Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

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.

 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!

 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.

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.

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.

 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.

 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.

 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.


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.

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.

 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.

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.

 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.

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!

 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

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