Awel Co-op on BBC Wales Today

First time we’ve ever been a headline on the BBC news! But great that community energy in Wales is getting this recognition. Lots of potential for expansion in Wales across all technologies and all areas. The impact of climate change demands that we do more in order to leave a better world for our children.

This piece was filmed a week or so ago and great excitement that the turbines spinning today. Join  Facebook page (Awelamantawe) to see some footage from a Brynaman kitchen window!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b084jd5f/bbc-wales-today-lunchtime-news-16122016

 

Voting open for Third Sector Awards Cymru 2016 – we’re up there!

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for the Award of Most Admired Organisation at the Third Sector Awards Cymru 2016.

The Third Sector Awards Cymru honour the hard work and inspirational achievements of the third sector in Wales, and the prestigious Most Admired award is for organisations most respected for their work and the causes they represent.

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The winner for this category is this year being decided by public vote, so please support us by voting online now!

Dan McCallum, one of Awel Co-op’s directors said, “We are delighted with this recognition. Our turbines will be commissioned and generating electricity this Friday December 16th – it’s taken us 18 years to get to this point so we are over the moon! Our Share Offer is still open so why not buy a Share as a Christmas present for someone? – you can invest from £50 and we expect to pay a 5% annual return. Our Share Offer has already raised almost £1.6m, the largest ever in Wales. For more information, visit www.awel.coop.

You can find out more about the awards and how to vote at http://www.wcva.org.uk/what-we-do/celebrating-the-sector/third-sector-awards-cymru. Please share this link and if you’re on Twitter use the hashtag #TSACymru to help us get more votes!

Voting closes 13 January 2017, and the winner will be announced at the Third Sector Awards Cymru ceremony in February.

Awel Co-op crowned best in Wales for contribution to community

Awel Co-op has been crowned the winner of the Wales Award as part of the Rural Community Ownership Awards 2016, the only national awards programme recognising community co-operation around the UK.

Awel members, Kani and Emily Hinshelwood collecting the Plunkett Award
Awel members, Kani and Emily Hinshelwood collecting the Plunkett Award

Awel Co-op is building two community wind turbines 15 miles north of Swansea, supplying enough clean energy to power about 2500 homes. All profits from the project will go into further community energy projects. The co-op has undertaken a Share Offer and has already raised £1.56m and is hoping to reach £2m before Christmas.

The Community Ownership Awards are run by Plunkett Foundation, the national charity supporting people to set up and run community co-operatives – businesses that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people from within their local area – to help overcome issues ranging from isolation and loneliness to poverty.

Dan McCallum, one of Awel’s Directors said “We are very honoured to win the Plunkett Award. It will be fantastic to see our turbines generating electricity which we expect to be before Christmas. Our Share Offer is still open so why not buy a Share as a Christmas present for someone? – you can invest from £50 and we expect to pay a 5% annual return. For more information, visit www.awel.coop.

Awel Co-op competed with shortlisted entries and was crowned the best community owned co-operative in Wales. The winners were announced at a national ceremony in London to an invited audience of over 100 special guests from around the UK.

James Alcock, Head of Frontline at Plunkett Foundation said: The winners of the Rural Community Ownership Awards all represent fantastic examples of community enterprise. The award nominations clearly demonstrated community co-operatives at the top of their game; all the winners fought off seriously tough competition and truly deserve this accolade. We wish them all every success for the future.”

Community co-operatives come in many forms: shops, pubs, bakeries, farms, community hubs, woodlands, broadband projects – the list is endless! They are a business, but trade primarily for the benefit of the local community. Like any business, a community co-operative must be profitable. Due to their focus on the local community, and investing profits back into the business or local area, they are able to succeed where other commercial ventures may fail. For example, around 400 commercial village shops close each year and in the region of 21 pub closures a week, community-owned shops and co-operative pubs not only represent a better form of business, they directly respond to some of the key challenges facing rural communities today such as lack of services and isolation.

