Care Network is a registered charity that supports vulnerable people in the borough of Blackburn with Darwen to live independent lives by providing access to affordable, quality assured, day-to-day services.  We do this by recruiting local businesses to provide various services to vulnerable adults and carers in the Blackburn with Darwen area.

By ringing Care Network you can have peace of mind when employing tradespeople to undertake different services that will help you to live independently in your home. All service providers undertake quality assurance checks and are monitored constantly. Care Network currently employs 43 service providers in 38 different service areas.

We support vulnerable adults of all ages and their carers.  Our customers include older people, people with a physical disability or learning disability, and people with a mental health problem. The Care Network ethos is to ensure that a range of quality assured, low level, affordable, accessible services are available which will enhance the quality of life for vulnerable people and carers as well as promoting independence and assisting people to remain in the community longer.

In April 2016, Care Network was successful in securing funding from the Cabinet Office’s Local Sustainability Fund, which is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund. Over the next 12 months we will be working with a range of specialist consultants to develop more sustainable ways of working. This funding has come at a good time, coinciding with our move across to the library and it will enable us to develop our services in a much more efficient and effective way.


“For vulnerable adults and carers in Blackburn with Darwen to live independent lives (in their own homes and the community) by having easy access to a range of affordable and quality assured everyday services and to look to develop new services that are appropriate to the needs of our customers in promoting their independence and wellbeing”.


Care Network’s mission is to be the first point of contact for:

  • the provision of information on
  • the accreditation of and
  • the development of

affordable, quality assured services that will assist vulnerable people and carers to live independent lives in Blackburn with Darwen.


Care Network (Blackburn with Darwen) Ltd. was registered as a charitable company in April 2007. The charitable objects of Care Network are:

“To provide support to vulnerable people and their carers residing in the local authority district of Blackburn with Darwen without distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or political, religious or other opinions by, but not exclusively by, providing access to a network of quality approved, affordable day-to-day services in an effort to promote and foster the principles of independent living, improve self-esteem and nurture confidence amongst said persons so that they can participate more fully in society and so that their conditions of life may be improved.”


Our ethos is to ensure that a range of quality assured, low level, affordable, accessible services are available which will enhance the quality of life for vulnerable people and carers as well as promoting independence and assisting people to remain in their own homes and the for community longer. Our ethos is shared among all our key stakeholders and partners (in particular our providers).


At all times, we aim to:

  • Be respectful, people centred and caring.
  • Be customer focused and responsive to individuals’ needs.
  • Be non-judgemental, honest and open.
  • Provide the highest quality of service in everything that we do.
  • Be inclusive and fair.
  • Listen to our customers and deliver services on their behalf.
  • Work in close partnership with local agencies.


Care Network supports vulnerable adults of all ages and their carers who live in Blackburn with Darwen. Customers include many older people, people with a physical disability or learning disability, and people with a mental health problem. Care Network supports people to live independently and encourages social inclusion through the provision of quality assured services.


Care Network works in partnership with a range of agencies operating across Blackburn with Darwen. Key partners include Age UK, Bootstrap Enterprises, Blackburn with Darwen CVS, Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service, Twin Valley Homes, Shopmobility, Blackburn and District Blind Society, and Dial-a-Ride.

We are also now working in partnership with Lancashire Mind delivering the new the Your Support Your Choice service in the town centre together with the Department of Health funded Achieving Self Care (ASC) project where other partners include Adult Social Services and a range of GP’s surgeries in the borough.

Key Achievements for 2015/16

 July to Sept 2015% difference from the previous ¼ (April to June 15)% difference from same ¼ last year (July to Sept 14)
+ 6.1%
Referrals1014- 5.9%
+ 10.8%
Requests for Service1073- 4.6%
+ 9.5%
New customers268+ 10.3%
- 1.8%

April 2015 toMarch 2016 April 2014 toMarch 2015 No’s increase / decrease % increase / decrease
Customers 2179 2090 89 + 4.3%
Referrals made 3921 3765 306 + 4.1%
Requests for service 4128 3615 363 + 14.2%
New customers 943 938 5 + 0.5%

Since we started operating Care Network reached a couple of important landmarks. We have now supported over 20,000 customers and we have made over 30,000 referrals for a service.

