Posts Tagged ‘North Wales Credit Union’
Credit Unions play an important role in our country, providing a safe, ethical alternative to doorstep and payday lenders. Credit Unions offer responsible banking services to everyone in Wales.
Credit Unions are co-operatives and they work to co-operative values. They are a crucial element of work to tackle poverty and in addressing some of the major financial issues that families in Wales face today.
We welcome the Welsh Government’s recent statement which outlines and reiterates its support for the Credit Union movement in Wales. Read the statement here.
The Wales Co-operative Centre’s past and current work with Credit Unions has helped build the movement and has made a positive contribution to the overall approach to financial inclusion in Wales.
For example, our work to increase the take up of Credit Union Rent Accounts is helping people in receipt of benefits to secure their tenancies. It is also raising awareness of the services and benefits of using Credit Unions overall.
In the past, we helped to facilitate the merger of five Credit Unions in North Wales which became North Wales Credit Union. We continue to support Credit Unions looking to achieve more from collaborative working and consortium approaches.
We firmly believe that increased awareness of credit unions and the rising take up of credit union accounts across all members of our society is essential. Credit Unions are not just there for emergencies; in fact they need our involvement and investment throughout the good times to ensure they are able to support us during the bad times. Sustainability is essential and we all have a part to play in that.
These are important times for Credit Unions and the opportunities are there to build a strong, vibrant and sustainable Credit Union sector in Wales. We are delighted to be able to continue to play our part in helping Credit Unions grow and continue to provide the essential services they offer to the people of Wales.
Derek Walker, Chief Executive,
Wales Co-operative Centre
North Wales Social Enterprises scoop the 2012 Social Enterprise Awards Wales
Three North Wales social enterprises have won categories in this years Social Enterprise Wales Awards which took place today (Friday 19th October) at the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre in Prestatyn.
The awards were hosted by Wales Co-operative Centre and Wales Social Enterprise Coalition and was sponsored by not for profit internet registry company Nominet.
The full list of winners reads as follows:
Social Enterprise Leader of the Year
Kelly Davies of Vi-ability
Kelly Davies has been Managing Director of Vi-ability for nearly three years. Kelly has succeeded in positioning Vi-ability as one of the leading personal development/employment facing sport industry programmes in UK and Europe for socially disadvantaged participants It produces consistently positive outcomes in relation to engagement, retention and progression.
Kelly was delighted to win the award, “I’m overwhelmed! I really didn’t expect to win after our success in these Awards last year. It shows that we haven’t stood still and we’re still doing something right!”
Social Enterprise Start up of the Year – North Wales Credit Union
North Wales Credit Union is a financial co-operative which provides a wide range of ethical financial services across North Wales. Regulated by the Financial Services Authority, it is the fourth largest financial mutual in Wales. It was formed in January 2011 through the merger of five credit unions. Since then it has been looked to as a model of excellence by credit unions and policymakers from across the UK.
Mac McCarthym from the North Wales Credit Union, commented, “Wow! From our persepective, this award is fantastic. Creating North Wales Credit Union took 18 months of really hard work by both staff and volunteers, and we’re accepting this Award on their behalf.”
Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year – St Illtyd’s Communities First Partnership
St Illtyds Communities First is part of a Welsh Government anti-poverty campaign which has been established for 10 years. The team consists of 5 individuals who are dedicated to supporting and encouraging initiatives that make positive changes to the social economy. They work in Llanhilleth Institute supporting communities from Brynithel, Swffryd, Aberbeeg and Llanhilleth. St Illtyd’s Communities First has been responsible for starting up and supporting 3 social enterprises and creating 16 jobs in a socially deprived area of Wales.
Anna Chard from St Illtyd’s Communities First Partnership stated, “Its a real honour to accept this Award on behalf of the Communities First Partnership Board, the staff team and the social enterprises we support.”
Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year – Special Mention
The City & County of Swansea, Housing Renewals & Adaptations Department was singled out for a special mention as an example of a Local Authority who have made a major contribution to supporting the development of a social enterprise. City & County of Swansea has provided support and been available to reflect, counsel and steer changes to other organisations that resulted in the development of social enterprises such as Swansea Care & Repair Services.
Social Enterprise of the Year – Crest Co-operative
Crest Co-operative operates a number of recycling enterprises including , a food poverty project that distributes in-date food from food manufacturers to the homeless and vulnerable across North Wales; a textile recycling operation throughout Conwy County Borough Council; and finally Crest Co-operative work with North Wales housing associations to clear empty properties and save kitchens/bathrooms from landfill. Crest Co-operative’s work primarily focuses on social and environmental purposes, working to promote social inclusion and at the same time work to save materials and food from landfill. Sharon Jones from Crest Co-operative recieved the award, “I’m speechless. This is a real surprise and its great to win such as prestigious award.”
Wales Co-operative Centre Chief Executive Derek Walker commented, “The quality of nominations this year demonstrated not only the breadth and versatility of the sector but the importance the sector has to communities across Wales. The judges this year had a tough task deciding between a number of very dedicated people and a number of extremely deserving nominees. The winners chosen demonstrate an impressive commitment to their area of expertise and a level of service that is outstanding. We congratulate Crest Co-operative, St Illtyd’s Communities First Partnership, North Wales Credit Union and Kelly Davies and all of the other excellent social enterprises who were shortlisted.”
