Propagator

Cae Post develops online shop

Cae Post, an innovative social enterprise based in Powys, has recently taken delivery of a stock of recycled plastic Eco Potagators to sell in support of their charity.

PropagatorMade out of recycled yoghurt pots, these propagatorsare designed to be turned upside down once seedlings have outgrown the propagator and this then makes an attractive blue plant pot.

Cae Post believes in promoting the use of recycled materials as a way to stimulate demand for them and to ensure that recycled materials retain their value. For over 30 years, Cae Post has provided employment and access to work for disadvantaged people in the Powys and North Shropshire area combined with environmental action. They believe work is central to how people see themselves and that people with a range of disabilities, or who are disadvantaged in the labour market, should be given the same opportunity of contributing to their community through work.

As a charity and social business involved in the collection and recycling of materials – including plastics – Cae Post believes it is important that a market is created for these waste materials. This then makes it profitable to collect the materials. Without an outlet for collected recyclates, their value is much lower.

Cae Post was set up to provide meaningful work experience and jobs to people left behind in the labour market. By selling items on its website, Cae Post aims to give people meaningful work in processing the orders, packaging and sending them out. It’s not solely about making a profit but about giving dignified work to people. This is not Cae Post’s main source of revenue or the biggest activity it undertakes, but one which is crucial to their mission of combining work opportunities and environmental actrion.

As a social enterprise, Cae Post says it is always looking for new opportunities to grow the business in a way that marries its purpose of combining environmental action with tackling exclusion and inequality in the labour market.

Click here to find out more about Eco Potagators and to purchase online.

Cae Post to distribute recycled 3D printer ink

Cae Post, the Welshpool based environmental social enterprise, has become an exclusive distributor of Refil recycled 3D printer ink.

Recycled 3D printer ink - blueIn an innovative tie up with Rotterdam based Refil BV, Cae Post will distribute Refil’s recycled 3D printer filament to the UK market.

Speaking about the collaboration, Sue Packer, General Manager of Cae Post, said: “Cae Post is well known locally as an innovative supplier of environmentally based services and we are now looking forward to working with Refil to develop the market in recycled plastic filament for 3D printing.”

Casper van der Meer of Refil believes the 3D printing industry is set to boom and said: “3D printing is today’s trendiest industrial revolution. At Refil we aim to make it a sustainable one as well. Why do people continue to use new plastics, when there’s so much old plastic we can re-use?”

Recycled 3D printer ink - blackRefil’s recycled filament is made using old car dashboards or PET bottles and helps to stop some of these plastics ending up in landfill, or worse, in the sea. Recent reports suggest that ‘plastic soup’ could grow at such a rate that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.

3D printing is a relatively new development and is being used to create models in 3D from extruded plastic filament.

Cae Post has championed environmental awareness for over 30 years and provides supported employment opportunities to local people. All profits from its activities are used to support its charitable work locally.

For more information, please visit www.caepost.co.uk.

“Act now to ensure children don’t lose memory of grandparents who were Far East Prisoners of War,” says national charity

COFEPOW logo“Within a generation, children will have forgotten about their grandparents’ suffering as far East Prisoners of War,” warns Paul Watson, chair of national charity COFEPOW (Children and Families of Far East Prisoners of War).

“As World War Two fades into history, young people are in danger of forgetting about the horrific suffering of many of their grandparents and great-grandparents as prisoners of war in the Far East,” he says.

Now, to mark the anniversary of 75 years since the Fall of Singapore in the Second World War, COFEPOW is launching an Education Programme to help ensure youngsters grow up knowing about the huge sacrifice many of their relatives made in the Far East.

Paul Watson says: “One of our functions at COFEPOW is to educate future generations so that our brave ancestors are never forgotten. As a result, we have created this exciting new initiative to help students understand what happened, whilst giving them the opportunity to experience different learning platforms to develop transferable skills for their future – skills such as confidence, teamwork, creativity, communication and working to deadlines.”

Working in teams, students will be tasked with preparing a television news report explaining that the war is over in the Far East and that all those held as prisoners will be released and sent home. In order to prepare their news report, students must find out as much as possible about the life of a Far East Prisoner of War.

Once complete, schools will need to send the filmed news reports on DVD to COFEPOW, who will judge all the entries and choose a winner. Students that take part will receive a Certificate of Achievement and the winning team will receive a special COFEPOW VJ Day 70th Anniversary Commemorative Medal for their school.

