- From left Marc Griffiths, Natasha Lee and John Davies
Employees and volunteers were praised at Crest Co-operative’s Annual General Meeting.
FareShare North Wales volunteer Marc Griffiths was awarded Volunteer of the Year for his hard work and dedication.
Natasha Lee, who is a member of Crest Co-operative’s Work Opportunities Team, scooped the Outstanding Achievement award.
Employee of the Year was won by John Davies, who works in the retail enterprise of the business. John Davies is based at Crest Furniture Reclaim (CFR) in Colwyn Bay and was honoured for his outstanding customer service skills and dedication.
Sharon Jones, Chief Executive of Crest Co-operative, praised the hard work of all staff, volunteers and the work opportunities team ( a team of adults with learning difficulties, who have permanent work placements at Crest).
Dad wins a battle with unemployment thanks to Crest and Cartrefi Conwy
A FATHER-OF-ONE has won a battle with unemployment, thanks to a housing association and social enterprise partnership.
Cartrefi Conwy tenant David Gathern, 33, from Old Colwyn, suffered unemployment for more than two years.
The former Waste Management worker struggled to get interviews for jobs during his period of unemployment, despite sending his CV out to potential employers on a daily basis.
David came to social enterprise Crest Co-operative as a volunteer in October 2012. He was soon offered a paid job role with Crest Co-operative, working on a Cartrefi Conwy fencing painting contract in the Peulwys housing estate, Old Colwyn.
In March 2012 David was offered an extended contract on a new 12 month agreement with Crest Co-operative and Cartrefi Conwy. This role involved working in a team to clear unoccupied Cartrefi Conwy properties that became vacant or ‘voids.’ The second part of the job role was to join a team of reactive maintenance workers, working to clear waste after repairs and maintenance had been carried out.
- David Gathen leads a team of reactive workers
David is now expecting his second child with his partner Ceri and has secured a permanent job role working for Crest Co-operative as Assistant Operations Manager.
He will now be line managing a small team, as part of the 12 month Crest Co-operative and Cartrefi Conwy agreement. He will also be responsible for health and safety, compliance and electrical re-use, as part of his role with Crest Co-operative.
David Gathern said: “It’s great to have a secure job now. I came to Crest Co-operative because I knew that they helped people to feel socially included and they have strong ethics.
“From a Cartrefi Conwy tenants point of view it’s great to be involved in all the work that they are doing for the community.
“I’m enjoying the opportunity that I’ve been given and my confidence has improved,” David added.
Rod Williams, Operations Director at Crest Co-operative, said: “David’s willingness to volunteer, and his flexible working approach really impressed me. He is keen to learn, which is why he has developed his skills and knowledge and secured full time employment at Crest. He is now managing his own team, and he is working to strengthen Crest Co-operative’s partnership with Cartrefi Conwy.”
Andrew Bowden, Chief Executive at Cartrefi Conwy, said: It’s great to see the real difference our partnership with Crest Co-operative is making to peoples life.
“We are constantly looking at ways in which we can create sustainable communities to be proud of and this is excellent example of what can be achieved.”Crest’s latest newsletter
Our latest newsletter
We have had a busy few months at Crest Co-operative.
We opened Crest Furniture Reclaim (CFR) on Douglas Road in Colwyn Bay and have given away funding to support local community groups through the Crest Community Fund.
To download a copy of our latest newsletter – The Recycler July – October
POPULAR furniture and electrical store CFR will re-open in Colwyn Bay under new ownership.
Crest Furniture Re-claim (CFR) will open at Dogulas Road, Colwyn Bay on Saturday 7th September.
Crest Co-operative’s high street community store at Station Road, Colwyn Bay will close on Saturday 31st August and will move to the new site.
Join us for the grand opening of Crest Furniture Re-claim (CFR) at Douglas Road, Colwyn Bay, on Saturday 7th September from 9am-5pm.
Find us at…
Douglas Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7PE
Partnership Approach Makes Moving Easy
Residents of West Rhyl have been given a helping hand to move home, thanks to a local authority partnership.
Denbighshire County Council has teamed up with recycling social enterprise Crest Co-operative in a partnership which has been running for the past 16 months. Almost 50 households have already benefited from the service and this week, the local authority has announced that the partnership is to continue and ensure a stress-free move for approximately a further 70 households.
