St Helens Third Sector Consortium

St Helens Third Sector Consortium is a registered, not for profit, company limited by guarantee and is currently applying for charitable status.

The consortium strives to build a strong local Third Sector. It will seek funding opportunities, bid for and manage contracts and build affective relationships with our public sector commissioning partners in order to design and deliver health and wellbeing services in St Helens.

The consortium development project began in April 2015 when Directors, Mike Wyatt from the Adult Social Care department at St Helens MBC and Dr Steve Cox from St Helens Clinical Commissioning group recognised the need to transform the way in which they commission the third sector, this is what they said;

‘Reductions in public spending, the increased demand for services and public expectations about the quality of services, have all required Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups to find new and innovative ways to commission and deliver services, which provide the best possible outcomes for local communities.

Innovation and strong commissioning is pivotal to the redesign of service delivery. Over recent years commissioning in local government and health has been evolving to have a stronger clearer focus on achieving improved outcomes for the communities we serve and the integration of services and resources at a local level.

St Helens Council and St Helens CCG has a strong track record of encouraging a diverse range of providers to engage with commissioning opportunities. St Helens Council and St Helens CCG recognise that it is important to continue working positively with the voluntary and community sector of St Helens, in order to enable organisations to effectively compete for contracts, business and to support service redesign at a local level.

The development of a voluntary sector consortia approach in St Helens in 2015/2016 which will be led by Halton and St Helens VCA, will aim to generate more collaborative service design between respective member organisations,. It will also adopt an asset based approach maximising the existing resources we already have in the local voluntary and community sector.

In the years ahead St Helens Council, St Helens CCG and the voluntary and community organisations of St Helens will need to do more together to shape services around people in order to meet public needs and expectations, whilst demonstrating an efficient approach using resources carefully. This can only be achieved through cohesive and collaborative working.
The Consortia approach provides an exciting opportunity for the voluntary and community sector of St Helens to develop even further in order to maximise outcomes for the people of St Helens.’

Our Purpose

To support and enable the collaboration of local third sector organisations, in order to explore and deliver improved health and wellbeing outcomes for local people.

Our Values

We will work together to build a culture of openness and honesty
We will come together within our membership and with strategic partners to ensure quality service provision for the people of St Helens
We will support all third sector organisations regardless of size and longevity and ensure equality of opportunity in the approach to the delivery of public services

Our Future Strategy
The consortium is currently operating in a shared climate of financial uncertainty. Public spending continues to be stretched and funding to local government continues to be cut. In recognition of this the consortium aims to fulfil a number of objectives;

  • The acquisition of public service contracts and grants
  • To seek out and be the co-ordinator of external (non-public sector) funding opportunities
  • To work alongside our public sector partners to identify the market and priorities for commissioning
  • To use this knowledge to co-design contracts which represent high quality service and value for money
  • To share our research and intelligence to inform social value reports and evidence the social return on investment for each project delivered by the consortium

Meet our board

Chair – Justin Hill
Chief Executive Officer, St Helens YMCA

Justin has worked in the YMCA federation for over twenty years and has been Chief Executive for YMCA St Helens since 2008. He is passionate about the role of the sector in empowering people and communities and working to create a fairer, flourishing society. He is a doctor of education, an MBA graduate and a registered social worker.

Vice Chair – Andy Woods
Development Manager, St Helens Independent Living Services

Andy has now been working in the third sector for fourteen years. During this time he has been responsible for both the front line delivery and the strategic planning of services. Andy has a strong commitment to ensuring members of the public, particularly those with disabilities; receive their entitlements and have access to services which enable them to have greater choice and control within their lives.

Helen Fitzgerald
Chief Executive Officer, Deafness Resource Centre

Helen moved to the DRC in 2003 after a six month secondment from St Helens CVS where she worked as the Community Development Manager responsible for supporting and developing local third sector organisations. The time she spent at CVS was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable periods of her career and she developed a passion and commitment to the voluntary & community sector that drives her desire to make a difference. Throughout her career; including 21 years in the Civil Service before moving to St Helens Training & Enterprise Council, she has strived for fairness and equality; working in partnership to develop services and opportunities for marginalised and socially excluded groups.