Paul Watson adds: “Members of COFEPOW are relatives of those who fought and were held captive in the Far East in World War Two. Whilst many of the prisoners are no longer with us, as relatives we saw first hand the lasting effects that the time in prison camps had on these men and women – both mentally and physically.

“We are all extremely proud of our loved ones for their war effort and we strive to ensure that what they went through will always be remembered and respected. By creating this competition, we feel we are helping the next generation to understand a little bit more about the Forgotten War.”

The programme was prepared in collaboration with Jayne Greene, who is experienced in producing education packages for schools and is a volunteer for COFEPOW.

The COFEPOW National Enterprise Competition for Primary Schools will run from 11th November 2017 (Remembrance Day) to 15th February 2018 (the anniversary of the Fall of Singapore).

If you are a teacher, school governor, or otherwise involved in delivering the national curriculum at primary school level, and would like to find out more about this new initiative, you are invited to attend the launch of the COFEPOW Education Programme at the National Memorial Arboretum on Wednesday 15th February 2017, commencing at 1pm.

To secure your place at the launch, please email COFEPOW Secretary Alan Wills at alanwills@blueyonder.co.uk. To find out more about the project and for schools to enter please visit the COFEPOW website https://www.cofepow.org.uk/schools-competition.

Cae Post signs up as right Waste, right Place campaign ambassador

right Waste right Place logoCae Post, the environmental charity and social enterprise based in Welshpool, has become an ambassador for the right Waste, right Place campaign, a national initiative aimed at raising awareness of the Duty of Care for waste amongst UK businesses.

Managed by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the campaign was launched in April 2016 following damning evidence of widespread non-compliance with Duty of Care legislation for waste, and mounting costs on local authorities and private landowners for tackling fly-tipping.

Recent research has revealed that 56% of UK businesses are not complying with the law, despite recent changes to sentencing guidelines and the removal of the £5,000 maximum fine in the Magistrates Court.

Cae Post offers trade waste and recycling services in Powys and Shropshire and is committed to promoting best practice when it comes to duty of care for waste. Cae Post is keen that businesses in the area are fully aware of their responsibility for the good management of waste and recycling.

Speaking about the announcement, Sue Packer, General Manager at Cae Post said: “Our mission as a charity is to create employment and promote positive environmental action. We support right Waste, right Place, as a way to encourage all organisations to think about the environmental impacts of their waste and to adhere to best practice with regard to waste management.”

Sam Corp, Head of Regulation at the ESA, commented: “We are delighted that Cae Post has become a right Waste, right Place Campaign Ambassador. We are looking forward to working with Cae Post to raise awareness of Duty of Care in their area and to many more organisations signing up to the programme in the near future.”

As a social enterprise, Cae Post has a firm commitment to the environment and its mission is to provide meaningful employment and work experience opportunities to people who would otherwise find it difficult to gain these opportunities.

Local banking still very much alive in Scotland

ABCUL Scotland dev stage03Following the sad news that Airdrie Savings Bank is to close, the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) has pointed to Scotland’s thriving credit union sector as evidence that local banking is still very much alive and well.

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: “Across Scotland, almost 100 credit unions are providing savings accounts and affordable loans to more than 387,000 people. Last year, the sector’s deposits, lending and assets all grew by 8%, and Scotland has the fourth highest level of credit union membership in Europe.

“Of course, credit unions must keep pace with what consumers expect from their financial service providers, which increasingly means instant access and control of our money via mobile devices.

“For smaller players like credit unions, the infrastructure to deliver this is often out of reach unless we act together to achieve the required scale. That’s why a number of credit unions in Scotland and across Britain are working co-operatively to develop and deliver the products, services and access channels that modern consumers expect.

“This way, credit unions can ensure a competitive, sustainable local banking option is always open to Scottish consumers as part of a healthy, diverse financial services sector.”

The latest figures from the Bank of England (as at 30 June 2016) show there are 99 credit unions in Scotland serving more than 387,000 people, including 56,000 junior savers. Credit union members have savings worth £484 million and are borrowing £296 million, often at lower interest rates than are available for the same loan from other lenders. The Scottish credit union sector’s assets are worth £562 million.

With 7.2% of the Scottish population using a credit union, Scotland has the fourth highest level of credit union membership in Europe, after only the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Poland.

Season’s Greetings 2016

HollyAnother year is almost over and once again we are raising a glass of sherry and tucking into a mince pie as we reflect upon the last 12 months.

