ENG/CYM

Facts About Us

Formed

‘82
by the TUC who believed Co-operatives and Mutuals could play a vital role in economic growth and stability.

No. of Employees

68
Working on rich and diverse projects, from helping social businesses grow to tackling digital and financial exclusion.

Core Values

6

Be Co-operative – We Work Collaboratively for Mutual Benefit

  • We work co-operatively – with our immediate work teams, across the wider business and with other stakeholders
  • We share tools, resources, skills, knowledge and ideas
  • We build trust and lasting, beneficial relationships
  • We work with and for the sector

Be Supportive – We Give Our Time, Expertise and Encouragement

  • We are ready to help our clients and colleagues
  • We believe in the skills of others
  • We recognise and appreciate others
  • We look after each other’s wellbeing
  • We are mindful of the impact of our actions on others
  • We are compassionate

Be Fair – We Value Diversity and Democracy

  • We act fairly and transparently
  • We strive for fairness in business and communities
  • We treat others with respect
  • We appreciate individual differences

Have Integrity – We Strive to be Open and Honest in Everything That We Do

  • We behave ethically
  • We do the right thing
  • We uphold values
  • We are professional
  • We are accountable
  • We are environmentally responsible

Be Positive – We Invest Our Energy on Achieving Outcomes

  • We focus on solutions
  • We go the extra mile
  • We deliver to a high standard
  • We are passionate about our work
  • We learn from our mistakes

Be Inspirational – We Stimulate Businesses, Communities and People to Take Control and Reach their Potential

  • We offer chances
  • We nurture inspiration
  • We build skills and confidence
  • We drive change
  • We lead by example
  • We grow ourselves as we help others grow

No. of Offices

4

Our Offices

We serve the Whole of Wales from:

  • CAERPHILLY (HEAD OFFICE)

    Y Borth, 13 Beddau Way, Caerphilly, CF83 2AX
    Directions

  • BANGOR

    Unit 2a Ash Court, Ffordd Y Llyn, Parc Menai, Bangor, LL57 4DF
    Directions

  • SWANSEA

    Suite 9 Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea, SA1 1RR
    Directions

  • CARMARTHEN

    Rural Business Development Centre, Nant Y Ci, SA33 5DR
    Directions

Board Members

12
Elected every year, our board are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Centre.

Who Are the Board?

Jeff Andrews

Jeff is the Special Advisor to the Welsh Government’s Finance and Government Business Minister and has been a long time member of the Centre’s Board and Executive Committee. He has held the position of Treasurer for a number of years.

Jeff is committed to the Centre’s role in helping businesses to start, grow and create jobs and assisting individuals and communities, by utilising co-operative and social enterprise structures and cultures.

Mike Ash-Edwards

Mike has recently concluded as the Cymru/Wales Regional Secretary for the Co-operative Group, responsible for the Co-op’s democratic, membership and community programmes, and for linking members with Co-op businesses in Wales. The role included the management of 4 Communities First clusters employing 45 colleagues in North, South and East Wales, working with people in the most disadvantaged areas of the country to address problems co-operatively.

In previous roles Mike has worked for Community Foundation Network, establishing Community Foundations in the North of England, to raise and distribute local funds, and for over a decade was a Campaigns Manager for Oxfam, which included responsibility for managing the charity’s in-field communications in disaster and emergencies. He has recently retired as a football referee.

Lis Burnett

Lis was Head of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of South Wales. She has supported the development of social enterprise and social entrepreneurs in Wales, the UK and Uganda, acted as an advisor to both the National Assembly and Welsh Government and provided research for the Welsh Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission. In 2012 Lis was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her contribution to social enterprise in Wales.

Previously a consultant to NESTA, the UK’s leading innovation body, Lis has hands-on experience of the private, public and third sector from operational and policy perspectives. As Cabinet Member for Regeneration in the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Lis champions cooperatives and social businesses as an alternative economic model and the future of effective public service delivery.

Kate Carr

Kate has been an active member of the Wales Co-operative Centre Board since 2013. She has more than 20 years experience in the media and communications industry including working as a journalist for the BBC and Western Mail.

She is experienced in policy development, public affairs, communications and campaigns, having worked for two major UK charities and the public sector in a variety of roles. Kate is a committed trade unionist and is passionate about social justice and equality. She believes in skill building and job creation as a route to a stronger society.

John Chown

John is a qualified chartered accountant and has been a director of Williams Ross Limited in Cardiff for over 12 years. He has had a professional involvement in providing a wide range of business advisory support services including assurance services, advice, support and training in the not for profit sector covering charities, credit unions and other voluntary organisations for a number of years.