Notes to Editors:

About the Community Ownership Awards 2016:

The Community Ownership Awards are about celebrating the most inspiring examples of people in rural areas working together to improve their communities. They are designed to help communities celebrate their own success and learn from each other, and to raise awareness about the co-operative model and community ownership to a wider audience. For more information visit the Awards website at: www.communityownershipawards.com

About Plunkett Foundation:

Plunkett Foundation (www.plunkett.co.uk) helps communities to take control of their challenges and overcome them together. We support people, predominantly in rural areas, to set up and run life-changing community co-operatives; enterprises that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people in their community. They help people to tackle a range of issues, from isolation and loneliness to poverty, and come in many forms including shops, cafes, pubs and land-based initiatives, and everything in between.

About community co-operatives:

Community co-operatives can come in many forms: shops, pubs, bakeries, farms, community hubs, farmers’ markets, woodlands, broadband projects – the list is endless. They are businesses, but they trade primarily for the benefit of their community. They are controlled by the community, and they have open and voluntary membership, actively encouraging people to get involved by becoming members. They do this by offering shares in the co-operative, the cost of which are set at a level that the majority of people will be able to afford. Click here for more information – https://www.plunkett.co.uk/what-are-community-co-operatives.

Awel Co-op, one of the UK’s star performers, celebrated by NatWest SE100

Star performers celebrated by NatWest SE100, UK’s leading market intelligence resource for social enterprise

Now in its 7th year, the leading market intelligence resource for social ventures, the NatWest SE100 Index, is pleased to announce the shortlist for its 2016/17 Social Business Awards.

Dan McCallum from Awel Co-op is amongst the finalists. Dan said “I am delighted that Awel Co-op is receiving this recognition. We’ve been fighting for our community wind farm for 18 years. It is fantastic that the wind turbines will be generating before Christmas. We have also raised £1.56m from our co-op Share Offer and want to raise £2m – our minimum investment is £50. Could be a brilliant present for someone to co-own a wind farm! Visit www.awel.coop for more info.”

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Revealed at the annual Good Deals social investment conference, a total of 26 organisations have been shortlisted, celebrating the most inspiring and effective social enterprise leaders, and the strength, impact and resilience of the sector in the UK.

All shortlisted organisations will be invited to bring members of their team to attend a special residential Insight Event at the RBS/NatWest Business School in Edinburgh, in early 2017, focusing on “Leadership and Building a Brilliant Social Enterprise Team.”

Mark Parsons, Head of Community Finance and Social Enterprise, NatWest, said: “The SE100 Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the very best in UK social enterprise. This year’s strong shortlist showcases the vibrancy and diversity of these businesses, which are making our economy more successful and our communities stronger. NatWest has been a proud supporter of the sector for many years and we look forward to welcoming all of those shortlisted to the Awards ceremony in January.”

Tim West, CEO of Matter&Co and founder of the SE100, said: ”Running any business is challenging – running a business that changes people’s lives and stays profitable at the same time is nothing short of miraculous. This year’s SE100 shortlist is making miracles happen for people and communities all around the country. We look forward to learning how they do it and sharing their stories, as we select our winners over the coming months.”

turbine-at-dawn

Leadership champion nominees:

Dan McCallum  – Awel Aman Tawe

Karen Lynch – Belu Water Ltd

Stephen Waud  – Business Enterprise Fund

Steve Hodgetts  – Community Together CIC

Simon Donovan  – Manor House Development Trust

William Akerman – MyKindaFuture

Emma Worley – The Philosophy Foundation

Rose Marley – SharpFutures Manchester CIC

Growth champion nominees:

Blue Ventures

Let’s Do Business Group

Campaign Bootcamp

SharpFutures Manchester CIC

 Impact champion nominees:

Enabling Enterprise

Manor House Development Trust

Pembrokeshire FRAME Ltd

Furniture Resource Limited Centre (FRC Group)

Five Lamps

Delivered Next Day Personally CIC

Trailblazing newcomer nominees:

Hatch Enterprise

Babbasa Youth Empowerment Projects CIC

Change Please CIC

Resilience award nominees:

The Philosophy Foundation

National Community Wood Recycling Project

Belu Water Ltd

Hertfordshire Independent Living Service

SharpFutures Manchester CIC

Storyteller award nominees:

Agent Academy

Alquity Investment Management Limited

Bookdonors CIC

The House of St Barnabas

The Philosophy Foundation

We Make Places CIC

 The winners will be recognised at a special ceremony in London on Thursday 19th January 2017, to celebrate the achievements of all the fantastic social change makers on the Index.

