Hope Rescue visits the Economy Secretary to highlight the huge impact of volunteers within the Social Business sector

The Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, was visited by social enterprise, Hope Rescue, in Cardiff Bay today (Wednesday 14 June), to hear about the impact volunteering has had on their organisation.

14 Jun, 17

Hope Rescue runs a rescue centre at Llanharan and currently has over 80 volunteers who provide foster homes, home checking and dog walking services. They help rescue stray dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep and also work to reduce the number of dogs entering the rehoming system by providing canine respite schemes for owners in crisis.

The Economy Secretary took the opportunity during the visit to talk to the manager and trustee of Hope Rescue, Vanessa Waddon, about the business and ask the volunteers what motivated them to offer their services.

The Economy Secretary, said:

It’s always a pleasure and an inspiration to meet dedicated and passionate volunteers who give their time for worthy causes up and down Wales.  For many, volunteering provides an avenue to gaining transferable skills and experiences – something I know Vanessa, like me and many others in the sector, is very keen to promote and nurture.

“We have 48,000 or so dedicated volunteers within the Social Business sector in Wales, allowing small, independent social enterprises like Hope Rescue to help, thrive and grow.  Without them our economy and our communities would be far poorer.”

As a small, independent social enterprise, Hope Rescue relies on the dedication and valuable service of its volunteers to help it grow and become more sustainable.

Recently released data from the Welsh Government and European Regional Development funded ‘Mapping the Social Business Sector in Wales’ report, found that there are around 48,000 volunteers within the sector, so it shouldn’t go unnoticed the valuable contribution made by them to the Welsh economy and the communities they serve. A lot these volunteers also use these opportunities to gain skills and get into work.

The visit was organised by the Wales Co-operative Centre to promote Volunteers Week, led by the WCVA in Wales. With funding from Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund, the Wales Co-operative Centre works to inform, communicate with and raise awareness of the social business sector across Wales through the Social Business Wales project.  The work raises awareness about the wider sector with the general public to encourage them to support social businesses, helping them to grow.

Key facts about the sector

  • The entire sector is worth an estimated £2.37billion to the Welsh economy
  • The sector supports 40,800 paid jobs and between 48,000-58,000 volunteers
  • Social businesses are found in areas of social deprivation, supporting communities, offering jobs and training and often providing services that the public and private sectors would struggle to maintain
  • The sector is growing and evolving.  84% of social businesses attracted new customers or clients in the last 12 months, whilst 24% attracted investment to expand during the same period.  The sector is confident for the future, with69% of social businesses expecting turnover to increase over the next two to three years

To view the ‘Mapping the Social Business Sector in Wales 2017’ report, please visit http://bit.ly/sbwmappingreport.

Further information about the impact of volunteering within the social business sector is highlighted on the Wales Co-operative Centre’s Everyone’s Business blog site.