Community Care Co-ops and the Rural Challenge

C&MW’s congratulates Plunkett on this rural  English initiative and warmly welcomes shared working with the innovative Welsh Care to Co-operate venture.

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Japan – Wales Study Tour

Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales has been instrumental in organising a two day study tour of Social Co-ops in Wales for researchers from Japan.
Mr Koichi Sato, from the Consumers Co-operative Institute of Japan has a particular interest in the activities of consumer co-ops and joint buying by members. Ms Yukiko Yamazaki researches fiscal and tax policies, healthcare policy and healthcare co-ops. They will participate in an International Co-operatives Day event on the 30th June.

(For information about Healthcare Co-operatives in Japan, follow the link below

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g5l7mny62iu93jp/170511VoluntaryActivitybyJHealthCoopMembers%28Y%29%202.pdf?dl=0

David Smith writes: Although, different from the UK, learn about a system which seeks to mobilise people and builds community so that social bonds develop where otherwise there is only isolation and loneliness.

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Building a Co-operative Country

Building a Co-operative Country
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
23 June 2017, 10:00 – 15:00

Join the Wales Co-operative Centre at this one day event to explore how we can build a culture that embeds co-operative and mutual principles and collaborative approaches in Welsh life.  Come together with members and directors, activists and CEOs from co-operatives large and small to discuss how we can promote and increase support for community and collective social, economic and environmental initiatives.

·         Hear from sector experts and those on the front line about the exciting developments in co-operatives and collaborative approaches across areas such as housing, social care and energy.

·         Discuss your ideas on how these can be further strengthened and expanded to help build a truly co-operative nation

·         Hear from policy makers about their visions and aspirations for the sector

·         Get together with other co-operators  to share experiences, ideas and get inspiration
The event is organised and hosted by the Mutuals Alliance.  The Mutuals Alliance brings together leading co-operative and mutual organisations across Wales and works towards growing the sector in Wales by creating a greater level of awareness about mutuals and the benefits they bring.
Tickets for this event cost £32+VAT.

To book your place at this event please visit https://buildingacoopcountry.eventbrite.co.uk

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Community of Enquiry report

To read the Coop News report on the event ‘A Co-operative Education for a Co-operative Wales?’ follow this link:https://www.thenews.coop/116686/sector/regional-organisations/a-co-operative-education-for-a-co-operative-wales/

To read in Welsh (courtesy of Emrys Roberts, Cardiff) follow this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/phflz20gvt0de15/CoE%28%20Welsh%29.doc?dl=0

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Support Community Wind Power!

Awel is a Community Benefit Society and its project owns and run two 2.35MW Enercon wind turbines on Mynydd y Gwrhyd, 20 miles north of Swansea. These turbines will produce clean, low carbon energy and are forecast to generate an estimated 12,558 MWh of clean energy a year, enough to supply over 2,500 homes. Production levels so far are well ahead of this estimate.

Awel is your chance to directly own Welsh wind generation and take action on climate change. This scheme will harness the winds of South Wales to generate electricity using renewable technology. You will gain a projected 5% return per year as well as potential tax reliefs with the new Personal Savings Allowance scheme.

Profits will be used to support local charity Awel Aman Tawe in tackling fuel poverty and developing other renewable energy projects.

For more details go to http://awel.coop

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Link error

Our Eventbrite Booking Form for the upcoming Education event on April 8th contained an error.

If you’ve followed the link and tried to book and found it to be marked as “sold out” and were unable to register, please return as bookings are now re-opened.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-co-operative-education-system-for-a-cooperative-wales-tickets-31831796761

Our apologies for the error and any inconvenience caused

Thanks to the Co-operative for the provision of light refreshments for attendees.

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NEWS RELEASE; A New Approach in Education

A complete overhaul of the “Learning Experience” – from primary level through to adult education – is being demanded by David Smith, a Community Activist and former college lecturer from Newport.

Mr Smith, who is Secretary of Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales, is organising a “Community of Enquiry” on the subject to be held in Cardiff on Saturday, 8 April.

“The Welsh word ‘dysgu’ means both teaching and learning”, Mr Smith said. “This underlines the fact that learning should not be something handed down from teacher to pupil. It should be a collaborative effort between all stakeholders”. He argues that with discussions taking place on new school curricula and new school structures, now is the time to press for introducing this new approach.

