Two inspirational Wrexham enterprises which have made a “significant impact” across the community have been recognised at this year’s Social Business Wales Awards.
Splash Community Trust and Empower – Be The Change were both recognised at the prestigious awards at Cardiff’s City Hall on last night.
The awards evening, delivered by Social Business Wales, brought together over 220 of Wales’s leading figures from the social business sector, to celebrate the positive impact that social enterprises, co-operatives, and employee-owned businesses are having across Wales.
Splash Community Trust was recognised with the coveted title of Social Enterprise of the Year, thanks to its work and commitment to Plas Madoc Leisure Centre.
The popular community centre, which was sentenced to closure following a council decision in 2013, was saved following a public protest and formation of the Splash Community Trust.
With its dedication to keeping the local leisure hub alive, it works with community groups, local police, volunteers and the Wrexham County Borough Council to achieve its goals of improving lifestyle and wellbeing with a thriving centre, which delivers over 1000 swimming classes a year.
The trust also provides employment for people in a disadvantaged area of north Wales, tackling social and employment problems by helping the local economy.
While Empower – Be The Change was presented with the accolade for Employment, Education and Training.
The company, based in Wrexham, partners with local and national organisations to help people achieve their potential through guided training which helps to develop confidence, motivation, independence and self-management.
Set up by director Jo Clay in 2016, it also facilitates international placements for those looking to share their skills abroad, helping individuals celebrate global culture with educational trips to India.
Other notable winners on the night included Skye Instruments, an innovative environmental design company and Natural Weigh, a Crickhowell zero-waste shop.
In addition, re-use and recycling charity Toogoodtowaste; social enterprise Antur Waunfawr, digital agency ProMo-Cymru, and wood re-use and recycling enterprise Reseiclo Community Wood Recycling, were also recognised.
Derek Walker, Wales Co-operative Centre CEO, said he was “delighted with the calibre of the entrants this year”.
He said: “A lot of the categories were very competitive and judges had a challenge choosing the winners. The social impact made by these businesses is outstanding. We wish the winners the best of luck going forwards to the UK awards and hope their success will inspire future social entrepreneurs.”
The winners will now go forward to compete with their counterparts from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland at a UK Awards ceremony being held in central London in November.
The Social Business Wales Awards are run as part of Social Business Wales, a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government as part of the Business Wales service. It is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre.
More information on the Social Business Wales Awards and the Wales Co-operative Centre, and all the winners, can be found here.