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Celebrate #SocialSaturday in North Wales

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Social Saturday logo

Social Saturday logo

Saturday 13 September 2014 is Social Saturday, a UK-wide campaign run by Social Enterprise UK to encourage people to buy from social enterprises.

Here are my top tips on how you can spend Social Saturday in North Wales. From watching local football teams, to taking in some of the amazing landscapes and scenery North Wales has to offer! There’s something for everyone.

 

Galeri Caernarfon

Visit Wales’ current Social Enterprise of the Year to catch the latest film or theatre performance. Or you can grab a bite to eat and drink at the ‘DOC Café Bar’, whilst enjoying the stunning views of Victoria Dock and the Menai Straits.

http://www.galericaernarfon.com/eng/index.html

 

Porthmadog Football Club (FC)

If you’re a football fan, go and watch Porthmadog FC, who are taking on Fflint, at home, on Saturday 13th September. The match kicks off at 3pm at Y Traeth, Porthmadog.

http://www.porthmadogfc.com/index.htm

 

Pengwern Arms Hotel

Located in Llan Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, the Pengwern Arms Hotel is a community owned venture, which acts as the ‘focal point’ for people in the area. Pengwern say that the ‘pub is the hub’, so if you’re planning on meeting friends or family for a drink or bite to eat, why not pop into Pengwern in the beautiful surroundings of Snowdonia.

http://pengwerncymunedol.btck.co.uk/

 

Resource-renew

If you’re looking for a new piece of home furniture, then why not visit ‘Resource-renew’ in Bangor. They have a range of pre-owned furniture and refurbished white goods available at bargain prices.
You can also donate your old items to them. So if you’ve recently moved house or had a de-clutter, don’t throw anything away, get in touch with Resource-renew, so it can be reused.

http://www.resource-renew.org/home.html

 

antur stiniogAntur Stiniog

If you’re an outdoor activity enthusiast, then a visit to Antur Stiniog is a must. Located in Bro Ffestiniog, in the amazing surroundings of Snowdonia, the landscape lends itself perfectly for walking, kayaking and camping. Any keen mountain bikers should try out one of their four graded downhill trails, on which the British Championships were recently held. Before you hit the hills, visit ‘Y Siop’ to kit yourself out with climbing and bike equipment, bike hire and outdoor clothing.

Antur Stiniog has something for everyone though. If the above activities don’t take your fancy, then you can pop into ‘Antur Café’ for some traditional Welsh food.

http://www.anturstiniog.com/

 

Colwyn Bay FC

Cheer on Colwyn Bay FC on Saturday 13th September, in their home clash against North Ferriby United in the Conference North division. Kick off is at 3pm at Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn.

http://www.colwynbayfc.co.uk/

 

Menter Fachwen – Greenworks Horticulture

Located in the Old Station, Cwm-Y-Glo, Greenworks Horticulture specialises in made to order hanging baskets for the summer and winter. If you’re a keen gardener, then it’s definitely worth paying them a visit.

http://www.menterfachwen.org.uk/EN/gs.asp?id=7

 

Tafarn Y Fic

Tafarn y Fic is a Welsh community pub located in Llithfaen, near Pwllheli. If you’re in the area, call into the bar for a warm welcome and local ale. First, you should take in the area’s fantastic scenery by embarking on some of the local walking trails.

http://www.tafarnyfic.com/home.htm

 

Cyfeillion Swtan

Swtan is a fully restored example of a 17th century Welsh cottage with a thatched roof. It is situated on the beautiful north west Wales coast of Anglesey, in the picturesque village of Church Bay (Porth Swtan).

The cottage is owned by the National Trust, and is leased and run by a group of local enthusiasts, Cyfellion Swtan (‘Friends of Swtan’), as a living heritage museum preserving history and culture.