Continue reading

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Co-operative Education in Wales 19/11/2016

Our event on Co-operative Education in Wales held on Saturday November 19th 2016 was a great success, and a short video of the event is below:-

CMW Co-op Education round table snapshots.compressed from Callum Johnston on Vimeo.

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Co-operative Education in Wales – Shaping Future Strategy – 08/04/2017

A Co-operative education system for a co-operative Wales?

Saturday 8th April, 2017, Cartrefi Cymru Cardiff HQ, Curran Road, Cardiff (entrance in Trade Street)

10.00am – 4.00pm – £10.00 plus booking fee

This community of enquiry should go some way towards answering the questions:

  • Is there a need for Co-operative Education in Wales?
  • What would an excellent Co-operative Education system in Wales look like?
  • Can curriculum development and teacher training be given a co-operative nudge?
  • How can Co-operative Education engage communities and embrace adult learning?
  • What opportunities are opened up by the Future Generations Act?

Speakers include:

  • Dr Sue Lyle – Facilitator
  • Dr Cilla Ross, Co-operative College,
  • Professor David Reynolds, Swansea University School of Education
  • Kevin Pascoe, The Open University in Wales (personal capacity).

Price includes light refreshments and a Conference Report

Please come and join us.

If you are unable to attend we would be grateful if you could contact us with your views and perspectives on A Co-operative Education System for a Co-operative Wales? by 6th April 2017, so that they can be fed into the conversation on the day.

This event can now be booked online at:-

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-co-operative-education-system-for-a-cooperative-wales-tickets-31831796761

Thanks to the Co-operative for the provision of light refreshments for attendees

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Relighting the Fire? Co-operative Education in Wales – 19/11/2016

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Callum Johnston reports on a round table event organised by Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales

“To train and educate the rising generation will at all times be the first object of society, to which every other will be subordinate” (Robert Owen)

“It is essential to set aside sufficient human and financial resources for co-operative, professional and youth education”. (Mondragon Principle 10)

Education is at the heart of co-operative principles but sometimes it’s more honour’d in the breach than the observance. Co-operators in Wales are seeking practical ways of keeping education at the core of co-operative activity.

The devolved Government in Wales has expressed a desire for a more co-operative economy and society. The Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission, set up by the government talked of ’embedding the values, principles and skills related to co- operation throughout the education system’. The time is right for putting educational self help into action.

Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales have organised a series of round table events looking at how the co-operative movement can play a bigger role in education, not just the school curriculum but in higher education, adult education and informal community education.

The first round table event, on the 19th November hosted by Cartrefi Cymru and facilitated by Noreen Blanluet had many reminders of how robust the co-operative model can be in delivering economic and social goods.

The speakers

Peter Couchman from the Plunket Foundation set the scene – historically, education has been crucial for co-operatives – in Robert Owen’s New Lanark, children in white tunics did not work in the mill, but learned music and dancing as well as the three Rs. In Brighton, Dr. William King, knowing that ‘the Great and Good will never fund Social Improvement’ published ‘The Co-operator’. At the price of a penny this monthly combined co-operative philosophy with practical advice and in spite of being published for only two years had widespread influence. The paper’s masthead proclaimed: ‘Knowledge and union are power. Power directed by knowledge is happiness. Happiness is the end of creation’.

With the passing of time and economic success for co-ops, the urge to reform and educate lost its urgency and co-operatives became, according to Beatrice Webb, a ‘Movement of Shopkeepers’.

David Palmer and Glenn Bowen from the Wales Co-operative Centre showed how practical co-operative education is a prerequisite for the growing co-operative housing sector. Self reliance, skills in governance, business and long term planning and ‘learning to inspire’ presented a challenge for the emerging co-operative housing sector but a challenge which would pay long term dividends.

Joe Allen from ABCUL, the largest trade body for credit unions, outlined strengths and weaknesses in education. The on-line ABCUL Academy offers training for Board Members, managers and volunteers and a growing Credit Union community offers a reservoir of future co-operators. The education challenge for credit unions, given stretched resources, is maintaining adequate provision.

Simon Parkinson, from the Co-operative College took up the challenge of resources, developing the theme of the day – the need for education to be a core function not an add-on. It is vital that co-operators walk the talk and provide realistic funding for co- operative education – what vistas would not open up for co-operative education if it could benefit from 1% of tCG’s members own brand purchases?!