Not for profit Internet registry company Nominet sponsoredthe Social Enterprise Awards Wales 2012. Nominet run one of the world’s largest Internet registries and manage over ten million domain names. They are entrusted with the safe, stable and secure management of the .uk Internet name space and recently submitted applications for the new .cymru and .wales top level domains. For more information visit www.nominet.org.uk
Written by David Madge
October 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm
The Wales Co-operative Centre and Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition are hosting the Social Enterprise Awards Wales in Prestatyn on 19th October. In advance of the event, we are previewing some of the shortlisted nominees. Today we look at the shortlisted nominees for Social Enterprise Start Up of the Year.
Social Enterprise Start Up of the Year
- North Wales Credit Union
North Wales Credit Union (NWCU) is a co-operative which provides a wide range of ethical financial services across North Wales. It was formed in January 2011 through the merger of five credit unions. The merger has been used as an example by the National Association of Credit Unions and the Welsh Government for other credit unions to follow if they are considering a merger. The merger was not aimed at reducing costs but to improve the services to members across North Wales. NWCU is the only credit union in Wales and one of only 25 in the UK which provides its members with a bank account (as opposed to only savings accounts). It was one of the first credit unions to introduce a Rent Direct Account which allows members to pay their Housing Benefit into the credit union. This service protects vulnerable tenants from falling into arrears and losing their home. In this way, NWCU has prevented the eviction of over 20 members.
- Swansea Care and Repair Services
Swansea Care and Repair Services was established in April 2011. It works to provide independent, practical advice, advocacy and support services including facilitating property adaptations, repairs, improvements, upgrades and renovations to elderly and disabled client’s homes. It promotes good property management and aims to provide property maintenance advice and training, working to enhance the quality of life of community residents and support community regeneration. Swansea Care and Repair Services is unique in the fact it is a social enterprise in the construction industry that supports local regeneration and practical services, whilst ensuring profits are used to support the developments of services to support the housing concerns of older people.
Maggie Berry of Swansea Care and Repair Services is shortlisted for the Social Enterprise Leader of the Year.
- TGV Hydro (Crickhowell)
TGV Hydro Limited has been set up to promote renewable energy generation through micro-hydro power. Its overall social goal is to reduce carbon emissions by promoting and developing high-head micro-hydro schemes and particularly to support community ownership of micro-hydro systems. Based in the Brecon Beacons National Park, TGV Hydro operates across Wales, with over 20 schemes in development and working on eight community projects. TGV Hydro Limited has established a reputation for professionalism and team work and has worked with local authorities, over 20 community groups and over 50 farmers and landowners from large commercial estates to individual smallholdings. TGV Hydro is evidence that an innovative and ambitious company can be commercially successful in a competitive market place whilst operating as a social enterprise and that through its commercial success it can meet broader social goals.
Come back soon to find out more about the shortlisted nominees for Social Enterprise of the Year and Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year.
The Wales Co-operative Centre and Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition are hosting the Social Enterprise Awards Wales in Prestatyn on 19th October. In advance, of the event we are previewing some of the shortlisted nominees. Today we look at the shortlisted nominees for Social Enterprise Leader of the year.
Social Enterprise Leader of the Year
- Cam Nicholl of Digital Accessibility Centre (Neath)
Cam Nicholl is in charge of Sales & Service Development at the Digital Accessibility Centre in Neath. Her passion for Digital Inclusion is well known and respected and she has worked tirelessly to drive this new Social Enterprise forward at a rapid pace. The company started in Jan 2011 with a virtually non-existent budget. DAC traded ‘in the black’ during their first year, and continues to do so today. Cam has spent many late nights writing lengthy tenders and quotes to secure commercial contracts, many of which they have won.
The Digital Accessibility Centre has also been nominated for Social Enterprise of the Year.
- Kelly Davies of Viability (Conwy)
Kelly Davies has been Managing Director of Vi-ability for nearly three years. Kelly has succeeded in positioning Vi-ability as one of the leading personal development/employment facing sport industry programmes in UK and Europe for socially disadvantaged participants Itproduces consistently positive outcomes in relation to engagement, retention and progression. It has had a life changing impact on many participants and has created a new energy in the community justice landscape. Kelly also carried the ‘Olympic Torch’ on May 29th 2012 for her achievements in sport and the local community.
- Maggie Berry of Swansea Care and Repair Services
Maggie Berry has been Chief Officer with Swansea Care & Repair for 13 years and became Director of Swansea Care and Repair Services when it was established as a social enterprise in 2011. Swansea Care and Repair Services works to provide independent, practical advice, advocacy and support services including facilitating property adaptations, repairs, improvements, upgrades and renovations to elderly and disabled client’s homes. Maggie Berry was the driving force behind the establishment of the new social enterprise, developing a business plan and establishing a structure that would recognise their social aims and plans for future expansion. She was instrumental in co-ordinating the separation of charity and commercial services with the formation of Care & Repair Services.
Swansea Care and Repair Services has also been nominated for Social Enterprise Start Up of the Year.
Come back soon to find out more about the shortlisted nominees for Social Enterprise Start Up of the Year, Social Enterprise of the Year and Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year.
Written by David Madge
September 28, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Tagged with Accessibility, awards, Care and Repair, Conwy, Crickhowell, digital, Neath, nominee, North Wales Credit Union, prestatyn, shortlisted, social enterprise, start-up, swansea, Swansea Care and Repair Services, TGV Hydro, Viability, Wales