Monday, 6 April 2020

Make your lockdown a time to plan better communities, say co-op team

Thanks to the Frome Times for covering our latest press release. We thought it was important to make the point that if you are stuck at home and unable to do your normal work, you shouldn't feel disempowered. Along with many other creative and inspiring things that people are using their furlough for, we could all use our time to plan improvements to our communities so that the changed world we re-emerge into is changed for the better.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Links and resources for co-ops and social enterprises dealing with Covid-19

Spark have launched Corona Helpers, a free online platform on which individuals can pledge their support, and organisations and groups can let people know what they are doing and how to get involved.

Co-operatives UK have an excellent page of resources: Government support for business - advice for co-ops. In particular, there is some extra support and advice available from the Hive Support Package.

We're also very grateful to the School for Social Entrepreneurs for preparing this useful list:

Key links

Most useful resources we’ve found so far
Continuing to support your clients, beneficiaries and vulnerable people you work with
Human resources and Business planning
  • Co-operatives UK have put together a guide on HR issues answering questions such as 'how do we treat employees who follow guidance to self isolate?' and 'what about parents who are off work because their child's school has closed?'.
  • This Federation for Small Business (FSB) guide is helpful. It’s aimed at small businesses but the advice is also relevant to small charities, social enterprises, community businesses and impact organisations.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Covid-19 - if ever there was a time for mutual aid...

Our team, like everyone else, is reacting day by day to the advice we're getting on how to limit impact of Covid-19. We're going to do our best to keep helping people, using videoconferencing and remote working most of the time (sorry, our office at 10 East Reach is closed until further notice) - but we're also supporting this great initiative for mutual aid groups across the UK. As this develops we'll try to provide more updates with a more local focus, but this article gives a good introduction to the big idea:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/14/coronavirus-campaign-launched-offering-help-to-those-self-isolating

Co-operatives that could beat the climate crisis

Everyone is asking the same question: ‘I understand that it’s a climate emergency, but what can I actually do? Surely it is big businesses that need to change - because it's too big a problem for anyone else’.
It’s a fair question – heaping shame and expectation on hard-pressed individuals is both pointless and uncaring – but don't give up on your own power just yet.
Surprising as it may seem, social enterprises – and especially those with democratic, co-operative forms of management – have many advantages. They can raise investment on clean balance sheets; use social and environmental accounting to check that their business model is futureproof; and introduce new technology and infrastructure to communities that trust them.
We've produced a briefing introducing some of the ideas that could be replicated in communities across the South West. Download and spread it around...

Monday, 3 February 2020

Considering making an investment in ethical business?  Why not take advantage of our offer of Community Shares with EIS tax relief?

This is an invitation to invest as non-user members of Somerset Development Workers Co-operative,
a workers co-operative, holding withdrawable shares eligible for Enterprise Investment Tax Relief.



Monday, 2 December 2019

Cascade Training South West REBOOT! Training for those passionate about the social economy


Effective, affordable training with social purpose

Cascade Training South West offers a range of affordable training courses, primarily for charities, community and voluntary organisations and social enterprises – as well as for the public and private sectors.

Courses are designed to strengthen management, leadership and other key attributes to enhance performance and confidence, and to build and develop important skills that you need every day within your work or voluntary roles. We also offer a wide range of financial, fundraising and other 'operational' learning opportunities.

All of Cascade's trainers are knowledgeable professionals who are highly regarded in their fields of expertise who lead very participative sessions in order to maximise practical application and shared learning. 

Courses from £99 - £199. Discounts are available for multi-bookings, and for membership of  Co-operatives UK, SCS CIC and organisations with the Social Enterprise Mark.

Find out more:
0300 456 2265