Who we are

Civil Society Consulting is an independent, not-for-profit social enterprise – a Community Interest Company, which started life a decade ago under the name Big Society Funding CIC.

It was set up by former Senior Management and front-line workers in the charity sector – Mark Ereira-Guyer and James Baddeley – and supported by design expert, Jordan Blyth. The team was later joined by other specialists with expertise in communications, social media, web-design, policy, community research and back office support, including Natasha Ereira-Guyer and Lucy Walmsley.

Today, Civil Society Consulting aims to build community cohesion, individual skills and talents, with a particular focus on working in some of our most socially deprived and diverse neighbourhoods, seeking to better the lives of people facing, what can often seem like, intractable problems.

Our support is delivered through expert training and mentoring (mainly from Mark and James) to members of community groups and charities, who want to take their organisations to the next level – an essential step at this challenging time in the community sector. It also caters for individuals who want to improve their own skills and knowledge about becoming a successful community activist, strategist and fundraiser – finding a voice in shaping local services and increasing their ability to meet the needs of the disadvantaged communities they care about.

Both Mark and James understand the sector well, having both started their careers in frontline work – James as a volunteer in a user-led learning disability charity, called Speaking Up, which he eventually helped to grow into a national user-led charity and Mark who has worked as a volunteer and front-line worker and also headed up several highly successful civil society organisations.

Properly understanding the needs people have; and then working alongside them to plan, develop and run services and projects has always been at the heart of their people-led approach. And this remains integral to consultancy advice they continue to provide.

What People Say

“CSC has been very helpful in assisting our funding proposals. They were very quick in their correspondence, very polite in their communication and always ready to help. Mark, their main consultant, was fantastic. I would rate them 10 out of 10.”

Kwame Twum-Boateng
Trustee
House of Empowerment Coventry

“The team have been brilliant, and their support came at the right time for us, and it is lifeline to sustain the organisation at this difficult time of austerity.”

Zahra Ibrahim
Director
Barking & Dagenham Somali Women’s Association

“Thank you for your invaluable strategic business development advice. All Ways Making CIC wouldn’t be here today without your initial guidance. We are so grateful to you for your input.”

Christine Birt
Co-Founder
All Ways Making Community Interest Company

“Civil Society Consulting’s BNG legacy report was obviously the main catalyst for everything that’s come after (£3.5 million of funding), so many thanks for your contribution!”

Nick Collinson
Head of natural & Historic Environment
Suffolk County Council (Breaking New Ground HLF project)

“CSC’s COVID-19 briefing pack is incredibly useful on all fronts, a complete survival kit!”

Glynis Donovan
Executive Director
Redbridge Carers Support Service

“Things get done when Mark and James are tasked!”

Lauren Keeler
Partnerships Manager
The Prince’s Trust

“As a small charity working in a deprived area – funding is vital to carry out our work within the Community… we have been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund which will enable us to or work for a further 5 years in and around two of the Northwest’s most deprived council estates. It’s without doubt that we as an organisation could not have done this without the excellent work by Mark and James.”

Nick Collinson
Head of natural & Historic Environment
Suffolk County Council (Breaking New Ground HLF project)

“Together Liverpool have been working with Civil Society Consulting CIC for nearly two years. We have valued their support and encouragement as we developed our funding strategy, business plan and began putting bids together. This work, from foundation to fruition has marked a significant stepping up for our charity. The outcomes have been outstanding – culminating in a successful national lottery bid of £160,000 that will help us create our Network of Kindness across the Diocese of Liverpool. Being part of this programme is a great opportunity to work alongside professional colleagues who can offer great advice. ”

Ellen Louden
Chair
Together Liverpool

Our doors are open

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