Flintshire, as a county was created by the Local Government Act 1994, Covering North East Wales. Flintshire borders the English county of Cheshire to the east, Denbighshire to the west and Wrexham County Borough to the south. The county is governed by Flintshire County Council based in County Hall Mold.
Current social enterprise landscape in Flintshire
According to the Wales Co-operative Centre report of 2019 ‘Mapping the Social Sector in Wales’, Flintshire had seen a growth of social businesses from 28 in 2016 to 65 in 2018, a difference of 37. They state the increase could be due to a proactive social enterprise officer in the area.
Social enterprise in Flintshire enjoys a supportive relationship with the local authority having benefited not only from a full-time social enterprise officer but also Community Asset Transfer Programme, the development of Alternative Delivery Models, the creation of social enterprise only contract opportunities and recognising the value of social enterprise by adding a social enterprise category to the prestigious Flintshire Business Awards.
More recently Flintshire County Council have procured a social impact software toolkit which will be tailored in partnership the Flintshire Social Enterprise Stakeholder Group to meet the needs of the sector before rolling out to social enterprises across the county.
The Flintshire Social Enterprise Action plan has been developed by a stakeholder group of 10 social enterprise leaders from across the county having been given the mandate at a meeting of the Flintshire Social Enterprise Network meeting in May 2019.
Develop a Strong Social Enterprise Network in Flintshire
- Create a Terms of Reference for the network group – completed February 2021
- Development of a Membership application for the Social Enterprise Network to ensure appropriate governance etc. of applicants – Completed February 2002
- Develop a strong media focus for raising the profile of the sector and to promote social enterprise a business model that significantly contributes to the local economy: e.g. Video, Business Facebook page, Twitter account, annual conference
Increase and embed Social Value, Procurement and Impact Reporting across the sector in the County to measure social impact and enterprise achievements
- Secure and introduce Social Impact Reporting/ Social Value – Software/Tool kits – ongoing
- Training workshops for the sector specific to their needs
- To be aware and learn about the competitive supply chain to compete e.g. sell2wales and other sources of contract procurement
Influence the ‘influencer’
- Gain membership or present at Strategic Boards e.g. Regional Boards, Welsh Government Groups
- Develop ‘Seeing is Believing’ events – inviting the influencers
- Continue to collaborate and influence the ‘Private Sector’ to gain contracts, support and mutual benefit using Community Benefits legislation
Flintshire Social Enterprise Stakeholder Group and Achievements
Winners of the prestigious Steve Morgan Foundation ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ award 2019, RainbowBiz CIC is a self-sustaining social enterprise which has developed a trading arm, “The Hippy Shop” based in the market town of Mold, Flintshire, whose profits are used to cross-subsidise our many community projects aimed at improving the quality of life for some of the most isolated and disadvantaged members of our communities.
Projects and activities delivered by RainbowBiz include:
- Digging Deeside is a popular social gardening group developed to support individuals who are isolated in their communities to gain new skills, make new friends and gain confidence.
- Walking for Wellbeing is a new social walking group which is fully accessible for everyone to attend including those with mobility aids, wheelchairs and scooter users.
- Zoom Socials were developed in response to the pandemic to alleviate mental health problems, social isolation and to provide a fun activity each week.
- RainbowBiz CIC successfully delivered the first Flintshire Pride (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender + Festival).
- RainbowBiz CIC successfully delivered the first North East Wales Diversity Festival.
- A short term placement was offered and provided to a student from Coleg Cambria for a few weeks.
- A long term placement was given to a Glyndwr University teacher training student for several months.
- Several of our volunteers have received references from RainbowBiz and gone on to secure employment, with the help of the skills they have achieved whilst volunteering.
KIM Inspire Social Enterprises Ltd, in normal circumstances, operates two social enterprise cafes, one within the Heddfan Unit of Wrexham hospital and the other within the Law Courts in Mold.
The cafes are managed by two staff each, supported by a team of volunteers, many of whom have experienced poor mental health and/or enduring mental illness. Volunteering at the cafes is an opportunity for individuals to improve their confidence and reduce isolation on their mental health recovery journey, whilst at the same time participating in accredited training and developing employment skills.
Many of our volunteers have used their experience at the cafes, as a foundation for returning to employment and education or re-engaging with their community on a wider basis. Unfortunately, the cafes have been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic and their locations, however we are hopeful that by summer 2021, both cafes will be able to re-open.
GML Professional CIC is a social enterprise which exists to support local people into sustainable employment through business development support. This is achieved by supporting small / micro size businesses, including local crafts people & artisans to develop their ideas into enterprises.
GML have taken on a town centre office which is used to display goods developed by local artisans and crafters on a ‘rent a shelf’ basis. This display opportunity is supported by the provision of business advice and guidance. Participants also have to opportunity to engage with business training to further support the growth of their business.