Visitors can experience a fascinating step back in time to rural life in Wales circa 1900.

http://www.swtan.co.uk/

 

Holyhead Maritime Museum

The museum is a fascinating experience for the whole family. Step back in time at the oldest lifeboat station in Wales (circa. 1858), which houses a collection of exhibits telling the enthralling maritime history of Holyhead.
Situated alongside the Maritime Museum, in a Second World War Air Raid Shelter, is the very informative permanent exhibition “Holyhead at War”. There is wheelchair access, a well stocked gift and bookshop, very knowledgeable museum guides and a highly recommended cafe/licensed restaurant, the “Harbour Front Bistro”.

http://www.holyheadmaritimemuseum.co.uk/

 

Wrexham FC

Go and support Wrexham FC on 13th September, who are playing Welling at home (the Racecourse Ground), kick off is at 3pm. It’s been a good start to the season for Wrexham, and with Welling not fairing so well at the moment, there’s a good chance of this continuing!

http://www.wrexhamafc.co.uk/

 

Saith SerenSaith Seren

Before you go to cheer on Wrexham FC, visit Saith Seren, a community owned pub in Wrexham, for a pre match meal and drink. While there, you can take in some live entertainment from local performers.

http://www.saithseren.org.uk/
The Social Saturday campaign was started by the Wales Co-operative Centre in Wales in 2013 so it’s really exciting to see it rolled out across the UK. Last year, social enterprises all over Wales took part to showcase the best of what they do.

If you’ve got any other ideas about how to support social enterprises for Social Saturday, let us know via Twitter (@WalesCoopCentre). Whatever you do to celebrate Social Saturday, don’t forget to share your experiences on twitter using the hashtag #socialsaturday.

*Please check individual websites for details of opening times and locations.

Written by Ieuan Nash

September 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

Dathlwch #SadwrnCymdeithasol yn y Gogledd

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Social Saturday logo CYDdydd Sadwrn 13 Medi 2014 yw dydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol, ymgyrch ledled y DU gan Menter Gymdeithasol y DU i annog pobl i brynu cynnyrch mentrau cymdeithasol.

Dyma fy awgrymiadau i ar sut y gallwch chi dreulio Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn y Gogledd. O wylio timau pêl-droed lleol, i fwynhau rhai o’r tirweddau a’r golygfeydd anhygoel sydd gan y Gogledd i’w cynnig! Mae rhywbeth at ddant pawb.

 

Galeri Caernarfon 

Dyma Fenter Gymdeithasol y Flwyddyn Cymru ar hyn o bryd, felly beth am alw heibio i weld y ffilm neu’r perfformiad theatr diweddaraf. Neu gallwch gael tamaid blasus a llymaid ym Mar Cafe DOC, a mwynhau’r golygfeydd trawiadol o Ddoc Fictoria a’r Fenai’r un pryd.

http://www.galericaernarfon.com

 

Clwb Pêl-droed Porthmadog

Os ydych yn gefnogwr pêl-droed, beth am fynd i wylio Clwb Pêl-droed Porthmadog, sy’n chwarae gartref yn erbyn y Fflint ddydd Sadwrn 13 Medi? Mae’r gêm yn dechrau am 3pm ar y Traeth, Porthmadog.

http://www.porthmadogfc.com/index.htm

 

Gwesty’r Pengwern

Mae’r Pengwern yn Llan Ffestiniog ac yn fenter sy’n eiddo i’r gymuned, sy’n gweithredu fel ‘canolbwynt’ i drigolion y fro. Y dafarn yw’r man ymgynnull perffaith, felly os ydych yn bwriadu cwrdd â theulu neu ffrindiau am lymaid neu damaid blasus, beth am bicio draw i’r Pengwern yng nghanol harddwch Eryri.

http://pengwerncymunedol.btck.co.uk/

 

Adfywio-adnodd

Os ydych yn chwilio am ddodrefnyn newydd i’ch cartref, yna beth am ymweld ag Adfywio-adnodd ym Mangor. Mae ganddynt ddetholiad o ddodrefn a nwyddau gwyn wedi’u hadnewyddu sy’n dipyn o fargen.