Since our move to a new base near Oswestry in Shropshire almost two years ago, Ethos public relations is pleased to be working with a number of local businesses and charities, as well as continuing to support clients across the UK.

The nature of public relations has changed significantly over the last few years and we have adapted to meet these challenges, with much more of our focus now on website management and social media. Of course it is still nice to do traditional media relations and, even today, it is rewarding to see a press release we have written in the newspaper, or listening to an interview we have set up on the radio.

Thank you to all our clients for supporting us in 2016 and we look forward to working with you in the New Year.

We will be closed over the Christmas break from lunchtime on Friday 23rd December until Tuesday 3rd January 2017, but we will of course be checking our emails, social media accounts and text messages, so do stay in touch.

We wish all our clients, suppliers, friends and future clients
Season’s Greetings and a happy 2017!

Future Co-ops Conference 2017

Post Carbon Co-ops logoA conference that takes place in February will be addressing the post carbon landscape from a co-operative perspective.

The conference, entitled Post Carbon Co-ops, aims to bring co-operative activists together with activists from other progressive organisations to debate some of the key issues facing our future.

The current energy bonanza based on fossil fuels cannot go on forever. Climate change reasons apart, fossil fuels are not inexhaustible. New extraction methods such as fracking promise false hope and renewables can never recreate the massive energy surplus that oil, coal and gas have provided.

The post carbon landscape will impact on all areas of everyone’s lives, from access to food and transport, to energy and manufacturing. Post Carbon Co-ops will examine how co-ops can provide solutions.

Dr Mark Simmonds from Co-op Culture, who is one of the keynote speakers at the Future Co-ops conference, said: “In these times of economic uncertainty, resource depletion and climate change, the one thing we can be sure of is that the world will become a very different place in the short to medium term.

“Energy descent, in particular, will increasingly become a fact of life. We need to think strategically about the co-operative response to this challenge. How can communities co-operate to build resilience? What does a post-carbon co-operative economy that can survive and thrive, look like?”

According to Jo White of Co-operative Futures, the organisers of the event, co-operatives have led the way in offering solutions to emerging crises and the co-ops of the future need to start planning for the post carbon landscape.

“We are looking forward to welcoming a wide range of activists to Post Carbon Co-ops in February and we are hoping to move the debate forward on positive co-operative solutions for a low carbon future.”

Post Carbon Co-ops takes place on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th February 2017 at Jurys Inn in Cheltenham and delegates can book their place online now.

Cae Post celebrates 30 years

Over 100 people gathered at Welshpool Town Hall recently to celebrate Cae Post’s 30th birthday.

Danielle Brown MBE

Danielle Brown MBE

Cae Post welcomed supporters, customers, employees and beneficiaries to the event to mark 30 years of creating work opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people.

The event was hosted by BBC Radio Shropshire presenter Jim Hawkins and the special guest was Danielle Brown MBE, Double Paralympic Archery Champion from Telford.

The celebration of Cae Post’s achievements was also attended by Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, and the Deputy Mayor of Welshpool Cllr Hazel Evans.

John Harrington

John Harrington

Best known these days as a successful business recycling thousands of tonnes of materials each year from the homes and businesses of Powys and north Shropshire, Cae Post was originally set up in 1986 as a community organisation to create work for people with learning disabilities.

Speaking at the event, John Harrington, one of the Founders and current Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “When a number of volunteers came together to set Cae Post up, they were pioneers, innovators, social enterprise visionaries. Our aim back then – as it still is – was to provide meaningful and worthwhile activity for people whilst making the world a better place in environmental terms.

“It’s easyCae Post's 30th birthday celebrations to forget how the world of recycling has changed. In 1986 there was no kerbside collection for recycling in Powys. Today, there’s a whole industry set up to deal with our waste and separating valuable materials. Cae Post plays its part in this industry but with a massive difference: our endeavours help people gain valuable experience in the work place.

“Cae Post cannot alone create the work opportunities needed by people who, for whatever reason, face disadvantage in the labour market. The work that we have done needs to be taken up by many more businesses and organisations – but we will carry on playing our part and speaking up for those who need these opportunities.”

John concluded: “We might be in our 30th year, but there is so much more for us to do. We are up for the challenge and we will work hard well into the future to help those people who find it difficult to enter the world of work to find meaningful job opportunities.”

To find out more about Cae Post and the work it does, click here. To read about their 30th birthday celebrations, click here.