Creator of a The De Liza Project business start-up programme which is a set of steps that make up a framework of starting a business. It covers numerous pre start topics including; type of entity, target markets, branding, and financial forecasting. Branding through IPAL Flintshire – Information, People & Learning. Helping people with CVS, applications and gaining more new or more meaningful employment.
Working in partnership with local businesses GML has secured two Kickstart positions for members of the community in a retail store environment. It is anticipated these placements will begin at the start of June and lead to full time employment for the participants. Since opening the High Street premises GML has helped over 60 small businesses to grow by providing business support and displaying products within the retail outlet. This has led to seven members of the community becoming self-employed.
Hannah Taylor – Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting out as a private sector plumbing company, CAFGAS converted into a social enterprise to cross subsidise financial support to Nanny Biscuit in order to support some of the most disadvantaged/isolated members of the community through the Covid pandemic. https://nannybiscuit.org/
Working in partnership with a national contractor, Wates Construction, Cafgas HAS achieved the ‘Constructionline Gold’ accreditation enabling the organisation to tender for large scale contracts.
This year Cafgas successfully developed and delivered their first apprenticeship
In order to be able to tender for significant contracts with local authorities and other public sector bodies in Wales, CAFGAS has registered with Proactis as well as signed up to Sell to Wales.
Art n Soul Tribe CIC
Art & Soul Tribe has been creating conversations, building communities, and tackling bullying, prejudice and discrimination since 2015. With over 18 active community projects currently being delivered, our team of creative professionals and peer mentors are busy raising self-esteem and confidence in individuals and families, aligning closely with the Five Ways to Wellbeing Framework.
During the Covid 19 pandemic, we digitalised our entire work programme in order for it to be delivered online to reach 26,117 individuals. Projects we developed and delivered include:
- Vibe Tribe – Music, dance and beatboxing
- Youth Tribe – Digital Youth Clubs, online youth debates, cooking challenges, skills and confidence building
- The creation of a community patchwork quilt, connecting isolated members of the community by creating safe social spaces and developing new skills
- Photography for beginners, which gave participants the opportunity to contribute to a local heritage exhibition.
- Support for people and families effected by dementia
- Awareness, education and support for people effected by mental health
- Developed and delivered accredited training at levels 1,2 and 3 in First Aid for Mental Health
- Developed and delivered Growth Mindset, Resilience and Wellbeing courses
- Supported the development of group and skills sharing for people living with disability, chronic pain and hidden illness.
- Beginners art and upcycling projects – connecting local people, creating safe spaces and developing new skills
Our data using the WEMWBS scale indicates that half of our participants felt their energy levels had increased after participating in our programmes and more than two thirds felt more optimistic, relaxed and good about themselves.67% of our participants felt that they were dealing with their problems better after engaging with us, with 67% experiencing in increase in their interest in new things.
Beyond the Boundaries CIC
Beyond the Boundaries CIC is a hair beauty salon, established in 4 years ago in 2017 as a CIC to create meaningful work experience placements for young people with additional needs.
All students accessing this opportunity gain qualifications as well as experience of working in a busy salon. Students also benefit from the opportunity to develop transferrable skills, including customer service and basic admin making them job ready by the end of their placement. The experience of the work placement within Beyond the Boundaries encourages the participants to become socially independent.
Jill Smith, the founder of Beyond the Boundaries, won UK City and Guilds learner of the year and a gold medal for excellence in training for the work she did as part of the establishment of the organisation.
Beyond the Boundaries is accommodated within an extra care setting in Deeside, giving the enterprise access to regular and repeat customers, the residents of the setting Beyond the Boundaries won Clwyd and Alyn’s community awards 2018 and were finalist of Social Enterprise Leading Wales Awards.
More recently, Beyond the Boundaries has been invited to replicate their service within a Community setting within Wrexham, allowing the development of training and work placements for young people with additional needs from the neighbouring county of Wrexham.
Jill Smith – email@example.com
DangerPoint is based on the North Wales Coast. We are multi award winning interactive visitor centre open during school term time for schools and organised groups and during local school holidays for a fantastic family day out.
The Centre offers visitors the opportunity to learn about safety – but not in the way you might think. The Centre is full of fun and interactive activities to keep everyone entertained throughout a visit.
Designed like a film set, visitors journey from the home to the beach, countryside, playground, farm & other settings, DangerPoint offers a safe environment where visitors learn about risks and how to keep safe whilst, most importantly, having fun.
Since opening Dangerpoint has educated 97,500 from across North Wales (20,450 of whom are from Flintshire)
Our social return on return (SROI) Evaluation report, carried out by Social Value Cymru indicates for every £1 invested in a visit to our facilities there is a social return valued at £4.81.
