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.”