Outstanding Social Enterprise

Refurbs Flintshire - Creating Homes, Creating Opportunities

Refurbs Flintshire supports the environmental well-being agenda by conserving and protecting the physical and natural environment through the promotion of sustainable waste management practices. They do this by accepting donations of surplus furniture and appliances from householders and by providing a ‘bulky waste’ collection service for Flintshire County Council, and refurbishing them for re-use; and where soft furnishings cannot be re-used, by deconstructing them for salvage. Both of these measures reduce waste going to landfill.

They support the social well-being agenda in two important respects. Firstly, by providing quality, refurbished household furnishings and white goods, particularly to people experiencing financial or social hardship and who would otherwise not be able to acquire essential furnishings or appliances for their homes, or who would be tempted to buy new items from suppliers on credit, at onerous interest rates and risking punitive terms in case of default. Secondly, in providing this service they provide employment opportunities particularly aiming to recruit and train people who have experienced long-term unemployment or who are facing other barriers to gaining work.

In the last year they have reused/recycled 14,123 items, diverted 509 tonnes of waste from landfill, deconstructed 9,188 items of furniture diverting a further 398 tonnes from landfill, provided volunteering opportunities to 30 individuals and recruited 6 long-term unemployed people back into jobs.

Play It Again Sport

Play it Again Sport is a South Wales based social enterprise that encourages local people and organisations (including  rugby, football, tennis and karate clubs from the local area and further afield) to donate unwanted sports kit to enable as many people as possible access sport.

People & Work, trading as Play It Again Sport (PIAS) and Too Good To Waste (TGTW) are the key partners, alongside the local cluster of Rhondda schools.  TGTW has provided retail and business support which has helped to quadruple their income which in turn has helped to support initiatives like their primary inter-school sports days which has enabled over 500 children and 100 parents to take part in sporting activities.

They have also provided individual donations of kit to those who have been referred by colleagues (e.g. a young child who didn’t have appropriate shoes for school; a curling team which didn’t have matching tops to play in a competition). As well as providing volunteering and work experience opportunities for the local comprehensive school.

Being able to supply sports kit at a very low price (or free) has meant that many community members have been able to get into sport without the usual financial burden. The profits made have enabled schools to play each other in a wide range of sports with an emphasis on inclusion (i.e. deliberately targetting those not in elite teams already).  In addition their work helps people to clear their clutter but avoid landfill. If any donated sports kit is not suitable for re-use as clothing, it is recycled as rags.

Egni Co-op - Community Owned Solar

Community owned solar which is an exemplar scheme for Wales’ low-carbon, community focussed energy transition

Egni Cooperative was established and registered in 2014 by Awel Aman Tawe (AAT), a community renewable energy charity in South Wales. Awel Aman Tawe has 20 years’ experience of researching, developing and delivering renewable energy projects at a local level. Egni Co-op was the first Solar PV Co-operative in Wales.  It currently has 94 members and has successfully completed solar installations on 7 sites.

By the end of 2018 the seven sites had generated 504,688 kWh, saving over 180 tonnes of carbon.

Over the last three months Egni has raised £650k of the £750k needed for the next roll out of solar panels. The aim is to install 5,000 kw of solar pv on up to 250 sites across Wales. This will save an estimated £8m over the next 30 years and help prevent 35,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. Egni has a Share Offer open now to raise its target of £750k.

It has secured 40% of the total UK national FiT budget which is a remarkable achievement. This will be the biggest rollout of rooftop solar in Welsh history.