The partnership is part of the West Rhyl Housing Improvement Project. In 2012, Denbighshire County Council, the Welsh Government and Clwyd Alyn Housing Association teamed up to create better quality housing and open community space in an area that has featured at the top of the table in the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.
Residents who previously lived on Abbey Street, Gronant Street, Aquarium Street and John Street, have already benefited from house removals.
Conwy-based Crest Co-operative operates various recycling enterprises. The co-operative works to create employment opportunities for residents across North Wales. Since March 2012 the Denbighshire County Council house removal partnership has created 77 social inclusion placements.
Nikki Jones, Housing Needs Mapping and Resettlement Co-ordinator for Denbighshire County Council, said: “The partnership between Denbighshire and Crest Cooperative was developed to ensure a smooth and stress free house move for residents directly affected by the Housing Improvement Project, and so far all is going very well.
“The scheme has created volunteering opportunities, job placements and has promoted social inclusion. In the past 16 months, 55 West Rhyl households have moved to new accommodation, and residents from 49 of those have benefited from Crest’s house removal service, ” she added.
Rod Williams, Operations Director at Crest Co-operative, said: “The partnership is going from strength to strength, Crest Co-operative are now on Denbighshire County Council’s approved contractors list to deliver services”.Help us save furniture and household electricals from landfill
Did you know that Crest Co-operative is the official bulky waste collector and recycler for Conwy County Borough Council?
Crest Co-operative’s team of drivers will collect furniture and bulky electrical items (washing machines, fridge freezers, ovens and more) from your home.
Councillor Mike Priestley, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, visited Crest Co-operative last week. He backed Crest Co-operative’s campaign to encourage the public to save furniture and electrical items and gave his support to Crest’s Furniture for a Fiver sale. The sale, which was held on Saturday July 13th, was a great success. The sale was held following the success of a £5 furniture sale earlier in the year. The aim of the day was to offer low cost furniture to residents across the Conwy county. Some of the furniture needed TLC or had been on the shop floor for a while.
If you have unwanted furniture and electrical items that you would like Crest Co-operative to collect, call Crest on 01492 596783 to book your collection. Good quality furniture will be collected free of charge, click here for further information.
Shoppers support FareShare North Wales
On 5th and 6th July generous customers helped feed people in need by donating food in Tesco stores to support FareShare and the Trussell Trust.
FareShare North Wales staff, volunteers and supporters were at Tesco in Llandudno Junction.
Staff from Cartrefi Conwy and North Wales Housing supported FareShare North Wales, by volunteering to collect donations at Tesco.
The food will be redistributed to frontline charities across North Wales, such as drop-in centres for homeless people, day centres for the elderly, centres for adults with learning disabilities and more.
FareShare sites across the UK participated in the event. Tesco ‘topped-up’ food donations from members of the public by 30%, making donations go even further.
The food collected – cupboard essentials – complements the predominantly fresh produce FareShare receive from the food industry. Tesco, for example, is redistributing surplus food to FareShare from its online grocery distribution centres and has in the last year provided the equivalent of 300,000 meals.
This is the second food collection event run with Tesco and Trussell Trust. In December 2012, generous Tesco customers donated enough food for an incredible 2 million meals to help feed people in need across the UK. This year, we did even better!
Join the FareShare twitter conversation: #everycanhelps
Find out more about FareShare and how you can help by clicking hereUnemployed? Join Crest’s free work club.
A WORK club has been launched by Crest Co-operative to help local unemployed people.
Crest Co-operative is offering job search training, help to produce CVs and fill in application forms, interview techniques and help with confidence issues and personal presentation.
The sessions will run each week on a Tuesday from 10am-1pm at Crest Co-operative, Ferry Farm Road, Llandudno Junction, LL31 9SF. Unemployed individuals can self-refer or can be referred by Job Centre Plus.
To find out more click here.
Funding boost for Conwy’s eco schools
ECO-FRIENDLY schools have been given a funding boost, for recycling their old clothes.
