A new campaign, Activate Board Bank, has been launched to help Welsh social businesses improve resilience and develop local people’s talents.
Led by the Wales Co-operative Centre, the project will support social businesses in recruiting directors and rebuilding post Covid-19.
Earlier in the year South Wales was severely affected by Storm Dennis, which resulted in floods in large parts of the Valleys. The campaign will focus on some of the most affected areas: Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly.
Derek Walker, chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “The Activate Board Bank campaign will help open the door for passionate and engaged people from all walks of life and varied experience to become board directors of social enterprises. This will help ensure to strengthen local social enterprises which are vital to Wales’ economic recovery.”
The project will run for 12 weeks, followed by expansion to other areas depending on needs identified and interest generated during the pilot.
Mr Walker added: “Social businesses are the bedrock of many communities, providing valuable local services and good quality employment. Following the struggles of the last few months, many social enterprises are looking for new people to join them and bring in fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm to build back better.”
Activate Board Bank is supported by the Social & Community Capital team at NatWest Cymru.
Victoria Ross, national manager Community Finance and Social Enterprise, NatWest Group, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Activate project in partnership with the Wales Co-operative Centre. Our ambition is to increase the size and strength of this important sector throughout Wales and that means more than just providing funding.
“That’s why as a bank we are there to support social enterprises at every stage of their journey, from starting-up to expanding their impact on the communities they support. The project will encourage people who have never previously been involved in local activities to engage in direct action to improve the lives of those around them.
“The Activate project is such an exciting opportunity to make a real difference to social enterprises throughout the Valleys by bringing them together with new innovators who are inspired to make a real difference.”
Founded in 1892, the Wales Co-operative Centre supports the growth of co-operatives and social enterprises across the nation, in addition to helping to deliver projects that provide skills and tackle exclusion.
Social enterprises in the South Wales Valleys looking for board members or people interested in becoming a volunteer board member for a social enterprise, can contact the Wales Co-operative Cenrtre by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 111 5050.