Awards winners will receive a professionally produced winners film about their organisation to use across future PR and marketing collateral, a beautiful SE100 trophy created by social enterprise artists, and a share of cash prizes totalling £6,000.

Regions represented:

  • 2 from Scotland
  • 3 from the South East
  • 4 from the North West
  • 1 from the South West
  • 1 from the North East
  • 11 from London
  • 1 from the West Midlands
  • 2 from Wales
  • 1 from Yorkshire & The Humber

Sectors represented:

  • 6 Education and Youth
  • 3 Employment and Training
  • 3 Environment and Recycling
  • 3 Finance
  • 3 Regeneration and Community Development
  • 3 Retail (including fair trade)
  • As well as…Business services/consultancy, Health and Social Care, Hospitality and Catering, Housing and Transport.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

 

Photos are available on request

 Press Contacts

Emily Benbow: emily@matterandco.com / 020 3861 3345

About NatWest and the NatWest SE100

At NatWest, we aim to make a positive social impact in the communities where we live and work. Since 1998, we have had a specialist Community Finance & Social Enterprise team that run programmes and partnerships that promote community businesses across the UK. We are proud to be founders and lead-sponsors of the NatWest SE100 Index, which has become a leading market-intelligence tool for social enterprises. This year we have launched the NatWest SE100 Social Business Club, which aims to help social businesses get the advice and resources they need to thrive and grow through a special programme of events, award ceremonies and top-notch magazine content. Both the club and the index are delivered in partnership, by Matter&Co and NatWest

For information on NatWest Community Banking, contact the Community Banking team: communitybanking@rbs.co.uk

For more information contact the SE100 Social Business Club team at Matter&Co:

SE100@matterandco.com      020 3861 3346

About Matter&Co

Matter&Co works with inspiring organisations across business and society to build success through powerful communications. We develop brands, strategies, PR campaigns, films, events, publications and digital media for ambitious, values-driven organisations in the social, corporate and public sectors – in the UK and internationally. As one of the UK’s first Certified B Corporations, we are committed to using business and our creativity as a force for good. In addition to creating the SE100 Index, Matter&Co is also the company behind Good Deals, the UK’s leading annual social investment event; and Pioneers Post, the social enterprise magazine.

matterandco.com       pioneerspost.com       good-dealsuk.com

 

 

 

Young artist finds inspiration in wind turbines

Local artist, Jozef Swoboda, a pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, has found inspiration in wind turbines. His images place the turbines at the heart of the landscape. He captures both the energy of the turbines and the natural landscape which surrounds them.

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Dan McCallum, one of Awel’s directors said “You can feel the excitement and power in Jozef’s art. It represents the way that young people view our landscape. Turbines are now part of it and add another dimension. In the past, artists such as Joseph Herman who lived in Ystradgynlais which is next door to Ystalyfera, captured the life of the miners working underground. Whilst Herman celebrated the grit and determination of our coal mining communities, Josef Swoboda’s work points to a positive energy transition. And he’s able to stay above ground to paint which has got to be a good thing!”

We want our community wind farm to be part of an artistic response to climate change. We have already worked with Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke to work with local poets, producing two books on the theme of climate change. We’ve combined with Pontardawe Arts Centre to produce community theatre on issues of global warming.

We want other artists, writers, musicians to be part of the movement which is the most important of our generation – literally, whether we have future generations depends on the action we take now.  Wales is taking a lead on this policy and we want to help translate this into practical action. For more information and to get in touch, visit www.awel.coopdsc00505

Awel Co-op named regional finalist in top awards

Awel Co-op has made it to the finals in the Community Ownership Awards 2016, the only national awards programme recognising community co-operation around the UK.

Awel Co-op is building a two turbine wind farm on Mynydd y Gwrhyd north of Pontardawe. The wind farm will generate enough power to supply the equivalent of 2500 homes. It has raised £1.54m from a Share Offer to help fund the turbines and also had back from Welsh Government.

turbines-dawn

The Community Ownership Awards are run by Plunkett Foundation, the national charity supporting people to set up and run community co-operatives – businesses that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people from within their local area – to help overcome issues ranging from isolation and loneliness to poverty.