His voluntary activities have included:

  • Being a management board member of the Wales Co-operative Centre for over 10 years.
  • Being a board member of Merthyr Valley Homes since January 2012.
  • Being a board member of two housing associations for a combined total of eighteen years until 2001.

John is currently a steering group member of an organisation looking to provide comprehensive, structured and long term business support to SMEs in Wales.

David Jenkins

David Jenkins was one of the founder members of the Wales Co-operative Centre. He has been an active member of the Management Board since its first meeting in 1982 and he has served as the Centre’s Chair since the early 1990s.

Having served for 21 years as the General Secretary of the Wales TUC, David retired from the position in April 2004 at the age of 55. Since then David has held a number of public appointments within NHS Wales and is currently Chair of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. He is also a member of the Employment Appeal Tribunal and was a member of the Welsh Government’s Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission.

David lives in Monmouthshire, he is married with three grown up children and was awarded the OBE in 2004 for his contribution to improving industrial relations in Wales.

Nigel Keane

Nigel Keane is a Chartered Accountant who works as a Policy Advisor with the Wales Social Partners Unit. Nigel has worked in both the private and public sectors. He has extensive experience of the consumer co-operative sector, having served on the South Wales Area Committee and Cymru/Wales Regional Board of the Co-operative Group and their precursor body in Wales. Nigel also served as a national director of the Co-operative Group for two years.

Nigel has experience of supporting worker co-operatives from his time as treasurer of the Cardiff and Vale Co-operative Development Association and has served on the Management Board of the Wales Co-operative Centre for the past few years.

Robin Williams

Robin has been a member of the Executive Committee and the Management Board of the Wales Co-operative Centre for many years.

He has been a solicitor in private practice for 35 years, primarily engaged in advice to 3 prominent Trade Unions (GMB,UNITE & USDAW) as well as Legal Aid cases. For the last 15 years, he has spent most of his time engaged in all aspects of Employment Tribunal work (including discrimination claims).He also has extensive experience of Personal Injury matters (in particular disease claims).

Robin is able to advise the Centre on a wide range of legal issues. The Centre has also benefited from Robin’s involvement in the management of a legal practice, Leo Abse & Cohen, which has a turnover and structure similar to many of the businesses assisted by the Centre.

Julie Cook

Julie Cook started working for the TUC in the South West in 1981 and moved to work for the Wales TUC in 1989 as the Education Officer for Wales.

She was involved in the development of Union Learning Reps in the mid 90s and during 1998, along with the General Secretary she was instrumental in securing the Wales Union Learning Fund and was successful in negotiating the fund in 1999. Since then, of course, the fund has grown and thousands of working people have benefited from the fund.

Her current role as National Officer for the Wales TUC includes strategic direction for education and training, equalities, health and safety and organising.

Julie has recently been instrumental in developing trade union equality representatives in the public sector in Wales, working closely with Welsh Government Officials and Ministers to develop the role, training and business case for trade union equality representatives.

Julie has had a connection with the Wales Co-Op Centre for many years, well before becoming a member of the Board. This has involved project work and a guide for trade unions on co-operatives and mutual.

Kathryn Williams
Tamsin Stirling

Tamsin Stirling is an experienced housing researcher with over 25 years working in housing practice, policy and research. She has worked within and with Welsh Government, local authorities, housing associations and third sector organisations. She has had various paid roles – housing officer, research assistant, policy officer and consultant – and voluntary roles, including chair of Bron Afon Community Housing and Llamau. She was editor of Welsh Housing Quarterly for around 18 years and specialist policy adviser on housing, regeneration and planning issues to Welsh Government Ministers Huw Lewis AM and Carl Sargeant AM between April 2012 and April 2014. She is currently working as an independent housing consultant.

Tamsin’s specialties are research, evaluation, policy analysis, strategy development and information dissemination. Her areas of interest include housing, regeneration, social policy, governance, poverty and inequality, domestic abuse, devolution and policy divergence.

Aims

1
for Wales to be an international leader for co-operative thinking and action

Accreditations

3
Investors in People – Bronze
Green Dragon – Level 2
Pqasso Quality Mark – Level 2

Want to Know More?

Head over to our about us page where you’ll find lots of info about us, our values and what we do. If you’re looking for info about our skills and experience, take a look at our expertise.

Still Want to Know More?

If you have any questions about us, the work we do or how we can help, please feel free to get in touch.

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