What’s happening

This page will focus on what is happening in the wider Social Care/ Co-operative world

SCF MapWe have produced a map to reflect the diversity of everything which is going on in Wales. Detailed data for the above map can be here.

The map shows:

  • Housing co-operatives (Red),
  • Care to Co-operate clients (Large purple),
  • Current forum members (Small blue)
  • Social care social enterprises (Small pink)
  • Projects or reports that focus on social co-operation (Large blue)
  • Resources to help co-operatives (Large yellow)

What future role could Co-operatives play in the Social Care Sector in Wales?  

Law and regulation changes in Wales have placed a greater emphasis on improving the wellbeing of individuals and communities across the country. As well as improving wellbeing, the Social Services and Wellbeing Act wants to include the citizen voice to make sure people have control over their lives and the services they use. Co-production is included as a core principle in act and seen as a key way to making all of this happen.

The Care to Co-operate team would like to know your thoughts and feelings on the future role co-operatives could play in Health & Social Care in Wales! To find out more about this initiative, take part in the process & voice your valuable opinion by following this link.


Social Value Forums Toolkit

A new resource is available for groups wishing to develop new ways of working to support the core principles and intentions of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, 2014.

The Social Value Forums Toolkit, produced by Wales Co-operative Centre, is aimed at social value organisations, Regional Partnership Boards and current and prospective providers, including the rich mosaic of third sector organisations delivering social value care support services in Wales. The Toolkit sets out how the third sector, user-led organisations, co-operatives and social enterprises have an important and specific role in transforming services and encouraging the provision of thriving social value sector; co-producing with citizens and the community to develop services to meet their needs.


Care to Co-operate Online Toolkit

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“I thought the toolkit was very useful and helpful.  It was easy to understand and made me aware of what co-operation is about”  – Member of Gorwellion Newydd Co-operative

The Care to Co-operate toolkit has been designed to help those interested in setting up co-operative care and well-being services breathe life into their vision.

The toolkit takes you through five key areas that you can work through in your own time. Topics include:

  • Co-operation and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act – you’ll learn how co-operation works so well with the Act.
  • Strategy – we take you through how to plan your service in order for it to achieve its long term aims. The activities we’ve designed will help you look at the strengths and weaknesses of your idea.
  • Legal structures – in this topic we look at the various legal structures available and how you can choose the right one for your group.
  • Governance – in this topic we cover how to involve members in the decision making process, the types of rules your organisation will need to follow to work effectively and the roles and responsibilities of board members.
  • Opportunities for services – in this topic we look at the opportunities the Act presents to co-operative delivered services.

The toolkit is jam-packed full of resources; from help with understanding terms and policies, to comprehensive guides on social media promotion and membership growth.  Also, the toolkit is available in English, Welsh or British Sign Language!

When will you start your co-operative?


Public Bank for Wales

Adrian Roper is part of the Public Bank for Wales action group. This was formed after a number of people identified problems in the current financial world in terms of local banks closing, organisations struggling with start-up funding, public bodies dependent on venture capitalist investment in care home development etc. This is a Manifesto commitment for Labour and Plaid Cymru. A sizeable detailed proposal has been produced, and the Welsh Government has commissioned a report by PPIW to examine the track records of Public Banks around the world.

If you would like to know more please get in touch.


Co-operative Education

Co-ops and Mutual Wales are majoring on a Co-operative education strategy. They have held a number of seminar events questioning the role of a co-operative education system in Wales.

Reports from both events can be found here:

April 2017 Co-op Education report

November 2016 Co-op Education report

Adult Learning Wales are re-branding and relaunching. They are a new constitutional entity and are trying to re-invigorate their democracy. They are not quite a co-operative but are very democratic with learner forums and regional forums who elect 70% to the board. There will be a focus on educating people to become active citizens who not only have an awareness of political changes but will be taught the skills to engage. There are plans to run a campaign / roadshow to encourage democratic engagement.


Co-op and Union collaboration

Pat Conaty and Alex Bird wrote a report ‘Not Alone’ in April 2016 which explores how co-ops and trade unions across Europe are tackling precarious work. The report features national and international good practice examples of co-ops helping precarious workers.

A second report was commissioned by the TUC to focus on case studies and solutions for precarious workers in the taxi trade, supply teachers, social care workers and general freelancers. The report ‘Organising precarious workers: Trade Union and Co-operative Strategies’ was released in October 2017 and can be downloaded by following this link: Organising Precarious Workers: Trade Union and Co-operative Strategies


Unison’s Ethical care charter

Unison conducted a survey of homecare workers (“Time to Care”) to understand the pressures they face. From that report they produced an ethical care charter and are encouraging councils to sign up to this. 30 Local Authorities (5 in Scotland, 25 in England) have signed up so far. There is an opportunity of social care co-ops to work with Unison.

The ethical care charter can be found here.


Union co-ops

Union Co-ops are new co-ops set up where all the members join a union and the co-ops are sponsored and supported by a trade union. More than 10 trade unions in the USA are supporting specific Union Co-op development projects.


Co-production Network for Wales

Co-production and co-operation go hand in hand. Services that are co-operative and that use co-production can gain many advantages. This can include delivering better quality work, having staff that stay with a company for longer and having potential to make real and lasting changes to the wellbeing of communities. For more information on the Co-production Network for Wales please click here.