This week recycling social enterprise Crest Co-operative presented cheques, totalling £1,679.60, to Conwy’s schools and sports clubs. Primary school pupils and sports fans have been busy collecting unwanted clothing in textile banks, provided by the social enterprise.
Over the last four months more than 8 tonnes of unwanted textiles have been collected by schools and sports clubs. Eight schools and two sports clubs have benefited from collecting unwanted clothing in Crest’s recycling banks.
Sharon Jones, Chief Executive at Crest Co-operative, said: “We are extremely grateful to schools across Conwy. They have helped us to divert unwanted textiles away from landfill and by doing this they have helped the environment and supported a local social enterprise.”
Crest Co-operative also encourage schools and community groups, who do not have recycling banks, to collect unwanted clothing in bags. Crest’s team will then collect free of charge.
Crest Co-operative donate £200 to schools, for every tonne of textiles collected. Good quality clothing is sold in Crest’s two community stores, which are situated in Colwyn Bay and Llandudno. Crest Co-operative work with national recycling companies, to re-use any clothes that are not fit for re-sale. The social enterprise is a non-profit organisation and works to create work placements for the unemployed and adults with learning disabilities.
Crest Co-operative’s purple and blue textile banks are situated at 28 locations across the county. To find your nearest textile bank visit click hereCrest Co-operative’s 15th birthday celebrations
STUDENTS from Coleg Llandrillo Cymru cooked up a feast from food that would otherwise be sent to landfill, to mark Crest Co-operative’s 15th birthday.
Catering and Hospitality students at the Rhos-on-Sea college selected food, from the FareShare North Wales warehouse. They transformed the in-date food into a delicious meal for more than 40 people.
Crest Co-operative directors, staff and supporters came together to celebrate 15 years of recycling on Thursday, June 6.
Guests were able to view a 15 year history of Crest Co-operative’s work in the community. The social enterprise was launched in 1998 and has operated several enterprises over the years. The company began as two innovative businesses – Red Box, which produced handmade jewellery and CTS, a graphic design and printing service. The business provided disabled and unemployed individuals with opportunities to gain skills and qualifications.
To download a 15 year history of Crest Co-operative click here.
Since 1998 Crest Co-operative has:-
- Helped more than 1, 035 unemployed people
- Supported more than 100 adults with learning disabilities
- Provided 64, 629 hours of volunteering opportunities
- Provided 37, 795 hours of community payback on behalf of the probation service.
During a week of birthday celebrations, Crest Co-operative held a day of fun for families outside Crest Community Store, Mostyn Broadway, Llandudno. Free hook a duck was provided by housing association Cartrefi Conwy, free facepainting, a tombola and birthday celebration cakes and drinks were on offer. Families took part in a free wet sponge throwing game and children won prizes. The Ghostbuskers and Tudno FM played live music throughout the day. Free facepainting took place at Crest’s Colwyn Bay store on Station Road.
Crest Co-operative’s birthday photo gallery can be viewed below.
STAFF at Crest Co-operative attended a reception on Monday, June 10 at 10 Downing Street to receive their Big Society Award, and meet the Prime Minister.
Crest Co-operative is a sustainable recycling social enterprise, operating a number of recycling initiatives. Crest works to divert functional, household and electrical goods and food away from landfill. Restored household items are sold in two community stores at affordable costs and food is distributed to homeless and vulnerable people through Crest’s FareShare North Wales project. The process creates employment for the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, and ex-offenders, who work in their warehouses and stores at Crest Co-operative.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “These awards are a chance to pay tribute to those making a valuable contribution to their community, the real champions of the Big Society, but perhaps more importantly, I hope they will motivate many others to take action, get involved and drive change in their area.”
Sharon Jones, Chief Executive of Crest Co-operative, said: “Visiting 10 Downing Street was a wonderful experience. We were honoured to be selected for a Big Society Award.
“We spoke to David Cameron about our work in the community and he congratulated us. We were informed we were only the second Welsh non-profit organisation to be selected, since the awards began in 2010, which is fantastic.”
A total of 77 organisations have been honoured with a Big Society Award since 2010.
Help us celebrate Crest’s 15th birthday
Join us to celebrate Crest Co-operative’s 15th birthday. A day of family fun will be held at Crest Community Store, Mostyn Broadway, Llandudno, on Saturday June 1st. Birthday celebrations will take place from 10am-3pm.
