Two co-operative bodies were recognised for their achievements at the UK Social Enterprise Awards last month.
Dulas, a renewable energy worker co-operative, was named Social Enterprise of the Year at the ceremony, while Salford Council won the ‘Buy Social’ Market Builder Award.
The awards are organised by Social Enterprise UK to celebrate the achievements of social enterprises and recognise organisations supporting the sector by incorporating social enterprises into supply chains or by investing in them.
The ceremony, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on 28 November, included an appearance by Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson.
The winners were presented with trophies made by Designs in Mind, a social enterprise which employs people with mental health problems.
Since its formation in 1982, Dulas has grown its initial team of six engineers to one of 74 employee-owners, and its engineers, planners and consultants have worked on over 400MW of renewables projects across the UK.
The co-op offers a complete package of development services to utility, commercial, community and landowner renewable energy schemes.
“We’re delighted to have won the UK Social Enterprise of the Year Award,” said sales director Alistair Marsden. “It’s a fine testament to the ambitious work our team carries out in developing renewables around the country, and the co-operative ethos that underlines everything we do.”
Salford Council, a co-operative council in Greater Manchester, won the ‘Buy Social’ Market Builder Award for buying from social enterprises and businesses in the city.
Salford City mayor Paul Dennett said: “Winning the award is fantastic news for the city. A big public well done goes out to all the staff, who have worked so hard to benefit local people.
“Salford is at the cutting edge of social responsibility and we are leading the way to ensuring a social value marketplace in our city.
“Social enterprises reinvest profits back in the community which helps to generate more jobs and opportunities for local people. This ultimately tackles poverty, improves health and creates a better environment for all.
“We will now continue to create a social value policy to encourage more businesses and organisations to spend money in the community.”
Peter Holbrook CBE, Social Enterprise UK’s chief executive, said: “For many, this year has been marked by economic and political uncertainty, divisions, prejudice and inequality.
“But these awards are a wonderful celebration of all the people and organisations in the social enterprise movement that are striving to create a fairer, greener and more sustainable society. Social enterprises are businesses that go beyond ethical.”