Recent awards include:
- Weston Charity Awards Winner 2020
- Social Enterprise of the Year – Flintshire Business Awards 2019
- Best told story award – Visit wales Awards 2019
Clwyd Alyn Housing Ltd
ClwydAlyn Housing Ltd (CA) is a Registered Social Landlord that provides quality, affordable social housing across 7 counties in Wales (Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Wrexham, Anglesey, Gwynedd, Powys).
Our key mission is ‘Together to beat poverty’ and our key ambitions are to work in partnership to help:
- reduce poverty (including food, fuel and income poverty)
- enhance digital inclusion
- increase Employability
within local communities.
We work very closely with local partners. We work closely with Creating Enterprise, We Mind the Gap & HFT (Project Search) to provide local people with meaningful work placement opportunities, to enhance their confidence & skills, & facilitate access into secure & sustainable, paid employment.
In 2019 ClwydAlyn worked in partnership with Project Search and provided 9 young people, with learning disabilities and/or autism, meaningful work placements. The young interns had the opportunity to develop new skills, confidence and gain meaningful work experience (e.g. learning catering skills at our Old Courthouse Café, etc) and work related skills.
We cater for a wide range of housing needs (e.g. sheltered housing, Extra Care, night shelter) and also have a dedicated Supported Living Service, which: provides temporary accommodation to people who have been homelessness or at risk of homelessness and helps residents to develop their independent living skills, including facilitating access to local training, volunteering education and employment opportunities, etc.
ClwydAlyn have won and/or been shortlisted for several prestigious awards, including being ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2020 ‘UK Housing Awards’ (in the ‘Landlord of the Year’ category (MD1) and winning:
- Best ‘New Development’ (Large Development) Award for our Hafan Cefni Extra Care scheme, Llangefni
- And a ‘Supporting Active Living’ Award at our Llys Raddington Extra Care in Flint
At the 2019 Welsh Housing Awards, Clwyd Alyn won the following two awards:
- Best ‘New Development’ Award (Large Development) won by our Hafan Cefni Extra Care, Llangefni
- ‘Supporting Active Living’ Award won by Llys Raddington, our Extra Care in Flint
Clwyd Alyn were ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2020 UK Housing Awards in the prestigious ‘Landlord of the Year’ category
Aura Leisure and Libraries Ltd
Aura Leisure and Libraries is an example of the Alternative Delivery Model in which a local authority asset, in this case leisure centres and libraries, are transferred to community ownership in order to sustain and further develop service delivery in the face of budget cuts for non-essential services. Aura Leisure now run five leisure centres, three sport centres, eight libraries including one mobile, two heritage displays within libraries and one museum within Flintshire.
- Aura is Social Business Wales ‘Social Enterprise of the Year 2019
- Aura has invested over £3 million into improving leisure and library facilities in Flintshire
- 89% of Aura employees live in Flintshire
Pre Covid Services delivered:
- 1.2 million People take part in a physical activity at an Aura leisure centres each year
- Aura delivers 2,500 swimming lessons each week
- 614,000 people visit an Aura library each year
- 425,000 items are loaned each year from an Aura library
- 2,000 children take part in Aura’s Summer Reading Challenge each year
- Aura has 90,000 Dragon Sport participants each year
Care and Repair (North East Wales) Ltd
Care and Repair North East Wales provides advice, support and home improvements which supports people to improve their own health and wellbeing, improves housing conditions, improves the financial security and quality of life and supports people to make connections within their communities.
Our vision is Healthy Homes. Healthy people and healthy communities.
Our core business:
- We have supported 1,522 older and vulnerable people across North Wales this year.
- We have supported 1,250 people to prevent trips and falls by installing safety equipment and adaptations to their homes.
- We have invested in excess of £650,000 into the local economy by facilitating home repairs and maintenance work older using local builders in order to reduce financial leakage, protect local jobs and support small businesses in our area.
- We have helped clients to secure in excess of £210,426 through supporting them with grant applications etc. We carry out free Healthy Homes Assessments which help residents identify modifications which would allow them to stay in their own home as opposed to entering residential care settings. This year we completed 566 of these assessments.
- Feedback secured through customer consultation surveys indicate 95% of our clients report an improvement in wellbeing following our support.
Our social enterprise activity:
- Our premises has a significant amount of land which we utilise to give members of the public access to nature and the environment ,sporting facilities including
- for football, Keep fit and archery. We regularly consult with the community in order to identify new opportunities to host sports and activities not already accommodated on our land.
- In partnership with the local community we have developed a community garden giving residents the opportunity to learn new skills, grow plants and vegetables and interact socially with other members of the community.
- Our commitment
to the social enterprise sector is evident in all that we do:
- the creation of opportunities for new social enterprises to deliver their activities from our base.
- we are continually looking to develop social enterprises to deliver as part of our supply chain as well as
- We provide cost effective accommodation to social enterprises which would bring extra services to people accessing our site.