Pat Juby had her eye on the current gaps in co-operative education. After 20 years working in higher education she pointed out that there had been calls for a co- operative university since 1914 – her question ‘How much longer do we need to talk about it?’mirrored Peter Couchman’s comment that the challenges of co-operative education had not been properly addressed for the past 50 years.

The gaps Pat identified were those between school and post graduate – FE, undergraduate and adult learning. The need to address the latter in the guise of community and informal learning was strongly endorsed by Joanne Bartlett from Communities First Ebbw Vale.

The themes

The questions posed at the start of the round table were: ‘How do we create co- operators? & What is the meaning and relevance of Co-operative Education?’ Answers to questions like that don’t come in a day but several themes, routes and signposts emerged:

  • An appreciation of the benefits, economic, social and environmental, of Co-operative Values and Principles could increase grass roots demand for Co-operative education.
  • ThereishistoricandcontemporaryevidencetosupporttheneedforaStrategicFocus on Co-operative Education if the benefits of co-operation are to be achieved and maintained in Wales.
  • Now is a good time to build on the momentum for co-operation started by the Co- operatives and Mutuals Commission – Welsh Government support is crucial.
  • There is an aspiration for a Co-operative University in Wales
  • There is a need for more ‘co-operation’ both as a subject and as a style within the school curriculum.
  • Education should be ‘cradle to grave’ and comprehensive: formal, informal, adult and community.
  • Methods should be appropriate to Wales – widely varying population densities necessitate e-learning and clustering of services.

 

The future
To oversee the strategic focus a ‘Co-operative Education Development Board’ could promote and integrate co-operative education within existing delivery structures.

  • It’s focus would be promoting co-operative education – leadership, methodology and content.
  • It would move the recommendations of the Welsh Co-ops and Mutuals Commission forward and address gaps, such adult and community learning, in those recommendations.
  • It would have a strategic role, seeking for example, to promote awareness of co- operatives within MBA and Business Studies in Wales and to embed collaborative and democratic learning methods into education at every level.

Co-operatives and mutuals live in the same pool of dwindling resources as other organisations and businesses. The challenge fosters both competition and co-operation. There was never a better time for collaboration in the field of education, the kindling and the knowledge and the match are there, it just needs co-operators to keep bringing in the wood!

A video of the round table event was recorded – an edited version of the proceedings will be available in the New Year. The next Co-operative Education in Wales event has a preliminary date of 8th April 2017. For more information or to contribute to the co- operative education debate, visit www.cooperatives-wales.coop or email david@cooperatives-wales.coop

The hosts

The round table event was generously hosted by Cartrefi Cymru, a not for profit charity which is currently making the exciting and challenging journey from conventional management to grass roots multi stakeholder co-operative status. Democratic responsibilities will be shared by service users, staff colleagues and supporters.

Founded in 1989 by a group of parents and activists, Cartrefi Cymru is a cutting edge support provider in rural Wales and the Valleys. It supports people with learning difficulties, autism, physical disabilities and challenging behaviour to enjoy their rights and freedom within the community and their own home.

For more details visit the website cartrefi.org and follow the links to ‘Working in Partnership’.

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Transition to a Co-operative economy

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Full details at Synergia Course

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Only a few places left for our Education Roundtable Event

There’s still time to secure a place at our Co-operative Education roundtable discussion on Saturday 19th November 2016 (10:30 – 3:30) at Cartrefi Cymru, Cardiff
The programme comprises a mix of keynote interventions from 4 speakers, and facilitated group discussions.

Peter Couchman, Chief Executive, Plunkett Foundation: The Relevance of Co-operative Education
David Palmer, Wales Co-operative Centre: Education and training gaps in Housing
Joe Allen, ABCUL Policy Officer for Wales: Education and training gaps from a Credit Union’s perspective
Simon Parkinson, CEO and Principal, the Co-operative College: Opportunities for Co-operative Education

This event is being generously hosted by Cartrefi Cymru.  We are charging £10 per head, payable on booking, to cover the costs of food, refreshments and producing the event report. Please confirm your attendance here: bit.ly/coopeduevent

If you are unable to attend we would be grateful if you could share your views and perspectives on Co- operative Education by 15th November 2016, so that they can be fed into the conversation on the day. Link to the online survey: bit.ly/coopeduviews

The November 2016 event aims to establish context and refine focus. It will be followed by another in March 2017 with the objective of turning discussion outcomes into concrete actions and advancing the delivery and implementation of Co-operative Education in Wales.

