Awel Aman Tawe, a social enterprise based in Neath Port Talbot in S. Wales has won the Environmental Organisation of the Year at the UK Social Enterprise Awards, held at the Guildhall in central London last month.
The national Awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises, businesses set up to for a social or environmental purpose. From tackling the climate emergency to reducing homelessness, social enterprises are taking on some of the biggest challenges we face, using their profits to change lives and protect the planet.
There are 100,000 of these businesses in the UK contributing £60 billion to the economy and employing two million people.
Awel Aman Tawe is a charity which has set up two coops (Awel and Egni) to deliver renewable energy, community engagement and educational outcomes. Its wind farm, Awel Coop, was commissioned in 2017 and has a range of local members including charities, rugby and football clubs, schools and the local Arts Centre. The project has been visited by over 2,000 people so far. Egni Coop develops rooftop solar on schools, businesses and community buildings – it is aiming to install upto 5MW of solar across Wales and has a Share Offer open now which has raised £1.3m so far. www.egni.coop
Dan McCallum, co-founder of Awel Aman Tawe said,
“We were a very small group of people in a former mining community who’ve been working at this for 20 years – we never thought we’d win this award and we are so honoured. We’re now got 1,000+ members and 20,000 indirect members through our community groups. It’s our life work to tackle climate change at a community level and this recognition will help us, and others, do more – it’s urgent work.”
The annual celebration of British social enterprises was hosted by musician, journalist and Church of England priest, Reverend Richard Coles
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said:
“The winners of this year’s UK Social Enterprise Awards show just how inspiring and vital the social enterprise movement is.
From tackling furniture and period poverty to taking ownership of their high streets and creating community owned renewable energy schemes– they show just how business can take on the biggest challenges we face and be a real force for good in this world.
The times we live in demand that we must change how we do business. Social enterprises are already taking on the triple threat of the climate emergency, rising social inequalities and an economy that is failing too many people. They are showing us what the future of business can, and must, look like.”
Social enterprise supply chain
Awel Aman Tawe and the other winners were presented with bespoke trophies made by the social enterprise, Designs in Mind, which employs people with mental health issues.
Social enterprises also supplied all the goods and services on the night, including the catering, rigging, drinks, floral centrepieces and goody bags.
The Awards were sponsored by Big Society Capital, British Council, Cafédirect, The Co-op, Deloitte, GLL, Johnson & Johnson, Landmarc, Linklaters, PwC, Power to Change, Santander and SAP