#GoodNewsCymru | Social enterprise

Bridgend social enterprise helping its community understand the importance of sustainability

Zoe Hooker explains how she and business partner Rebecca developed their idea to educate children, young people and adults on the importance of environmental needs and sustainability within the community.

By Ben Bostock · August 21, 2020

See this page in: Cymraeg

Where did the idea for Y Jyngl originate?

It started about 18 months ago, myself and business partner Rebecca shared an allotment. It was a very busy place with us and our then four kids between us. The kids loved it, unfortunately not all the members did and we left. I was training and am now a qualified Further Education teacher and Becky is a trained chef. We thought that the mix between all three aspects; cooking, nature and learning would be a fantastic idea, and that’s how it started.

Summary of what we have achieved?

So far, we have gathered some friends and like-minded people to help form our board of trustees. We have been in contact with local business, including a after school childcare provider who is very keen to take on our services and to help us get recognised in the local community. We are in talks with the local council about a possible asset transfer of land at the moment, which is very exciting. We have also started collecting the tools and seeds we’ll need – a lot of which came from the allotment we had previously.

What have been your main obstacles and challenges?

Getting people to become members of the board of directors, this was very frustrating as I didn’t know where to look for these. The other challenge we are currently facing is finding an ethical bank that is willing to open an account remotely. Luckily, lockdown hasn’t really been a problem for us, if anything it has given us the time to focus and move forward with everything. It’s the kick up the bum we needed!

What’s next for you?

Fingers crossed we will soon be completing the asset transfer and then we can apply for some grants to help us clear parts of the land and get cracking with the development.

What is the importance of social businesses collaborating?

‘Start up with a Cuppa’ has been an amazing opportunity for myself and other social businesses to collaborate and give each other support. Some people are ahead of others in their set up, some have more experience and others have good ideas. it is a fabulous way to talk to people about issues and ideas and from people who are going through or have gone through the same things as you.

What would my message be?

Link together as best as you can. Connections are everything for start-ups and more established businesses. Help each other to make a better sector that benefits everyone.


 

Zoe is one of the social entrepreneurs who have attended the ‘Start up with a cuppa’ mutual peer support sessions where people from start-up social enterprises in Wales can meet and discuss ideas, best practice and future collaborations with each other.

If you’re interested in taking on new board members, the Wales Co-operative Centre can help. Starting with a pilot project in the Valleys, we are looking to place enthusiastic and experienced individuals as volunteer Directors of existing social businesses, bringing fresh ideas and knowledge. Get in touch if you want to know more by emailing ben.bostock@wales.coop.

Jyngl has received business consultancy support and advice from Social Business Wales New Start, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre.

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