Venue information: Cartrefi Cymru Head Office, Unit 5 & 6 Coopers Yard, Curran Road, Cardiff, CF10 5NB. Access and parking information will be sent to attendees closer to the date.

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New book by Ed Mayo

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“What matters to us? One way of answering that question is through the lens of values, which have a powerful influence on our attitudes and behaviours. Drawing on a range of case studies worldwide…..this short guide reveals how to make a success of values”.

This new book by the Secretary General of Co-operatives UK is available for purchase in bookshops, and easy to order direct from the publisher on https://www.greenleaf-publishing.com/values

You can also find it on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Values-Bring-Life-Business-Doshorts/dp/1783535342/

See the review on Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/john-tizard/values-matter-but-to-be-r_b_12515214.html

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How do we create co-operators? What is the meaning and relevance of Co-operative Education?

Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales cordially invite you to take part in a Co-operative Education roundtable discussion on Saturday 19th November 2016 (10:30 – 3:30) at Cartrefi Cymru, Cardiff
The programme comprises a mix of keynote interventions from 4 speakers, and facilitated group discussions.

Peter Couchman, Chief Executive, Plunkett Foundation: The Relevance of Co-operative Education
David Palmer, Wales Co-operative Centre: Education and training gaps in Housing
Joe Allen, ABCUL Policy Officer for Wales: Education and training gaps from a Credit Union’s perspective
Simon Parkinson, CEO and Principal, the Co-operative College: Opportunities for Co-operative Education

This event is being generously hosted by Cartrefi Cymru. We have limited capacity for this date, and are keen to ensure a diverse mix of sectors, roles around the table and maximum participation. We are charging £10 per head, payable on booking, to cover the costs of food, refreshments and producing the event report. Please confirm your attendance here: bit.ly/coopeduevent

If you are unable to attend we would be grateful if you could share your views and perspectives on Co- operative Education by 15th November 2016, so that they can be fed into the conversation on the day. Link to the online survey: bit.ly/coopeduviews

The November 2016 event aims to establish context and refine focus. It will be followed by another in March 2017 with the objective of turning discussion outcomes into concrete actions and advancing the delivery and implementation of Co-operative Education in Wales.

Venue information: Cartrefi Cymru Head Office, Unit 5 & 6 Coopers Yard, Curran Road, Cardiff, CF10 5NB. Access and parking information will be sent to attendees closer to the date.

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Plunkett Foundation Events

The Plunkett Foundation are running three open day events taking place across rural Wales hosted by established community co-operatives. The events showcase the benefits community run enterprises can bring to rural communities.

These events are for anyone worried about the future of their village shop, pub, or any other local amenity – to come and see first-hand how community ownership can be used not just to save it, but transform it into a vibrant hub for the local area.

Community organisations and members of the public will have the chance to hear directly from those involved in existing community projects about how they did it, as well as their plans for the future.

Find out more about each individual event and its hosts by clicking below:-

Booking isn’t necessary but if you need more information please contact Sarah Horth on 01993 814381 or email sarah.horth@plunkett.co.uk

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Co-op Census

Co-operatives UK (New)

Co-operatives UK are in the process of creating a National Co-operative Development Strategy. The intention, is to work with co-ops to create a simple strategy that can help us, as a sector, decide where we focus our energies over the coming years in order to support and grow the UK’s co-operatives. They have an expert panel, chaired by Pauline Green overseeing the strategy; we have a range of discussion paper feeding in ideas; the 180 people at Congress produced a whole series of suggestions.

The next stage is the launch of the first ever census of the UK’s co-operatives – not just Co-ops UK members, but as many of the 7,000 co-ops that make up our sector. It aims to give us new insight into how they are working, what the challenges are, where they want to be and how we need to get there. It’s a big piece of work and we are working closely with our federal members on it so we can maximise the number of housing co-ops, credit unions, allotments etc, responding.

Take the census: http://bit.ly/coopcensus

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Co-operative Group results published today

The Co-operative Group Annual Results 2015 are published today.

To view the RNS/Press Release click on the following link: http://www.co-operative.coop/corporate/press/press-releases/headline-news/results-2015/

To view the Annual Report & Accounts click on the following link: http://www.co-operative.coop/annual-results-2015

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Co-ops struggle for recognition in Australia

  • The Australian
  • April 1, 2016 12:00AM

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/coops-struggle-for-recognition/news-story/ea01a5d5d3f4880a5c1b20891bbbe03f

Co-operative and mutual enterprises still remain influential in some sectors of the Australian economy, and yet the federal corporations law, and legal and accounting professions, often fail to recognise their existence.

