Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Social Enterprise Awards Wales – Social Enterprise Start Up of the Year nominees

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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.

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