Dan McCallum, one of Awel’s Directors said “We are really honoured to get this recognition from the Plunkett Foundation. We want our wind farm to be owned by as many people as possible – it’s fantastic that you can co-own a wind farm from £50. Our Share Offer has already raised £1.54m which is the largest ever in Wales. As a co-op, it’s one member, one vote irrespective of how many shares someone owns. We are offering a return of 5% to members which is much better than current bank rates. And you’ll be able to see where your money is going! Visit www.awel.coop for more”

Awel Co-op will now compete with other finalists to be crowned the best community owned co-operative in Wales by an expert judging panel. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in London on Monday 28 November.

Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of Plunkett Foundation, said: “All over the UK and Ireland, people living in rural areas are taking matters into their own hands to address some of the challenges associated with rural life. Whilst living in the countryside can be wonderful, it can also be a struggle for many; for example, young families struggling to find work nearby or to afford to live locally; older people without families close by, or those who’ve recently retired and are looking for a new direction. Many rural people are experiencing loneliness, isolation or poverty because it’s difficult to access a lot of the things that are needed to participate fully in society and modern life – things like a regular bus service, being able to buy affordable food at a local shop, having reliable access to the internet, or somewhere to socialise and meet people.

DSC02400

“At Plunkett, we’ve seen first-hand the transformative power of co-operation, which is why we help people to set up businesses that are owned and run by the community and that address some of the real challenges facing our rural communities today. The Community Ownership Awards are designed to help communities celebrate their own success and learn from each other, and to raise awareness about the co-operative model and community ownership to a wider audience.”

We are delighted to be welcoming back Hastoe Housing Association as both overall sponsor and sponsor of the People’s Choice Award. The Awards are also generously supported by: Co-operative and Community Finance; The Co-operative College; The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN); NFRN Mutual; The Phone Co-op; SUMA; Triodos Bank and WBC.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors:

About the Community Ownership Awards 2016:

The Community Ownership Awards are about celebrating the most inspiring examples of people in rural areas working together to improve their communities. They are designed to help communities celebrate their own success and learn from each other, and to raise awareness about the co-operative model and community ownership to a wider audience. For more information visit the Awards website at: www.communityownershipawards.com

About Plunkett Foundation:

Plunkett Foundation (www.plunkett.co.uk) helps communities to take control of their challenges and overcome them together. We support people, predominantly in rural areas, to set up and run life-changing community co-operatives; enterprises that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people in their community. They help people to tackle a range of issues, from isolation and loneliness to poverty, and come in many forms including shops, cafes, pubs and land-based initiatives, and everything in between.

About community co-operatives:

Community co-operatives can come in many forms: shops, pubs, bakeries, farms, community hubs, farmers’ markets, woodlands, broadband projects – the list is endless. They are businesses, but they trade primarily for the benefit of their community. They are controlled by the community, and they have open and voluntary membership, actively encouraging people to get involved by becoming members. They do this by offering shares in the co-operative, the cost of which are set at a level that the majority of people will be able to afford. Click here for more information – https://www.plunkett.co.uk/what-are-community-co-operatives.

 

Stunning Film to launch Awel Co-op Christmas Share Offer

Double BAFTA-Cymru winner, Mike Harrison, has made a stunning short film, capturing the moments that the blades are lifted onto one of the Awel Co-op turbines at dawn. The film can be seen here

turbines-dawn

Dan McCallum, one of Awel Co-op’s directors said “Mike had to be on site at 5am and work in freezing conditions (along with the Enercon installation team) and we are very grateful to Mike for giving up his Saturday lie-in to produce this beautiful, atmospheric film. Mike is a member of the co-op and lives locally in Gwaun Cae Gurwen.

“What better Christmas present could there be than a co-owning a wind farm! Clean, sustainable and it’ll help ensure we can all celebrate future Christmases. Over seven hundred people have already joined Awel Co-op, and the share offer has been extended to Christmas Day.

Our Share Offer has already raised £1.53m which is the largest ever in Wales and we’ve secured a £4.7m loan from Welsh Government. As a co-op, it’s one member, one vote, irrespective of how many shares someone owns. We are offering a return of 5% to members which is much better than current bank rates. And you’ll be able to see where your money is going!”

Visit www.awel.coop for more information