The Corporations Act refers only to these businesses in the context of demutualisation, while professional bodies do not include the laws governing these businesses in their accreditation ­standards.

But a recent Senate economics committee report has put forward a sweeping law reform agenda so that these entities can operate alongside other corporations when it comes to the law and attracting investment.

The report tabled last month with the support of both major parties, and the minor parties, says the government should amend the Corporations Act so that mutual enterprises are explicitly recognised.

It recommended that the government amend the Corporations Act to allow these enterprises to access a broader range of capital raising opportunities.

Regarding the professions, the committee recommended that professional accreditation bodies, such as the Law Society and Institute of Chartered Accountants, require “a demonstrated knowledge of the co-operatives and mutual structure before it will ­license its members to practise accounting or law”.

While some CMEs like Murray Goulburn have tapped equity markets, such initiatives have proved to be onerous.

While many of Australia’s health, insurance, and banking co-operatives have demutualised in recent decades, these enterprises remain particularly strong in sectors such as grain marketing. The attempted takeover of West Australian grain handler CBH Group attests to this fact.

British consultant Peter Hunt, who advises co-operative groups globally on law reform, says Australia’s problems stem from having imported laws from Britain.

“We started the problem in the UK. We exported our legislation all over the world,” he said.

The biggest problem facing the sector globally was capital raising. This presented a “conundrum” for these enterprises because they need capital to grow, but they don’t want to risk takeover.

“These mutual businesses don’t have the capacity to issue instruments like shares that can be bought in the same way as companies do. The reason for that is you don’t want them to be demutualised,” he said.

But the idea of a “hybridity of ownership is catching on”.

In Australia, he said that as CMEs were state-registered, this created an “anomalous situation” where they had to become federally incorporated companies to raise capital.

Murray Goulburn did this via a “tortuous process”. It is a company with listed shares that also has a co-operative constitution.

In his advice to the newly formed peak body, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, Mr Hunt says Australia should amend the Corporations Act so that it defines the type of securities they can issue while restricting the ability of the new shareholders to subvert the purpose of the business.

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Robert Owen Museum is recruiting volunteers

Robert OwenThe Robert Owen Museum is a small, independent museum in Newtown, celebrating the life, ideas and legacy of Robert Owen. His ideas led to the formation of the Co-operative movement and he was an instigator of free education for workers’ children. He is an internationally known and respected thinker and reformer, so the museum, in his birthplace, is visited by people from across the world.

This is an exciting time for the Museum, as we are looking to deepen our co-operation with the Co-operative Heritage Trust, which could lead to major developments in both the role of the Museum and the building it is based in.

The Museum is supervised by a small Officers Group, and we would be interested to hear from you if you were interested in joining.

Ideally we would be looking for two people to join the existing group of five volunteers. Roles can be flexible and we meet every six weeks or so – all you need is an interest in Robert Owen and/or the Co-operative movement and the ability to get to Newtown !

If this sounds interesting, or if you want to find out more, please contact the Chairman of the Museum,
Sue Newham 01686 626228 or snewham@btinternet.com

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Events for your diary

The next meeting of the Cross Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals will be at the National Assembly:-
Tuesday 17th November 2015 @ 12.15
Media Briefing Room
Senedd Building (Waterfront entrance)
Cardiff CF99 1NA

Launch of Wales Co-operative Centre and Co-operatives UK research: A Collaborative Economy for the Common Good

Hear from the report’s author, Pat Conaty, Research Associate, Co-operatives UK

Drinks and light refreshments will be provided, sponsored by Wales Co-operative Centre

All those attending must pre-register by emailing:-
ceri.anne-fidler@walescooperative.org 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The life of William Hazell and his contribution to the Welsh Co‑operative movement and Mutualism
at
Pontypridd Muni, Gelliwastad Rd, Pontypridd CF37 2DP
Monday 16th November 2015 7.30 – 9.30pm

with
Alun Burge: Author of
William Hazell’s Gleaming Vision “A co operative life in South Wales”
and
a discussion panel on the theme of
“Co-operativism in Wales: Lessons for our Future”

Chaired by
Professor Andrew Davies, Chair of Welsh Government’s Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission

Light Refreshments

Sponsored by Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales

RSVP: Jayne.howard@assembly.wales
10 Market Street
Pontypridd
CF37 2ST
01443 406400

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