AN East Lancashire social enterprise has been recognised at an awards ceremony.

Community Solutions North West (CSNW), which has bases in Burnley and Accrington, was named the best large social enterprise by Social Enterprise North West after it grew from eight to 21 members of staff in the past year.

The group provides more than 15 community services developed to meet local needs with individualised response, including befriending, a food bank, training, consultancy and volunteering.

It has 180 partner agencies and more than 300 volunteers.

CSNW managing director Deborah Clark collected the award, which was sponsored by Selnet.

She said: “We are in a time of amazing opportunity. By applying innovative business methods to our social enterprise we have been able to grow and develop to meet the needs of our community.

“We are people-focused with all our projects, so to be recognised for our enterprise is a credit to all our staff, volunteers and partners.”

The group added the award to its growing collection. In the past 12 months, it has been named the best community enterprise, and was awarded an excellence in training award.

It also achieved the approved provider status for safe and affective practice in befriending.

The not-for-profit organisation also announced it has ‘no plans to slow down’ their growth with development plans in place at both its sites.

It is hoping to move into a site in Trafalgar Street, Burnley, which is three times larger than its current base.

The foodbank area will remain the same size but the move, subject to planning permission, would allow the organisation to branch out into other projects to help struggling families.

Genevieve Waite of Community Solutions said CSNW helps 1,000 people each week with its various programmes and packs around 200 and 250 food parcels each week.

She added: “The site in Trafalgar Street is three times the size of where we are now.

“But we are hoping, subject to planning, to be able to use it not only as our foodbank distribution centre, but also as a training centre for our befriending service.

“We would also be able to incorporate a shop for the community repaint scheme.”