Secretary of State for Wales David Jones has today [22 January] congratulated Welsh social enterprise Crest Co-operative, the latest winners of the Prime Minister’s Big Society award.
Crest Co-operative, based in Llandudno Junction, North Wales, is a sustainable recycling business. They operate a number of recycling initiatives diverting functional, household and electrical goods and food away from landfill, selling restored household items at affordable costs and giving food to homeless and vulnerable people. The process also creates employment for the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, and ex-offenders, who work in their warehouses and stores.
Mr Jones said:
I am delighted that Crest Co-operative, a Llandudno Junction based social enterprise has won the Big Society award today.
I commended the great work Crest Co-operative were doing in February 2011 - the social enterprise is a true example of the power of the third sector changing people’s lives for the better. They truly deserve this award, as they are a great example of the Big Society in action, and through their hard work and dedication many people are benefiting.
They have shown that they are innovative, forward-thinking and creative and other local businesses can learn a lot from them.
Notes for editors:
Since 2012, The North Wales organisation has worked to ensure in-date food does not go to waste. National and local food manufacturers donate quality surplus food to Crest Co-operative which is then redistributed to those who need it most. Crest Co-operative deliver the food to 28 community groups across North Wales, who then prepare meals for homeless and vulnerable people. This in turn generates employment opportunities and helps those who volunteer to develop essential skills.
In the last 9 months Crest Co-operative has:
- diverted 56 tonnes of in-date, quality food away from landfill, contributing to meals for vulnerable people at 28 community groups in North Wales.
- diverted 69 tonnes of household items destined for landfill and restored and sold them to the public at a low cost through its community stores.
- created 509 work placements and employment opportunities, such as workshop assistants, van driver’s assistants, retail assistants and work placements assisting adults with learning disabilities.
- created almost 5,000 hours of volunteering opportunities
*provided 2,391 hours of community service; those who work in this service are less likely to become repeat offenders
For more information see the report from Number 10
The first Big Society Award winner in Wales was the Creation Development Trust
During the last year Mr Jones has been extremely interested in the activity of Crest Co-Operative