

The new programme has launched to help voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations across England access European funding for the remaining 2014-2020 programme. The project will also work to influence the shape of future legacy funds post-Brexit, including the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

CSI will work with the third sector to understand the issues within the current European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme, which are preventing organisations from accessing the funds.

These findings will be communicated through skilled representation on the national Growth Programme Board and its nine national sub-committees, meaning that the voice of the sector will be heard at a national level.

The dedicated team of CSI representatives include the Vice Chair of the Social Audit Network, Anne Lythgoe, the CEO of The Women’s Organisation, Maggie O’Carroll, and Deputy CEO of the Workers’ Educational Association, Joanna Cain. Representation will also come from Citizens Advice Halton, The National Trust, as well as Network for Europe and VONNE.

A new website launched this month which will act as a vital resource for those wanting to find out more about accessing funding and will also enable colleagues to contact the relevant representatives on the Growth Programme Board.

The CSI team are calling for third sector support organisations to share the resource with colleagues from across the sector. Those wanting to be kept up-to-date with current funding calls and industry news are also been encouraged to sign up to the CSI newsletter.

Helen Millne, Deputy CEO of The Women’s Organisation, the lead partner of the CSI project, says: “Navigating European funding can be a very complicated and time-consuming process, which can turn many organisations off from the possibilities. We want to make sure that those working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are able to access European funds and make it work for their projects.

“There is still plenty of opportunity to access this pot of European money before the programme comes to an end in 2020. We would encourage anyone working within the third sector to engage with the CSI project, either by sharing your experiences with us to help shape future funds post Brexit, or by signing up to our newsletter to be kept in the loop about the remaining programme”.

The CSI project is receiving funding from the European Social Fund, as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England, and will run until December 2020

The project is led by Liverpool-based charity, The Women’s Organisation, with the Workers Educational Association (WEA) and Citizens’ Advice Halton working as project partners.

If you would like to find out more about how Civil Society Involvement can help you, please contact To receive updates from the project and latest news on European Funding, you can join our mailing list via

About CSI

Civil Society Involvement (CSI) is a new programme designed to enhance the voice of third sector organisations, which are involved in European funding programmes, at a national level.
The programme aims to understand the key issues within the current European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme which are affecting the ability of third sector organisations to use these funds effectively.
It will work collaboratively with the third sector to make sure that European funding is as accessible as possible for the remaining 2014-2020 programme. The programme also aims to contribute to and influence discussions around the UK Future Prosperity Fund and any other legacy funds.
This will be achieved through skilled representation at the Growth Programme Board and its nine national sub-committees, to ensure that current issues are addressed.
CSI works cohesively with the third sector to:
• Be a listening ear – CSI wants to understand and unpack the issues that the third sector are facing within the current ESIF programme, which are affecting their ability to use European funds effectively.
• Be a collective voice – CSI will raise these issues through dedicated representatives sitting on the national committees and will pro-actively work for solution.
• Influence and make change – CSI will gather the knowledge and experience of third sector organisations in the delivery of European Funded services to influence the focus of the remaining 2014 – 2020 Programme and to feed into discussions around the Future Prosperity Fund and other legacy funds.
• Get key information to you fast – CSI will communicate the information gathered to the sector through easy access digital and web- based channels.