The percentage growth between 2003/04 and 2015/16 has been 101.2% for customers and 199.2% for referrals made. This represents, on average a 7.8 % annual growth for customers and almost 15.32% annual growth for referrals.

Customer Feedback for 2015/16

Results from Annual Survey (2038 distributed, 453 returned, 22% return rate)

  • 99.12% stated that they valued the service provided by Care Network.
  • 99.32% said that they would recommend our service to others.
  • 98.65% stated that when they contacted us, that they were directed to an appropriate service that met their needs.
  • 97.47% thought that the service(s) they accessed through Care Network’s providers were charged at a fair price.                                                                                                                               
  • 90.59% stated that Care Network’s support had helped them to continue to live independently in their own home
  • 87.53% agreed that through making use of Care Network’s services their wellbeing and quality of life had improved
  • 98.17% agreed that through using our services they had more peace of mind and less anxiety by knowing that our providers were all quality assured.
  • 96.96% felt safer as a result of using the Care Network Helpdesk and our quality assured services
  • 97.84% felt more confident in being able to live independently at home knowing that Care Network could assist them with a range of services.
  • 33.33% felt that their general health, mental health or a specific health condition had improved as a result of using our services.                                                                     

Volunteering Achievements in 2015/16

  • Assisted 40 volunteers to support 60 customers.
  • Organised 546 assisted shopping trips.
  • Facilitated 278 individual befriending sessions supporting 12 regular partnerships.
  • Regularly supported 60 customers on assisted shopping trips and befriending for under 50s.
  • Recruited 20 new volunteers.
  • Recruited 32 new customers.
  • Our volunteers took part in 323 hours of learning, development and social events.
  • Provided 1821 volunteer support hours – this amounts to £17,991.48 of support
  • 131 hours of volunteer learning & development


Click here for further success stories.


The Team


James Hadleigh – Chief Executive

James Hadleigh is the Care Network Chief Executive and has been in post since January 2010. Prior to joining Care Network James worked for 9 years at North West Network as Senior European Manager, later becoming Director of Development. James has a wealth of experience of operating at regional level and representing the interests of the Third Sector. He also has experience of developing a range of networks and a good track record of attracting funds from a wide variety of sources.

Passionate and determined to make a real difference to the lives of local residents, James has a very rewarding role and is ably assisted by his fantastic team who genuinely make a big difference to the lives of all who use our services.

Debbie Summersgill – Operations and Services Manager

Debbie Summersgill joined Care Network in December 2016 as Operations and Services Manager.  Debbie manages two busy helpdesks, one providing the safe traders scheme and one providing the information and signposting service at Your Support Your Choice.

Debbie previously worked for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for over 30 years and has many years’ experience helping residents of the borough remain safe and independent at home. She is passionate about supporting people and making a difference in people’s lives.


Stephanie Shackleton – Project and Business Development Coordinator

Stephanie is our Project and Business Development Coordinator and has been with the organisation since September 2008. Stephanie is responsible for recruiting all new service providers and monitoring the quality of the service provided by providers. Stephanie was instrumental in the organisation achieving home improvement agency status, an area of the organisation Care Network will be looking to further develop in the future.

Prior to working for Care Network Stephanie worked for the Learning and Skills Council for 12 years as a Contracts Manager. In her spare time Stephanie enjoys spending time with her family and friends.


Teresa Kirby – Helpdesk and Volunteer Coordinator

Teresa has worked for Care Network since 2006 on the helpdesk and is now based at Your Support Your Choice coordinating the helpdesk and the volunteers.  Prior to this Teresa has worked in a funeral home and a GP surgery.

Teresa enjoys cooking and is a regular at the local gym.  Teresa is also a huge fan of holidays


Sue Veneziale – Helpdesk Officer

Sue Veneziale has worked on the Care Network Helpdesk since March 2008. During this time she has built up a great deal of knowledge and experience and really enjoys her time working on the Helpdesk, passing valuable information and help onto the customers. Prior to working for Care Network Sue was employed for 22 years within the DWP.
Outside of the office Sue keeps 3 friendly hens, enjoys walking with her very enthusiastic dog, goes camping -weather permitting – in a 45 year old VW and overall enjoys getting out and about in the countryside.