We will be offering free celebration cakes and celebration drinks and will be setting up a gazebo in the Mostyn Broadway coach park (next to the shop). Enjoy FREE children’s facepainting, crafts and a hook a duck. Prizes will be on offer at Crest’s tombola.
Our staff will be getting a soaking in the stocks of our wet sponge throwing game. How good is your aim? We will be offering prizes.
The Ghostbuskers will be performing during the day outside our store and community radio station Tudno FM will be entertaining customers.
Crest Co-operative’s mascot, Tommy Textile, will be making a few appearances. Our staff will be giving away free balloons.
Struggling to pay for furniture and electricals in full? Crest introduce payment plans
Good news! Crest Community Store has introduced payment plans.
Crest Community Store offer a 4 week plan for items from £50 – £99, and an 8 week plan for items £100 and over.
Crest Community Store will require a minimum deposit of 10%. Then the remainder can be paid over the 4 or 8 week plan. Customers can pay as little or as much as they like each week, all we ask is that the full amount is paid in 4 or 8 weeks.
We will then deliver when the item has been paid for in full.
Crest Community Store offers low cost furniture and electricals. A large furniture and electrical showroom is situated at Mostyn Broadway, Llandudno. A high street shop is located at 21 Station Road, Colwyn Bay. We offer the payment plan on Ebay items. To visit our Ebay store click here.
* Please note if the agreed amount is not paid every week, there will be a 10% admin charge.
Crest Co-operative’s team of staff will be volunteering in the community to mark the 15 year anniversary of the recycling company.
Employees of the social enterprise, have appealed for public suggestions. They hope to volunteer in the community to celebrate Crest’s 15th birthday. The team of a more than 10 staff will be putting down their work tools for a day during the first week of June and hope to lend a helping hand to a good cause in the Conwy county.
If your community group is in need of some extra help from a team of volunteers, please write to Crest Co-operative at Brierley House, Ferry Farm Road, Llandudno Junction, LL31 9SF, with your suggestion.
Please include your name, the name of the suggested community group, the work that you would like the team to undertake and your contact details.Colwyn Bay store steps back in time
Crest Community Store, 21 Station Road, took a step back in time at the weekend.
It was decorated in 1940s style for the Colwyn Bay Forties Festival.
Thanks to Ann Bland, Crest’s Colwyn Bay shop supervisor.
Free food donations for people in need
HOMELESS people and North Wales residents living in hardship will benefit from free donations of food.
FareShare North Wales will deliver food donations to Rhyl Night Shelter, ARC Communities Ltd, Conwy Foodbank and Dan’s Den, throughout 2013.
FareShare North Wales is run by social enterprise Crest Co-operative. Last year Crest was named Social Enterprise of the Year Wales and was awarded a cash prize of
£1, 000. The funds will be used to help the four community groups.
Tinned and frozen food, turkey crowns, cereal, juice and Easter eggs, are just some of the items that have been delivered to the community groups over the last few weeks. Each community group will receive more than £3, 000 worth of food (retail value) in 2013. The in-date food would otherwise be sent to landfill, due to over orders or damages in packaging. The food is donated by food manufacturers across the UK.
The FareShare North Wales warehouse is located in Llandudno Junction and food is delivered to 33 community groups across North Wales, who pay a membership fee.
Rhyl Night Shelter, which is run by crime reduction charity Nacro, has been operating in the town for 14 years. The shelter provides emergency accommodation for persons aged 18 and over and promotes progress towards settled accommodation and greater independence. The Crescent Road centre is open every day throughout the year and offers breakfast, a meal and a place to sleep at night. From December 21 2012 to March 13 2013, the night shelter filled 619 bed spaces and received requests for help from 61 homeless people.
John Jason Hallwood, 52, has been homeless for several years. He said: “When I come to the Nacro Rhyl Night Shelter I get a warm meal and a warm welcome. Food is so important, it’s a basic need. The staff are brilliant. Rhyl Night Shelter is the most positive place on the North Wales coast for homeless people.”