Charity looks to secure its future by leasing premises from Powys County Council

Cae Post, an innovative charity and social enterprise, has submitted a bid to Powys County Council to take over its premises in Trewern, Welshpool, through a Community Asset Transfer.

Sue PackerCae Post is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is looking to the future with its bid to take over the Trewern premises so it can carry on providing employment and training opportunities to local people for years to come.

Speaking about the bid, Sue Packer, General Manager at Cae Post, said: “Cae Post exists to help people take part in economic and community life and we actively develop links with the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. These are two of the main aims of a Community Asset Transfer, according to Powys County Council, and so Cae Post clearly meets the criteria for this bid to be accepted.”

For 30 years it has delivered services that ultimately provide people who have a range of disabilities, or who are disadvantaged in the labour market, with the same opportunities as anyone else for contributing to their community through work. Currently, Cae Post offers waste management and recycling to businesses and households across mid-Wales.

Added Sue: “Recently, Powys County Council decided not to extend our contract to deliver kerbside recycling, bringsite collections of plastic and cans and the operation of the materials recovery facility – services we have successfully operated for well over a decade. We accept, of course, that the County Council has the right to bring the service in-house – but it will impact significantly on our clients who benefit so much from working at Cae Post each week.

“The important thing for us now is to be secure in our premises, so that we can plan for the future and develop new income streams that allow us to continue our work with some of the county’s most deserving people.”

Cae Post will be contacting all of Powys’s councillors to remind them of the important work the social enterprise does in giving people who, for whatever reason, find it difficult to get jobs, offering people the chance to improve their lives and contribute to society. Cae Post will of course be asking councillors to support the Community Asset Transfer.

Cae Post is unique within Powys in the way it has pioneered a model of working that empowers people who otherwise might find it difficult to secure work and training opportunities.

Cae Post’s future plans for the building in Trewern will see it increasing the opportunity for young people to access work-based learning, improving access to work for people with learning disabilities and encouraging more people to volunteer.

Said Sue Packer: “If we are successful with our bid to Powys County Council, ownership or a long lease of the building will enable us to seek investment to develop new businesses. This will mean we can provide increased job and volunteering opportunities, reduce poverty and assist in the economic and environmental well-being of not only Powys but the rest of Wales well into the future.”

If you would like to find out more about Cae Post, please visit www.caepost.co.uk.

Share your memories of Cae Post to celebrate their 30th birthday

Cae Post 30th logoCae Post, the Welshpool based social enterprise which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, is looking for people to share their memories to mark this important milestone.

Cae Post provides employment to disabled and disadvantaged people in and around Welshpool through the delivery of waste management and recycling services across Mid Wales and North Shropshire. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Cae Post is putting together a ‘memory book’ to bring together the thoughts and impressions of the people who have been involved with the organisation over the years.

“Maybe you used to work or volunteer at Cae Post, or maybe you know someone who did,” suggests John Harrington, Chair of Trustees at Cae Post. “Perhaps Cae Post helped you get into employment for the first time and you went on to do other jobs elsewhere. Did you help us get off the ground in the early days or have you benefited from our services in other ways? Whatever, the reason, we would love to hear from you.”

Cae Post started out in 1986 as a small ‘not for profit’ community business set up by a group of parents, professionals and supporters, to help create work for people with learning disabilities. It has now become a highly successful social enterprise providing work opportunities to many people who are disadvantaged in the labour market.

“In the beginning, we operated a residential and employment project for young people with learning disabilities at a cottage called ‘Cae-Post’ in Pool Quay (hence our name!) providing real work and ‘ordinary life’ experiences,” explains John.

Cae Post sorting line“Cae Post began recycling plastic bottles collected from the bring sites of north Powys in March 1996 and, within a year, we were providing 12 days’ work a week to people with learning disabilities at our sorting depot in Trewern, a former council workshop. We now recycle thousands of tonnes of materials each year.”

As a social enterprise, the income generated from Cae Post’s business is used to fulfil its objectives to give more people a chance to be part of the working world.

John says: “There are nowhere near enough places in Shropshire and Mid Wales where people who find it difficult to get work can get training and meaningful employment. We believe Cae Post is an asset to the local community, which is why we thought it would be a nice idea to create a memory book to show how much we mean to people – both now and into the future.”

If you would like to share your memories, please email info@caepost.co.uk, with your thoughts about what Cae Post means to you.

Click here to find out more about Cae Post and their achievements over the last 30 years.