Monday, 14 September 2020

Our 2019 AGM is on 17th September - and you're all invited

 Of course, like so many meetings now this is an all online affair. However, we are hoping to liven it up with video, diverse contributions, news from around the region and updates from some of the co-ops that form our membership.

You'll need a few documents to guide you through the event, which starts at 10.00am. Firstly, here is the invite to join, which includes the timetable for events (click to download). If you have any difficulty joining via Zoom, please text O7963 917472 for assistance.

Then, we have a selection of papers for the formal business, both for SCS CIC and SDWC (as we have done before, we're using a single event for both AGMs):

Thursday, 30 July 2020

What do you need?


What does it mean to be a member of SCS CIC? How do you get the most out of your membership, and how can we make it easier to participate? 

We need your feedback. Please take five minutes (promise!) to answer some simple questions. 

You don't need to only be a member of SCS CIC to complete the form. We like to hear a variety of opinions!


Click here to take part




You can answer more then once, for different organisations; you can answer as an individual; and you might want to discuss in your team and present a collective position. All contributions are welcomed!


Thursday, 16 July 2020


Could you be a director of a growing co-operative? 

Free Zoom webinar for anyone who wants to Build Back Better! 

Time: Jul 23, 2020 10:00 AM London


In just an hour an a half, Alex Lawrie will provide a quick introduction to what it's like being a director of a community enterprise or co-operative. If you've ever thought about it, but felt that you don't have the right skills, knowledge or enough time, Alex aims to bust those myths by explaining:
  • what kind of support you can expect in a good team 
  • how you can make a difference to your local area and help others
  • which co-ops in Somerset are looking for directors like you
  • how you can learn skills and develop new careers with the experience
  • why it's so fulfilling, but also how to avoid some common hazards
  • what the legal duties and protections are
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89188497480Meeting ID: 891 8849 7480
We recommend logging on a few minutes earlier to check connection and access. If you have any issues, please ring: 0300 456 2265

If you would like to know more contact services@somerset.coop.  



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.