Gallwch roi eich hen eitemau iddynt hefyd. Felly os ydych wedi symud tŷ’n ddiweddar neu’n awyddus i roi trefn ar eich cartref a chlirio’r llanast, peidiwch â thaflu dim, cysylltwch ag Adfywio-adnodd, fel y gellir eu hailddefnyddio.

http://www.resource-renew.org/home.html

 

antur stiniogAntur Stiniog 

Os yw gweithgareddau awyr agored at eich dant, yna cofiwch alw yn Antur Stiniog. Bro Ffestiniog yw cartref yr antur, yng nghanol gwychder Eryri – tirwedd berffaith ar gyfer cerdded, caiacio a gwersylla. Dylai unrhyw feicwyr mynydd brwd roi cynnig ar un o’u pedwar llwybr lawr allt graddedig, lle cynhaliwyd Pencampwriaeth Prydain yn ddiweddar. Cyn i chi fentro tua’r mynyddoedd, ewch draw i’r Siop i gael yr holl offer sydd ei angen arnoch ar gyfer dringo a beicio, llogi beiciau a dillad awyr agored.

Mae gan Antur Stiniog rywbeth i bawb. Os na fydd y gweithgareddau uchod yn apelio atoch, yna gallwch alw yng nghaffi’r Antur a mwynhau gwledd o fwydydd Cymreig traddodiadol.

http://www.anturstiniog.com/

 

Clwb Pêl-droed Bae Colwyn 

Beth am roi hwb i Glwb Pêl-droed Bae Colwyn ddydd Sadwrn 13 Medi, yn eu gêm gartref yn erbyn North Ferriby United yn adran Conference North? Bydd y gic gyntaf am 3pm yn Ffordd Llanelian, Hen Golwyn.

http://www.colwynbayfc.co.uk/

 

Menter Fachwen – Gwaithgwyrdd Garddwriaeth

Hen Orsaf, Cwm-y-glo yw cartref Gwaithgwyrdd Garddwriaeth sy’n arbenigo mewn gwneud basgedi crog ar gyfer yr haf a’r gaeaf yn arbennig i chi. Os ydych chi’n arddwr brwd, cofiwch alw.

http://www.menterfachwen.org.uk

 

Tafarn y Fic

Tafarn gymunedol Gymreig yn Llithfaen ym Mhen Llŷn yw’r Fic. Os ydych chi yn yr ardal, galwch yn y bar a chewch groeso cynnes a chwrw lleol. Ond yn gyntaf, dylech fwynhau’r wledd o olygfeydd godidog yn y cyffiniau drwy roi cynnig ar rai o’r llwybrau cerdded lleol.

http://www.tafarnyfic.com/index.htm

 

Cyfeillion Swtan

Bwthyn Cymreig â tho gwellt o’r ail ganrif ar bymtheg wedi’i adfer yn llwyr yw Swtan. Mae ar arfordir gogledd-orllewinol hardd Ynys Môn, ym mhentref prydferth Porth Swtan.

Eiddo’r Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol yw’r bwthyn, ar brydles i grŵp o selogion lleol, sef Cyfeillion Swtan, sy’n ei redeg fel amgueddfa treftadaeth fyw i ddiogelu hanes a diwylliant.

Gall ymwelwyr gamu’n ôl i fywyd yng nghefn gwlad Cymru oddeutu 1900.

http://welsh.swtan.co.uk/

 

Amgueddfa Arforol Caergybi 

Dyma brofiad diddorol a gwerth chweil i’r teulu cyfan. Camwch yn ôl i’r oes a fu yng ngorsaf bad achub hynaf Cymru (oddeutu 1858), sy’n cynnwys casgliad o arddangosion sy’n adrodd hanes morwrol cyfareddol Caergybi.

Drws nesaf i’r Amgueddfa Arforol, mewn lloches rhag bomio o gyfnod yr Ail Ryfel Byd, mae yna arddangosfa barhaol llawn gwybodaeth, “Holyhead at War”. Ceir mynediad i gadeiriau olwyn, siop â detholiad da o lyfrau a rhoddion, llyfrynnau llawn gwybodaeth am yr amgueddfa a chaffi/bwyty trwyddedig mawr ei barch, y Front Harbour Bistro.

http://www.holyheadmaritimemuseum.co.uk/

 

