Useful Links / Gwefannau Defnyddiol

Those already involved in the Forum include:-

The Mid Wales Social Co-op Consortium (Cyfran)

Sharing ideas and resources for mutual benefit and to better serve the communities and citizens of Mid Wales, focusing on the provision of social care and related services to vulnerable, disabled and disadvantaged people.

Bringing together individuals, beneficiaries, professionals and wider community in a fair and effective way.

Developing small, new social co-ops, becoming pioneers of cooperative models of social care within a fraternity of agencies willing to share. Based in communities where the starting point is nurturing the relationships between people.
Care is about relationships, reciprocity and community, and so is not something for-profit business or state bureaucracies are well placed to provide.

Websites that may be of interest to members / non-members:

The Jamboree Café Project, Malvern:

  • Direct Payments
  • The Jamboree Project
  • H2O Cafe, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire

The project is now 8 years old and was originally established to provide paid occupation for adults with a learning disability, and by a focus upon the manufacture of jams, chutney and preserves. This initial approach was successful with the growth of outlets for the products through shops, pubs, local farmers markets etc.

More recently the organisers were approached about running a cafe in conjunction with a new “Innovation Centre” on the Malvern Hills. Jamboree was specifically chosen because of its co-operative ethos and the desire of the Centre owners to be involved in the wellbeing of the group concerned. The cafe has been a great success providing a unique environment and a range of food and refreshment to those who work at the Innovation Centre as well as walkers, bikers, locals and tourists in the area.

The original Jamboree design was dependent on direct payments with a proportion of the payment being made to each individual having to be passed over towards the salaries of the two organisers. It is important to stress that the members still retain a significant proportion of their direct payments, and that these vary as the payments are subject to individual assessment. This approach has worked well thanks, in part, to Worcestershire County Council having a progressive approach to direct payments in respect of adults with a learning disability. The Supervisors (Kate and Debbie) are not members of the co-operative in the same sense as the workers with a disability. The attendance rate (charged against the direct payment income) is currently £45 per day each (previously £35 per day). An additional admin charge is made by each of the two supervisors at £75 per week.

The cafe has been in profit since it has opened and the profit is shared 50:50 between the members of the co-operative and the landlord who does not charge rent for the facilities. Payments to each member are designed to preserve their benefit entitlement. The landlord also paid for all the equipment in the café.

When the cafe opened the existing jam, chutney and preserves operation was put on ‘hold’. However, there are now plans to restart this operation whilst also manufacturing and marketing a special chocolate bar unique to Malvern.

Laurie Gregory, January 2017


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