Naomi Wood –
Community Wellbeing Coordinator

Naomi joined Care Network in 2013, working in partnership with Lancashire Mind on the Achieving Self Care Project. Naomi has been working with the Transforming Lives and Integrated Locality Teams to champion the services on offer within third sector. She works closely our partners to offer coordination of services for individuals needing intensive support and step down service signposts. Naomi delivers Asset Based Community Development training across the borough and champions increasing social support networks and involvement in community projects and community activism.


Sarah Nataraj – Marketing and Partner Liaison Coordinator

Sarah has been part of the Care Network team since May 2014. In September 2016, Sarah has taken on responsibility for marketing across Care Network and is really happy to be taking on this work at what is a very exciting time of development for the charity. As well as sharing the fantastic work delivered by the charity, she will continue to coordinate the opportunities available at YSYC so that people can access a wide variety of local and national support catering for a wide range of needs and interests.

Sarah is passionate about fairness and equality in society and hopes that her work contributes to making the lives of people who experience difficulties happier and more fulfilling.


Kathryn Williams – Helpdesk Officer and Administrator

Kathryn joined Care Network in October 2013 to work on the Helpdesk. Since working with the Care Network team she has developed knowledge of the many services available to people within Blackburn with Darwen and enjoys supporting people to access these services. Kathryn particularly likes the people interaction element of the job and is enthusiastic about making a difference to people’s lives.

Jackie Smith – Helpdesk Officer and Administrator

Jackie joined Care Network in August 2016 to work on the Helpdesk after previously volunteering on the help desk at YSYC. Jackie is passionate about supporting local people to access the service which could enable them to continue to live independently in their own homes. In the short time that Jackie has worked on the help desk she has come to understand the true value of this service having had contact with many vulnerable adults who are happy to tell her what a lifeline the service has been to them.


Kulsum Patel – Helpdesk Officer and Administrator

Kulsum is one of our most recent recruits who recently joined our team at YSYC as a Helpdesk Officer and Administrator. She originally started as a volunteer at YSYC. Kulsum has many years of volunteer experience working in the local community with people from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages. She particularly enjoys working at our front desk and helping members of the public who come to YSYC for information and help.

about us > who we work with > the team > achievements > jobs


Current Vacancies

We are currently recruiting for an Administration Assistant to join our team. For full details and to apply, please click the link below:

Administration Assistant Job Vacancy

Please note that the deadline for applications is Thursday 19th October.


Trustee Vacancies

Help us to make a real difference to the lives of the local community. Care Network is now at an important stage of our development and we are seeking to grow our board of trustees.

We are currently recruiting for new trustee positions including a new Chairperson, a new Honorary Treasurer and other trustees. For full details of the various roles and information on how to apply, please click the job titles and application form below:

Model Chair Role Description

Model Treasurer Role Description

Model Trustee Role Description

Trustee Application Form

Please note that the deadline for applications is Friday 3rd November.


In 2012 Care Network undertook a ‘Social Return on Investment’ analysis of our work undertaken from October 2011 to March 2012. The analysis went to the SROI Network for an independent assurance assessment and was deemed to comply with SROI Network principles.

SROI involves measuring the social, environmental and economic value of an organisation’s work. We explored the difference that Care Network activities made to our customers, our providers and partner organisations, and placed a financial value on this difference.

Headline figures from the analysis (in 2011/12) include:

  • For every £1 invested in Care Network, we produce a social return of £11.21.
  • 89% of our customers said that Care Network took the worry away from them getting a job done.
  • 51% of customers have seen an improvement in their health as a result of using Care Network’s services.
  • 83.6% of customers said that Care Network had helped them to live independently in their own home.
  • 90.6% of customers feel safer as a result of using Care Network’s services.
  • We are planning to undertake an updated Social Return on Investment analysis of our services in late 2015.


To find out more contact James Hadleigh on 01254 507250

Privacy Policy


Privacy Policy

It is the policy of Care Network that personal information, such as your name, personal postal and email address or personal telephone number is private and confidential.