Clwb Pêl-droed Wrecsam 

Ewch i gefnogi Clwb Pêl-droed Wrecsam ar 13 Medi, sy’n chwarae Welling gartref (ar y Cae Ras), gan gychwyn am 3pm. Mae Wrecsam wedi cael dechrau da i’r tymor, a gan nad yw Welling yn llwyddo cystal ar hyn o bryd, mae tîm Wrecsam yn obeithiol iawn!

http://www.wrexhamafc.co.uk/

 

Saith SerenSaith Seren 

Cyn i chi fynd i gefnogi Clwb Pêl-droed Wrecsam, ewch draw i Saith Seren, tafarn sy’n eiddo i’r gymuned yn Wrecsam, am bryd o fwyd a diod cyn y gêm. Tra byddwch yno, gallwch fwynhau tipyn o adloniant byw gan berfformwyr lleol.

http://www.saithseren.org.uk/

Dechreuwyd ymgyrch Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yng Nghymru gan Ganolfan Cydweithredol Cymru yn 2013, felly gwych o beth yw ei gweld yn cael ei chyflwyno ledled y DU. Y llynedd, bu mentrau cymdeithasol ledled Cymru’n cymryd rhan ynddi i arddangos y gorau o’u cynnyrch a’u gwasanaethau.

Os oes gennych chi unrhyw syniadau eraill ynglŷn â sut i gefnogi mentrau cymdeithasol fel rhan o Sadwrn Cymdeithasol, rhowch wybod i ni drwy Twitter (@WalesCoopCentre). Sut bynnag fyddwch chi’n dathlu Sadwrn Cymdeithasol, cofiwch rannu eich profiadau ar Twitter drwy ddefnyddio’r hashnod #socialsaturday / #sadwrncymdeithasol.

* Edrychwch ar wefannau unigol i gael manylion amseroedd agor a lleoliadau.

Written by Ieuan Nash

September 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

Celebrate #SocialSaturday in South East Wales

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Saturday 13 September 2014 is Social Saturday, a UK-wide campaign run by Social Enterprise UK to encourage people to buy from social enterprises.

So how can you join in and support social enterprises in South East Wales? Here are my top tips…:

1. Chapter Arts Centre

Head down to Chapter in Canton, Cardiff and take in a film, theatre performance or live music event. If you don’t fancy anything quite so cultural, then Chapter’s award-winning caffi-bar has a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere at all times of day, seven days a week. www.chapter.org

 2. Fair Do’s

Just over the road from Chapter is Fair Do’s, a shop which has been selling fair trade goods throughout South Wales for over 20 years. The shop stocks a huge range of fair trade goods, including foods & beverages, toys & games, musical instruments & CDs, jewellery & accessories, cards & paper, throws & bedding, clothing & underwear, photo albums & picture frames, wall hangings & wind chimes, crafts & homewares…the list goes on and on! www.fairdos.com

 3. RCMA Farmers’ Markets

RCMA runs a number of markets in Cardiff which provide small scale local producers with the opportunity to trade directly with the public; and give local people access to affordable, fresh produce sold direct by Welsh producers. Head to Riverside, Roath, Rhiwbina or Whitchurch to find great local food which doesn’t cost the earth. www.riversidemarket.org.uk

riverside market

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Park View Café

Located opposite Victoria Park, Park View Café is a lovely café which offers fantastic food and brilliant service. Stop in for coffee and a cake, grab a bite of lunch, or take away one of their salad boxes for a picnic in the park.

 5. Penarth Pier Pavilion

Newly renovated Penarth Pier Pavilion was recently voted Wales’ most treasured landmark as part of a major campaign by the National Trust Wales. The Pier offers an exciting exhibitions programme and a full events schedule including films and live music. Its café is open daily from 10am for breakfast, lunch & tea with daily specials and its own home-baked delicious cakes that can be enjoyed with a stunning sea view. www.penarthpavilion.co.uk

Penarth Pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Cosmeston Medieval Village

Set within Cosmeston Lakes Country Park is Cosmeston Medieval Village.| Step back in time and enter a superbly reconstructed 14th century village. Entry to Cosmeston Medieval Village and small museum is free, however, guided tours are available daily by a costumed villager in character. During your visit you may recognise some of the sights from the BBC’s TV series ‘Merlin’ as many scenes were filmed at Cosmeston Medieval Village. http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/enjoying/parks_and_gardens/cosmeston/cosmeston_medieval_village/cosmeston_medieval_village.aspx

