The 2019 Social Business Wales Awards have been officially launched and open for applications. Recognising excellence amongst the social business sector in Wales, the awards have become a fantastic platform for many different types of social businesses to celebrate the successes and achievements of the last 12 months.
This year, the Social Business Wales Awards feature two headline categories – Wales Social Enterprise of the Year and Wales One to Watch, plus five other sector categories – Health and Social Care; Consumer Facing, Environmental; Education, Training and Employment; and Tech for Good. Winners of the Social Business Wales Awards will be announced at a celebrity hosted awards ceremony in September at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.
Last year, Splash Community Trust, a multi facility leisure centre based in Wrexham was crowned Welsh Social Enterprise of the Year. The trust was formed following the closure of the Plas Madoc Centre in April 2014. Through the support of the community, the Trust was able to save the Leisure Facility and transform a building that was closed and scheduled for demolition into a thriving, well-used leisure centre and community hub. As well as improving the health of local residents, the trust also provides over 40 jobs and training opportunities in one of the most deprived areas of North Wales.
Empower BeTheChange were also one of the big winners in 2018 for its services to the Education, Training & Jobs sector.
Jo Clay, Founder of Empower BeTheChange, reflects:
“It really was an honour to be awarded the Social Business Wales award for Education, Training and Employment Enterprise of the year in 2018. The award has enabled us to showcase the positive and life changing difference our programmes make to our participants and as a result has increased our income, delivery and impact across North Wales.
“The awards are an invaluable way to highlight the huge amount of positive social change all social enterprises are making across Wales and I would encourage all organisations, no matter their size, to apply for the awards in 2019.”
The principal sponsor for the Awards and Social Enterprise of the Year category is NatWest Cymru. The other categories have been sponsored by Legal & General, BIC Innovation, Acuity Legal, Cowshed and Doopoll, with additional support from Social Investment Cymru, part of the Wales Council for Voluntary Associations (WCVA).
The Awards have been running since 2010 and are part of the Social Business Wales project, which is funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The project provides business support to social businesses across Wales which have plans for growth, and is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre as part of the Business Wales service.
Social businesses, which include social enterprises, mutuals and co-operatives can receive an application pack for this year’s awards by visiting the Wales Co-operative Centre’s website: https://wales.coop/2019-award-applications/