Wales Co-operative Centre

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Antur Waunfawr at Christmas #gofullcircle

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Antur Waunfawr at Christmas #gofullcircle

This blog post is the latest part of our Winter ‘Go Full Circle’ campaign, which is promoting the role of – and encouraging consumers to support – Welsh social enterprises, co-operatives and other community organisations in the run-up to Christmas.

We recently took to Twitter to tell you about Antur Waunfawr’s community Christmas Fair, which has been running for around the last 25 years. The event was established to bring the residents of Waunfawr and the local area together.

Here, we find out how workers at Antur Waunfawr have busily created unique Christmas decorations, in the run-up to the festive period, with the help of a local artist.

Tess Urbanska of Rhydyclafdy, studied Art & Design at Coleg Menai, Bangor, and started off her career working from her parents’ cellar. She is now an extremely sought-after artist, who also works as a part-time tutor for Coleg Harlech.

Previously, Tess had helped Antur workers and staff to create some striking pieces of art using pieces of recycled kitchens, old newspapers and paint. However, with Christmas fast approaching, it was felt that something more festive was required.

The team has used old crockery, upon which they have built layers of papier mache, then painted and transformed them into decorative plates showing Christmas puddings, angels and more!

Tess said: “I’ve worked with people with learning disabilities before, and always find it extremely rewarding. I’m really enjoying working here at Antur, and love to see the progress the workers are making. The art they’re producing is truly amazing, and each and every piece is unique.”

Day Services Manager Sara Gant agreed: “Each piece of art we produce here has been created, in the main, by the workers, with a little guidance from Tess and other members of staff. It’s been amazing having Tess here with us, and it’s been particularly rewarding for the workers as they’re now able to see their own finished product on display in our shop.”

Antur Waunfawr is a leading social enterprise, which was established in 1984, and provides employment and training opportunities for people with learning disabilities.

The organisation featured in this blog post is just one of many that you can support. Many more can be found on our Go Full Circle directory. Happy Christmas and ‘buy social’.

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Written by David Madge

December 21, 2013 at 10:00 am

Beacons Creative at Christmas #gofullcircle

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Beacons Creative at Christmas #gofullcircle

This blog post is the latest part of our Winter ‘Go Full Circle’ campaign, which is promoting the role of – and encouraging consumers to support – Welsh social enterprises, co-operatives and other community organisations in the run-up to Christmas.

A chilly December afternoon isn’t cooling the festive spirit in Cardiff City Centre, with less than a week until the big day; there are lots of people getting last minute gifts. Mark Smith is in the Welsh capital to meet Brian Popsys, CEO of Beacons Creative, as he does a brisk trade at the Cardiff Christmas Market:

The Beacons Creative market pitch is sandwiched in between other traders selling everything from jewellery to woodcraft and toys to cupcakes. For many, this is their busiest time of the year.

Beacons Creative (Wales) Limited is a unique social firm producing candles and related products, whilst providing employment opportunities for people with learning difficulties and those furthest from the workforce. Born out of an eleven year day care service provided by Powys County Council, Beacons Creative became a company limited by guarantee in 2009. The company’s objective is to develop sales, create new products, provide employment opportunities for service users, within a safe and caring environment, and transform this day care service into a successful and profitable business.

Beacons Creative evolved from Beacons Candles, following an enquiry about employment opportunities from one of the service users at the time. This led to the externalisation of the previous day care service.

Brian told us that things are going well: “Trade is good. We’re taking lots of orders, including for bespoke candles. Some of the candles are made with recycled materials. We’ve also brought soya wax candles into the range, among many others.

“Every month, we’ve looked at how we can continue to take more people on, to provide paid employment. We’re hoping to take on another 22 people next year, as we expand the business to make soaps and other toiletries”.

You can hear an interview with Brian Popsys on our SoundCloud site.

The organisation featured in this blog post is just one of many that you can support. Many more can be found on our Go Full Circle directory. Happy Christmas and ‘buy social’.

Written by David Madge

December 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

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