 7. Celtic Leisure

Did you know that the company which runs leisure centres in Neath Port Talbot was a social enterprise? So why not go for a swim, take part in a fitness class, or visit the health suite at one of its eight professional, customer focused and accessible leisure centres. www.celticleisure.org

 8. Sussed Wales, Porthcawl

Sussed, established by Sustainable Wales, offers a fabulous and ethical range of gifts, clothes, bags, accessories, beautiful and unique furniture, household items, books and delicious fairtrade and organic foods. Many items are made from recycled materials or are fairtrade. So if you’re after a touch of eco-chic, head to the shop in Porthcawl or buy something online. www.sussedwales.com

 9. Glyncorrwg Ponds, Port Talbot

Set amidst the 9,000 acres of the Afan Forest Park, the Glyncorrwg Ponds and the surrounding countryside make a great day out for the whole family. Mountain biking, trout fishing, coarse fishing, and canoeing are the most popular sports, plus miles of old flat railway lines and steep mountain slopes providing day’s worth of cycling and walking.

http://glyncorrwgpondsvisitorcentre.co.uk/

Glyncorrwg

10. Cambrian Football Club

Located in Clydach Vale in the Rhondda, Cambrian Football Club is a social enterprise which funds sports training and activities for children and young people in the area. On Social Saturday, you can catch the team playing Cardiff Metropolitan University (away) at 2.30pm. www.cambrianfc.co.uk

11. Valleys Golf Enterprise

If you’re a golf enthusiast, Valleys Golf Enterprise has got everything you need! Why not visit their new driving range at Pontygwaith in the Rhondda. Every penny raised goes into the development of golf facilities in Wales and provides opportunities for people to try the sport. www.valleysgolf.net

 12. Canolfan Soar, Merthyr Tydfil

Canolfan Soar aims to promote the use of the Welsh language in Merthyr Tydfil and is the location of Theatr Soar, Siop y Ganolfan and Caffi Cwtsh. Why not visit the caffi for a coffee or pancake, buy a book or CD from Siop y Ganolfan, participate in a workshop or attend a performance at Theatr Soar. http://www.theatrsoar.co.uk

13. Tyfu Café, Caerphilly

Located in the historic town centre of Caerphilly, Tyfu Cafe is a social enterprise staffed by local, passionate volunteers who have the drive to provide the best eating out experience they can. Treat yourself to one of their excellent coffees or a bite of lunch. www.tyfucommunity.com

 14. Fourteen Locks Canal Centre, Newport

Situated at the top of a unique flight of locks in Rogerstone, Newport, the Canal Centre has a wonderful tea room, exhibitions about canals, an art exhibition and also organises walks. www.fourteenlocks.co.uk

15. Vintage Vision, Abergavenny

Vintage Vision is a goldmine of vintage and retro clothing. The organisation has two shops, one in Chepstow and one in Blaenavon, which stocks clothing from 1880 to 1980 that is classic beautiful, fashionable (again) or just plain lovely. It also does a mean line in really ‘cheesy’ vintage – just what you need for that fancy dress party! www.vintagevision.co.uk

 16. Buy a Big Issue

If all else fails, you could simply buy a copy of the Big Issue. One of the UK’s best known social enterprises, the Big Issue offers people who are homeless the opportunity to earn their own money; a livelihood.

The Social Saturday campaign was started by the Wales Co-operative Centre in Wales in 2013 so it’s really exciting to see it rolled out across the UK. Last year, social enterprises all over Wales took part to showcase the best of what they do.

If you’ve got any other ideas about how to support social enterprises for Social Saturday, let us know via Twitter (@WalesCoopCentre). Whatever you do to celebrate Social Saturday, don’t forget to share your experiences on twitter using the hashtag #socialsaturday.

*Please check individual websites for details of opening times and locations.

Written by Catherine Evans

September 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Mae Sadwrn Cymdeithasol newydd dyfu!