Website Privacy Policy

By using this site, you consent to the terms of our privacy policy for the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes set out below. We do not collect, use or disclose your personal information for any purpose that those identified below, except with your consent or as required by the law.

What information do we collect?

Personal information such as your name, email address and telephone number is collected only when you voluntarily provide it. Such information is received when you make email contact through the site or make some other specific contact such as filling in an online registration form.

How do we use your information?

The personal information you provide to Care Network is forwarded only to our company administrator and is only used to respond to your enquiry.

Disclosure of Personal Information

Personal information will not be sold on to any third parties.


We have links on this website to other websites. We are only responsible for the privacy practices on this website and recommend that you check the privacy and security policies and procedures of every other website that you visit

Contact Us

If you would like any further information or have any comments about our privacy policy or any other aspect of our website or service please contact us either by email (please click the Contact Us tab at the top right of the web page).

Or you can contact Care Network by post:

Care Network

Suites 5 & 6

King’s Court

33 King Street




If you would like further information regarding any information we hold about you and what to do if you find a mistake, please click the link below to view the relevant leaflet:

Data Protection Leaflet

garth Garth Hodgkinson, Chair20 years’ combined experience of working for a local authority, a further education college and his current role as Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen CVS.  Inaugural chair of Care Network and a board director of several local charities and social enterprises, including BwD Healthy Living, East Lancashire Moneyline, Jubilee Tower Credit Union, LACVS and One Lancashire.  Garth is a serving Governor of Blackburn College and is vice chair of the local Community Safety Partnership. A graduate of the University of York, Garth is passionate about Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire and supporting communities to make a difference to people’s lives.
nick Nick KennedyBrought up in East Africa, Nick has been involved in Blackburn for many years. He is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in industry for most of his career. He has been particularly involved in printing where at one time he believes he was the only colour blind Chartered Accountant anywhere in the world earning a living from colour control instruments. He has also been involved as a Chair in the NHS and as a governor in several schools and colleges. Nick is also involved in two other charities as a trustee. He is married with ten grandchildren.
keith Keith BeestonKeith’s professional background is that of a lawyer.  He retired in 2008 from a private practice in East Lancashire where he had been the litigation partner since 1970 specialising in family law. Keith was approached by the then manager of Care Network to see whether he might be interested in joining the Charity as a Trustee.  Keith fully endorses the aims of Care Network to support vulnerable people to live independently and was pleased to be appointed in July 2009. The recent years have been a challenge to all organisations and Keith hopes to play a small part in ensuring that the Charity goes from strength to strength.
vicky Vicky ShepherdVicky has been a director and trustee of Care Network since autumn 2013.  Her ‘day job’ is Chief Executive of Age UK Blackburn with Darwen which is a local charity that works with local older people and provides a range of services to help maintain independence and improve health and wellbeing.  It is important to Vicky to be a trustee of Care Network and support the organisation’s development, as Care Network plays a vital role in supporting many vulnerable older people and improving their quality of life.  Both Age UK and Vicky have been involved with Care Network since its inception and have watched it grow into the quality organisation it is today.  Vicky believes the role and need for Care Network will only grow in the future so it is exciting to be a part of this.
graham Graham JonesGraham Jones has worked as part of the management team at Bootstrap Enterprises in Blackburn since Bootstrap began in Blackburn in 1987. Graham is by profession a Business Advisor, and in particular a passionate advocate for the role Social Enterprise and charities can play in the economic development of local economies. As well as being a founding member of Care Network, Graham is currently Chair of Selnet, the Lancashire Social Enterprise Network and a trustee of several other local  Third Sector organisations.
ian Ian BellIan, who joined the Care Network board in 2006 is the Head of Twin Valley Homes (the largest social landlord in the Borough). They own and manage 8000 properties.
His role on the Care Network Board is to provide support, guidance and constructive challenge to ensure the charity’s aims and objectives are met. Specifically Ian brings over 30 years’ experience of the social housing sector, many of those years in a senior management capacity.
Ian believes that it is important to be on the Care Network Board because we are supporting many vulnerable people to feel safe and assured when resolving a problem that can help them maintain their independence.