Blog | #ActivateBB

New pilot project launched to help Valleys social businesses recruit directors and rebuild following Covid-19

The project will focus on giving social businesses new skills within their ranks by drawing upon and helping develop the talents of people in their communities.

By Ben Bostock · August 27, 2020

See this page in: Cymraeg

Today [Thursday, August 27th] is the launch of the Activate Board Bank campaign, pairing up experienced and passionate people with social businesses in the South Wales Valleys.

The Wales Co-operative Centre is teaming up with the Social & Community Capital team at NatWest Cymru for the campaign, specifically targeted at improving resilience for social businesses in communities hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:

“The Activate Board Bank campaign will help open the door for passionate and engaged people from all walks of life and varied experience to become board directors of social enterprises. This will help ensure to strengthen local social enterprises which are vital to Wales’ economic recovery.”

Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly will be the focus areas for the campaign which will run for 12 weeks, followed by expansion to other areas depending on needs identified and interest generated during the pilot.

Derek continued, saying: “Social businesses are the bedrock of many communities, providing valuable local services and good quality employment. Following the struggles of the last few months, many social enterprises are looking for new people to join them and bring in fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm to build back better.”

‘Activate your social business ambition’ is a key message for the campaign and will serve as a reminder that each individual has a part to play in driving the Welsh economy back to prosperity.

The project’s aims are of particular relevance in the Valleys, large parts of which were devastated earlier in the year by floods resulting from Storm Dennis.

“Social businesses are the bedrock of many communities, providing valuable local services and good quality employment. Following the struggles of the last few months, many social enterprises are looking for new people to join them and bring in fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm to build back better.”

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre

Portrait of Derek Walker

The campaign will show how the efforts and skillsets of those ordinary people who have stepped up for their communities over recent months can have a significant impact in bolstering the efforts of existing social entrepreneurs while showing them how they can be integral to a successful a social enterprise and giving them a stronger voice in the future of their local economy.

Victoria Ross, National Manager Community Finance and Social Enterprise, NatWest Group, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Activate project in partnership with the Wales Co-operative Centre. Our ambition is to increase the size and strength of this important sector throughout Wales and that means more than just providing funding. That’s why as a bank we are there to support social enterprises at every stage of their journey, from starting-up to expanding their impact on the communities they support.

The project will encourage people who have never previously been involved in local activities to engage in direct action to improve the lives of those around them.

Victoria added: “The Activate project is such an exciting opportunity to make a real difference to social enterprises throughout the Valleys by bringing them together with new innovators who are inspired to make a real difference.”

If you are a social enterprise in the South Wales Valleys looking for board members or you’re interested in becoming a volunteer board member for a social enterprise, please get in touch with us by emailing marketingteam@wales.coop or call 0300 111 5050.

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