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Derek Walker

Derek Walker

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru Prif Weithredwr, Derek Walker, blogiau am y digwyddiad Dydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol sydd ar y gweill ar 13 Medi. Mae Dydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn anelu at roi hwb i nifer y bobl sy’n prynu gan fentrau cymdeithasol.

Yn dilyn llwyddiant ein hymgyrchoedd menter gymdeithasol Sadwrn Cymdeithasol a Cefnogi’r Cyfan y llynedd, mae’n bleser gennym gyhoeddi bod Menter Gymdeithasol y DU yn ymestyn yr ymgyrch Sadwrn Cymdeithasol ar draws y DU yn 2014!

Rydym wrth ein boddau bod y corff cynrychioli cenedlaethol dros Fentrau Cymdeithasol y Deyrnas Unedig wedi mabwysiadu ein hymgyrch ac y bydd ein dull arloesol yn cael ei hyrwyddo ledled Lloegr a’r Alban yn ogystal â Chymru!

Bydd y Sadwrn Cymdeithasol cenedlaethol cyntaf yn y DU yn digwydd ddydd Sadwrn 13 Medi 2014.

Mae Arolwg Menter Gymdeithasol y DU 2013 o Gyflwr Mentrau Cymdeithasol y DU yn dangos bod mentrau cymdeithasol yn masnachu’n bennaf â’r cyhoedd ond er bod tri chwarter o’r cyhoedd yn cefnogi’r syniad o fentrau cymdeithasol, mae ymwybyddiaeth ohonynt yn parhau’n isel.

Social Saturday logo

Social Saturday logo

Bydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn ceisio codi ymwybyddiaeth o fentrau cymdeithasol ac yn annog prynwyr i ‘brynu’n gymdeithasol’. Mae’n gyfle i’r sector ‘greu sŵn’ ac yn llwyfan i fentrau cymdeithasol brynu a hyrwyddo’u cynnyrch a’u gwasanaethau. Bydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn cael ei gefnogi gan ymgyrch Cysylltiadau Cyhoeddus genedlaethol.

Y bwriad yw gwneud Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn ddigwyddiad blynyddol y gall y sector adeiladu arno, a bydd yn ceisio cynnwys cynghorau lleol, Aelodau’r Cynulliad, Aelodau Seneddol, gweinidogion a busnesau. Nod y diwrnod yw rhoi hwb i grwpiau a chymunedau er mwyn codi ymwybyddiaeth o fenter gymdeithasol mewn trefi, dinasoedd a phentrefi.

Rydym yn falch o gefnogi’r Sadwrn Cymdeithasol cyntaf ar draws y DU (ond cofiwch, fan hyn y gwelsoch chi ef gyntaf)!

I gymryd rhan, ewch i: www.walescooperative.org/sadwrn-cymdeithasol-2014

Derek Walker, Prif Weithredwr, Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Written by Ieuan Nash

August 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Social Saturday just got bigger!

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Derek WalkerWales Co-operative Centre Chief Executive, Derek Walker, blogs about the upcoming Social Saturday event on 13th September. Social Saturday aims to boost the number of people buying from Britain’s social enterprises.

Following our successful Social Saturday and Go Full Circle social enterprise campaigns last year, we are happy to announce that Social Enterprise UK are taking the Social Saturday campaign UK wide for 2014!

We are delighted that our campaign has been taken on by the national representative body for Social Enterprises in the United Kingdom and that our innovative approach will be promoted across England and Scotland as well as across Wales!

The first UK national Social Saturday will take place on Saturday 13th September 2014.

The 2013 Social Enterprise UK State of Social Enterprise Survey shows that social enterprises primarily trade with the general public, but whilst three quarters of the public support the idea of social enterprise, awareness of social enterprises remains low.

Social Saturday logo

Social Saturday logo

Social Saturday will seek to raise awareness of social enterprises and encourage consumers to ‘buy social’. It is an opportunity for the sector to ‘make some noise’ and a platform for social enterprises to sell and promote their products and services. Social Saturday will be supported by a national PR campaign.

It is intended that Social Saturday will become an annual ‘event’ on which the sector can build, and it will seek to engage local councils, AMs, MPs, ministers and business. The day aims to mobilise groups and communities to raise awareness of social enterprise within towns, cities and villages.

