Business Award for Charity Engaging People with Woodlands


This year’s Powys Business Awards winners included a charity and social enterprise that is engaging people with woodlands in the Elan Valley through volunteering, training and bespoke activities that increase well-being and develop skills.

Tir Coed won the Social Enterprise/Charity Award, sponsored by Mid Wales Housing Association Ltd, at the annual awards dinner held at Dering Lines, Brecon, last month.

Organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, Powys Business Awards showcase business excellence across the county.

Gayle Atherfold-Dudley, Tir Coed’s Powys Mentor, said:

“This award is a great way to celebrate Tir Coed’s 21st birthday in 2020, as we continue to support rural communities throughout Powys and beyond.”

Teresa Walters, Tir Coed’s Executive Officer, added:

“We are really proud to have our work recognised in this way. It is a great opportunity to promote what we do and to celebrate our coming of age.

“We are accepting the award is not only for Tir Coed but also for the many people we work with in Dyfed-Powys.”

Established in 1999 to improve the lives of local people, especially the disadvantaged, and to improve woodlands to benefit everyone, Tir Coed employs 18 staff as well as freelance tutors and volunteers. One of its four offices is in the Elan Valley, near Rhayader.

Tir Coed is working in partnership with the Elan Link Project, a Heritage Lottery funded scheme which aims to secure the heritage of the Elan Valley and boost future opportunities there.

The project’s ‘Experience and Education’ stream provides free opportunities in three ways to experience the Elan Valley through volunteering as well as education and training.

Tir Coed offers community groups and schools from Birmingham the chance to connect with the landscape that supplies their water by visiting the Elan Valley for residential retreats.

Activity sessions are offered for a wide range of Powys groups to help them engage with local woodlands, improve wellbeing and learn new skills.

A stepping stone into work, further training, enterprise or volunteering opportunities, Tir Coed’s 12-week training courses in woodland related skills are run for local people who are either unemployed, underemployed or socially excluded for various reasons.

Tir Coed is now looking to use its expertise in training and outdoor activities, such as corporate team building and bespoke training, to generate income. This will help the charity provide more training opportunities to beneficiaries.

The award judges said:

“Tir Coed is an inclusive, forward-thinking charity with a passionate and devoted team who engage fully with the local community and much more.

“Its work with woodland activities and the resultant infrastructure improvements achieved have meant improved access and more visits to the area with an increased awareness of what Elan Valley area offers.”


Duncan Foulkes Public Relations Limited is a well established communications consultancy based in beautiful Mid Wales.

Incorporating public and media relations, the consultancy provides a range of services to businesses and organisations throughout Wales and the Marches.

A former newspaper journalist for 24 years, Duncan moved into PR in 1999 after editing the County Times & Express & Gazette newspapers – the main weekly titles in Mid Wales – for five years.

His main reason for leaving the newspaper industry was a desire for a new career challenge. His successful PR business predominantly focuses on companies based in Wales and Shropshire.

His motto is to keep things as simple as possible to avoid over-complicating what is a straightforward goal – to achieve media coverage for a client.

Duncan’s wide-ranging work entails media campaigns, researching and drafting press releases, media liaison, political lobbying, event management, organising photocalls, website content advice, social media and newsletters.

He has extensive PR experience of the food and drink, education and training, catering and hospitality, insurance and financial services, manufacturing, tourism, farming, property, fine art, lubricants and telematics sectors.

His contacts extend from local newspapers in Wales to the national print and broadcast media, trade publications and digital media.

Duncan Foulkes PR uses only the most creative photographers, ensuring that photography to support his work is of the highest quality.

He is passionate about issues relating to the countryside and enjoys fly fishing, watching sport and spending time with his family in his spare time.

Services provided:

Public Relations
Media Relations
Public Affairs
Crisis Communications
Event management


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