Angela Metcalfe
Project Director, The Hope Centre St Helens

Angela has over 20 years’ experience of working in community projects and has been the Project Director at the Hope Centre for the last 13 years. Over that time she has gained experience in planning and implementing new community projects. She has managed projects under European Social fund, Department of Health and local authority funding and has been responsible for developing working partnerships with other third sector organisations in St Helens. Angela’s passion is to bring hope and transformation to our community by working collaboratively.

Elaine Hughes
Chief Executive Officer, St Helens Coalition of Disabled People

Elaine has over 15 years’ experience in charity management and development, securing funding and contracts to deliver services to disabled people. Elaine believes that the third sector is best placed to promote innovation, improve efficiency and deliver more personalised services to the residents of St Helens.

Karl Pearce
Chief Executive Officer, St Helens Citizens Advice Bureau

Karl has worked for CAB for over 15 years and has been in his present post for 5 years. During his time at Citizens Advice, he has undertaken numerous roles including Money Advice and Welfare Benefits Supervisor/ Operations Manager and Deputy Chief Executive. He has a vast amount of experience in working in the voluntary, private and Local Authority sectors.

Mark Swift
Chief Executive Officer, Wellbeing Enterprises CIC

Wellbeing Enterprises CIC is one of the country’s first health and wellbeing Community Interest Company’s. Mark is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of communities and tackling poverty and its underlying causes. Mark is an avid champion of social enterprises and is a Director of the Social Enterprise Network which represents social enterprise organisations across Merseyside and Cheshire.


Membership Benefits

There are a number of benefits to joining the consortium;

Solidarity and Collaboration

  • Pooling resources and peer support
  • Sharing expertise and learning
  • Security of formal agreements


  • Increased funding with access to more streams
  • Economies of scale
  • Capacity building
  • Improved ability to try new things and develop new ways of working
  • Sector Leadership Development

Improved Public Sector Commissioning

  • Negotiating Power
  • Co-design strength and improved service re-design
  • Assuring commissioners of quality
  • Recognised and valued third sector intelligence, research and service delivery


Membership Criteria


Your organisation;

  • Is a member of the Voluntary, Community, Faith or Social Enterprise Sector and able to demonstrate public benefit
  • Has been operating for at least 12 months
  • Provides wellbeing and health services
  • Is able to demonstrate how you benefit the communities and people of St Helens
  • Has achieved or is willing to work towards, the minimum of *Foundation Stage Star Standard (* this is a smaller section of the Star Standard which covers necessary due diligence checks but still carries a certificate for your organisation. If this is achieved your organisation will only need to review this every 12 months and not upon each contract tender no matter how many contracts/grants you express an interest in within 12 months – full support is available free of charge through Halton and St Helens VCA to complete this Stage)

Contract ready:

Your organisation;

  • Has a track record of service delivery in St Helens
  • Has a record of delivery with no contracts withdrawn or undelivered and can provide references
  • Is able to demonstrate commitment to equality of opportunity

Types of Membership

Full Member:

For those organisations that demonstrate they meet all universal criteria and contract readiness criteria. This prequalifies them to be considered for a sub-contract, though does not guarantee them to be sub-contracted.

Associate Member:

For organisations who meet universal criteria but are not considered ‘contract ready’ but can demonstrate aspiration and ability to deliver as part of the supply-chain.

All members will be expected to;

  • Commit to the consortium’s purpose, aims and values
  • To adhere to the organisation’s policies and procedures, declare this upon application and renew this declaration yearly
  • Be willing to undertake necessary due diligence checks at any point relating to contract delivery.

To apply to join the consortium, please click here for the online applicaition form.

Get In Touch

Halton & St Helens VCA 

Halton Office: 01928 592 405
St Maries
Lugsdale Road

St Helens Office: 01744 457100 
2nd Floor Beacon Building
College Street
St Helens
WA10 1TF



Halton & St Helens VCA is an infrastructure organisation that provides advice, information and development support services to voluntary, community, not-for-profit and faith organisations and volunteers in the Boroughs of St Helens and Halton.