FOURTEEN modern cooperative pioneers from across Wales have gathered together to participate in a photo-shoot to celebrate Cooperatives Fortnight 2014.
The photo-shoot mirrors a photograph of the original Rochdale Pioneers co-operative taken around 150 years ago. Each of the ‘modern pioneers’ is involved in a dynamic cooperative or employee owned business which, between them deliver a range of vastly different products and services across Wales. From manufacturing to training, retail, communications, pubs and football clubs, co-operatives are still pioneers within their sectors so many years after the start of the movement. The co-operative pioneers of 2014 operate at the heart of their businesses and organisations and believe that cooperatives have an important role to play in supporting communities and developing the economy of Wales. Today the co-op sector in the UK is worth around £37bn per year and employs roughly 235,000 people. In Wales the sector is worth around £1.54bn per year and employs in the region of 11,000 people but many within the movement believe the sector offers even more potential for growth. Derek Walker is Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, commented: “Working together is the central principle of co-operatives. Each of our co-operative pioneers know that co-operatives are viable and sustainable business models that work to achieve the aims of their organisations. “Today’s modern co-operative pioneers are symbolic of a resurgence of interest in co-operation and socially focussed business models. “The Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission published an influential report earlier this year that made a number of practical recommendations which focussed on supporting the development of cooperative businesses across a range of different sectors. “The will is there to stimulate this sector because of the sustainable benefits co-operative business models can offer communities and to the Welsh economy as a whole”. Cris Tomos has been involved in many co-operative ventures. In north Pembrokeshire he helped set up Canolfan Hemron near Crymych, a community co-operative that is currently opening a community cafe as part of the old school site in the village and offering a 10.83% investment to local people for supporting the development www.canolfanhermon. org.uk. Most recently, he has been involved in a town regeneration cooperative, 4CG in Cardigan, and an energy generating co-operative, Cwm Arian Renewable Energy. He is also the volunteer treasurer of West Wales Credit Union. www.wwcu.co.uk “The role of co-operatives and mutuals is extremely important and the key is to have the vast majority of local people taking up membership. Having a community co-operative in every neighbourhood would allow the creation of community action plans, to address the weaknesses and develop the opportunities of the locality. Having co-operative energy companies in each community and town council in Wales would see money spent locally for local benefit”.
Time given to develop Parc Natur Penglais
VOLUNTEERS, including students, have given around 500 hours of their time to develop Parc Natur Penglais.
Along with support from Ceredigion County Council, the Group have built around 100 steps in 5 different places which has made the park a great place to walk, play and enjoy around a number of safe paths.
Councillor Mark Strong said: “Knowing that we have the support of the local community makes such a difference to peoples’ enthusiasm and having the grant from Aberystwyth Town Council, Cambrian News and Tesco made it possible. Volunteers can make a relatively small sum of money go long way.”
RSPCA aim for Christmas number one
MUSIC fans across Wales can help the RSPCA secure the Christmas number one slot, and provide vital support for animals in need across the country.
The animal welfare charity has thrown its hat into the ring to claim the festive chart accolade – as up-and-coming singer Lucy Ellie covers Simply Red’s hit song ’Stars’ in aid of the RSPCA.
‘Stars’ is the soundtrack to the charity’s ‘Kindness at Christmas’ video, which has already gone viral with over two million views online across a variety of platforms.
The tear-jerking video tells the story of Woody the Christmas toy pup who who is thrown out with the rubbish before being rescued and taken in for care by the RSPCA.
Proceeds from the single are being donated to the RSPCA to help in their work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of animals every year.
RSPCA Cymru is again bracing itself for a busy festive period. In December 2016 and January 2017 alone, in Wales, 5,932 incidents were reported to the RSPCA – with 141 of these on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Lucy Ellie Cooper, who works at the charity, said: “This was a lovely opportunity for me to combine my two loves – animals and music.
“Outside of my job at the RSPCA I am a country music singer and songwriter, so when the chance came up to record such a fantastic and well-known song for the charity’s Christmas video, I jumped at it. I really hope people will take Woody’s story into their hearts and support the RSPCA this winter.”
You can help the RSPCA rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals in desperate need of care, and support the charity’s ‘kindness’ campaign online
Charity games raise over £2000
NOT all heroes wear capes and Tesco Aberystwyth’s very own Community Champion, Natasha Worrall has proven this raising a staggering £2,096.27 for local and national charities.
Natasha, the brainchild behind the charity football events, came up with the idea first off by challenging Tesco’s neighbours, Marks and Spencer’s, to a football match, she quickly set her powers to work and contacted Aberystwyth Football club who were more than happy to help and allowed use of the pitch.
The Big Day arrived, there was a lot of tension and passion on the pitch that night, it was more than just about winning a match it was the status, the pride and most of all bringing people together to raise money for three great causes; Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Mind. Hundreds of supporters braved the cold October evening to support the players and Tesco stole the show with a 7-1 victory and an amazing £607 was raised.
Natasha now had a taste of success under her cape and wanted to really get this event of the ground and challenged supermarket rivals, Morrisons to a match! The response for Tesco vs Morrisons was just what Natasha wanted and a November date was set.
Tesco now had experience in their boots and both teams had everything to play for. Victory once again went to Tesco who pipped Morrisons at the post and clawed back to a 5-4 victory raising a further £648.15 for Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Clic Sargent.
In true football fashion Natasha wanted a hat trick but could Team Tesco achieve this? Last Sunday (Dec 3) seemed the perfect opportunity and the opponents who were up for the challenge came from Bronglais Hospital and their chosen charity Pila Pala, Llwyn yr Eos. What a match! And what great team to take victory, Hywel Dda 2 – Tesco – 0. A rematch could certainly be on the cards especially as they raised the biggest amount ever of £841.12.
Behind every success there is always great team and working with Natasha and the players a number of local heroes who helped, Ruth’s kitchen provided heroic meals for all the players for a £1 donation, Aberystwyth women’s Team loaned their footballs, the Referees, linesmen, stewards, security, first aiders and ball boys and girls who all donated their time free of charge.
Team Tesco are looking for more opponents to play and raise even more money for local charities, if you are interested please call into Tesco store and see Natasha.
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