North Wales social enterprises shortlisted for national awards

A TOTAL of eight social enterprises from across North Wales make the final list of national awards celebrating the growth of social enterprises.

The businesses are helping to build a shortlist of 21 finalists taking part in the 2022 Social Business Wales annual awards.

These awards highlight the different ways social enterprises and entrepreneurs have made a difference to lives and communities in Wales over the past 12 months.

They are part of the Social Business Wales program offered by Cwmpas, a development agency for economic and social change, and funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Llandudno-based Prom Ally has been shortlisted for the Tech for Good award for its work creating an online platform for lending prom dresses and suits to financially challenged teenagers, as well as promoting sustainable fashion through its formal Eco Wardrobe rental service.

Ally Elouise, Founder of Prom Ally, said: “We are thrilled to be nominated for this award!

“Over the past year, we have worked very hard to create our Eco Garderobe formal wear rental site and use technology such as social media and online advertising to help promote our cause as much as possible.

“Prom Ally’s board of directors, Alex the graphic designer and Luke the photographer, have gone above and beyond to try to make the website as stunning and professional as possible!

“We are really excited about the awards and the future of Prom Ally CIC and Eco Armoire.

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In Caernarfon, community charity Menter Ty’n Llan has been shortlisted for the One to Watch award.

The group bought a Grade II listed building in the picturesque village of Llandwrog when the space pub closed in 2017, leaving the community without a place to socialise.

The building is being transformed into a community center, with a restaurant with rooms, charging stations for electric cars and a community space for events and meetings.

Outdoor training and education company Wild Elements Hospitality in Bangor was also shortlisted in the One to Watch category.

Working in partnership with Bangor University, the company aims to provide outdoor and environmental education to schools and communities across North Wales.

Two Flintshire businesses have been shortlisted: non-profit community catering company Well-Fed (Services) Ltd in the Social Enterprise of the Year category and public space improvement coalition Enbarr Foundation CIC in the new Diversity, Inclusion, Equality and Social Justice category.

Leisure center and library service Deeside Aura Leisure Limited has been shortlisted for the Transforming Community and Place award for its work helping to keep the community fit and healthy.

The organization was one of the first employee-owned community charities operating in the UK.

Also shortlisted in the Tech for Good category, Rhyl City Strategy offers personalized support, training and therapy to help people and businesses in Wales improve their wellbeing at work.

At Wrexham, Groundwork North Wales was shortlisted in four categories – Social Enterprise of the Year, Prove It, Environmental Social Enterprise and the new Women in Social Enterprise category for Chief Executive Karen Balmer.

The Groundwork charity aims to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of people in North Wales, with a focus on disadvantaged groups.

Glenn Bowen, Business Director at Cwmpas, said: “The level of entries for the Social Business Wales Awards is improving every year and this year is no exception.

“We have received applications from social enterprises from all over Wales.

“Social enterprises embedded in their communities, providing much-needed support, services and jobs.

“We have shining examples of companies doing their part to reduce the impact of climate change and reaching out to new members of the community through their work on equity, diversity and inclusion.

“It’s great to see so many high quality entries again this year, which makes it difficult for our judges. Good luck to all of our wonderful finalists.

The 2022 event on Monday 10 October will mark the ninth year for the awards ceremony, which will be a live, in-person event for the first time since 2019, taking place at the new Swansea Arena.

All winners will go on to represent Wales at the Social Enterprise UK Awards, to be held in London in December.

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