We are proud to support the first UK wide Social Saturday (but remember, you saw it here first)!

To get involved, please visit: www.walescooperative.org/social-saturday-2014
Derek Walker, Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre

 

Written by Ieuan Nash

August 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Congratulations to Siop Y Bobl on the launch of their new shop premises

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Today, one of the co-operatives the Wales Co-operative Centre helped set up in Gower is launching its new village shop premises.

Siop Y Bobl in Llanmadoc was formed by a group of volunteers from the village after the shop and post office that serviced the village closed down. The Wales Co-operative Centre helped the group to set up as a co-operative (registered as an Industrial and Provident Society) and helped develop their business plan.

The shop now provides a wide range of products from fresh goods, home baking, frozen and chilled foods, an off-license, post office and coffee shop. It buys its produce and goods from local producers or suppliers, helping to keep them in business and retaining income in the area.

Siop y Bobl has won numerous awards including the Welsh Volunteers Award, the Best New Business Award, Best Village in South Wales and Best Community in Wales. The members attribute part of their success to the advice they have received from the co-operative movement. Membership is open to anyone in the area who wants to join – without them Siop y Bobl would not exist.

One of the most significant benefits of the co-operative comes from its 50 plus volunteers, many of whom are local people who have retired. The shop is a “social hub” where people can meet and get together on a daily basis, especially people who live on their own and would not see other people.

Siop y Bobl firmly believes that having co-operative principles has meant that a “dying rural community” has been able to thrive. They purchase from 37 local or very local businesses which also helps the wider Welsh economy. Siop y Bobl has faced a number of challenges along the way, especially relating to its premises. After a long period of planning and construction the business has now moved into new premises on the main road through the village.

At the Wales Co-operative Centre we have been proud to support this community enterprise and wish them well in their new premises and for a long future as the hub of the community of Llanmadoc.

Branwen Ellis is a Business Consultant at the Wales Co-operative Centre. She is an expert on co-operatives, social enterprises and governance.

Written by David Madge

May 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

The Myners’ Report on the Co-operative Group

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The Myners’ Report on the Co-operative Group

The keenly anticipated Myners’ report into issues at the troubled Co-operative Group was published yesterday. Myners doesn’t pull any punches. He talks about a ‘manifestly dysfunctional board’ and comes to a view that there is a limited shared purpose among Group board directors. He goes on to propose a slimmed down board made up of independent directors and executives of the Group.

Everyone agrees that there is a need for radical reforms at the Co-operative Group and in her initial response the Chair, Ursula Lidbetter, has already indicated that the report will be taken seriously. Ed Mayo of Co-operatives UK has stated that there are welcome signs of emerging consensus over the need for change and renewal, which is positive.

It is absolutely right that the Co-operative Board needs to contain people with the appropriate skills to run the business. All businesses need to keep on top of this and the Co-operative Group is no exception.

There is concern amongst some Co-operative Group members about the potential for a weaker link between the membership and the Group. The report proposes a National Members Council, with significant representation from staff, but suggests reducing or removing representation on the Board itself.

The whole point of a co-operative is that it operates on behalf of its members. That connection is vital to a co-operative’s competitive advantage and its ability to respond to the needs of its members. One of the main reasons many of us shop at Co-operative supermarkets and pharmacies is because we know we are buying quality products, procured on ethical grounds with profits returning to people in our own communities, not distant shareholders.

The co-operative sector is much broader than just the Co-operative Group of course. There are hundreds of independent co-operative businesses across Wales, operating in a wide range of areas from food to furniture-making and from health to housing. Many of these have benefited in the past from support funded by the Group as part of its commitment to support other co-operatives. Research shows that the sector has done better than other mainstream businesses during the downturn. The co-operative model is a tried and tested one.

The Co-operative Group has faced difficult times before and has come through them. With thousands of people employed in its businesses across Wales, the future success of the organisation is crucially important to the Welsh economy. We wish it well as it implements the necessary reforms over the months and years ahead.

Read the full Myners’ report here 

Derek Walker, Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre

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