Rhyl Night Shelter service user Wayne Granger, 44, praised the shelter and the work of FareShare North Wales. He said: “The night shelter is a godsend for homeless people. You get breakfast, a meal at night, a cup of tea and a bed. Food shouldn’t be wasted when there are people who need it. We have had Sunday dinners from the FareShare food, with turkey.”
ARC Communities Ltd runs two drop-in facilities for the homeless and people struggling with alcohol problems in Colwyn Bay and Rhyl. Hot meals, refreshments, showers, clothing facilities and support services are provided. The organisation also runs a Street Drinkers Outreach Service in Rhyl.
The free food donations from FareShare North Wales will benefit ARC’s two drop-in centres, in Colwyn Bay and Rhyl. The Colwyn Bay drop in centre serves 20-25 homeless and vulnerable people daily.
Ruth Cole from ARC Communities Ltd, which operates as a Community Benefit Society, said: “From April – December 2012 we registered 57 new participants at the centre and saw over 4942 participants over the threshold.
“In that 9 month period, ARC served a whacking 11, 100 meals to participants in Rhyl and Colwyn Bay, costing in excess of £11, 000. This funding must be raised from fundraising initiatives and donations, such as those provided by Crest Co-operative.
Non funded, voluntary organisation Conwy Foodbank (formally Conwy Foodshare) works to feed people across the county, who are in crisis and unable to afford food. People may find themselves in financial difficulty for many reasons including family issues, relationship breakdowns, debt and illness. People in crisis are referred to Conwy Foodbank through professional associations. Support workers and organisations, which have referred service users, can collect food parcels from drop off points across Conwy.
Sharon Jones, CEO of Crest Co-operative, said: “We wanted to use the prize money from Crest’s success in the social enterprise awards, to support these vital community services.
“The community groups will receive free food from FareShare North Wales each week. During the year, the food will contribute to meals for hundreds of service users,” she added.
If you are interested in becoming an ARC Communities Member Shareholder, a volunteer or would like to donate food or funding, contact ARC Communities on 01492 535636 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about Conwy Foodbank visit www.conwyfoodbank.co.uk.Crest supports Llandudno’s Victorian Extravaganza
Crest Community Fund has supported Llandudno’s Victorian Extravaganza!The extravaganza received a grant of £500 from Crest Co-operative’s fund to help with the cost of a community stage.
Here we are on the streets of Llandudno, taking a trip back in time to the Victorian era. We are pictured with housing association Cartrefi Conwy, the main sponsor of the stage.
The Recycler – Crest’s new magazine
Crest Co-operative has launched a new short magazine for 2013!
To download your copy of The Recycler click here.
Join us for the opening of Crest Community Store, Mostyn Broadway, Llandudno!
A SOCIAL enterprise will be bringing life back to an empty Llandudno shop unit.
Recycling company Crest Co-operative will be opening a new retail store on Mostyn Broadway, Llandudno on Saturday, February 16. The unit was previously occupied by HSS Hire for several years and is situated at the back of Parc Llandudno.
Shoppers can expect to find a large furniture and electrical showroom, with new and pre-owned goods. The social enterprise currently operates an electrical repair centre. Unwanted electrical items such as washing machines and fridge freezers are collected from the homes of hundreds of Conwy residents. The items are repaired and sold back to the community at a low cost.
The opening of Crest Community Store is set to create work placements for local unemployed people and adults with learning disabilities. Crest Co-operative has already employed three permanent retail staff, ready for the grand opening of the new store.
Mother-of-two Aysha Roberts, 22, from Llandudno, came to Crest Co-operative on a programme aimed at helping young people, who had faced barriers when trying to secure permanent employment. Aysha’s hard work during her time on the Welsh Government funded Jobs Growth Wales scheme, has led to Crest Co-operative offering her a permanent job role as a Retail Assistant at the new Crest Community Store.
Aysha said: “I had a lot of support from Crest Co-operative. I now think that working in retail is where I am meant to be. I love coming to work and I am really excited about the shop opening.”
The opening of Crest Community Store will be welcome news for new parents, who will find pre-owned prams for sale at low prices and nearly new clothing for babies and children. Clothing for adults and accessories will also be on offer.
Although Crest Co-operative’s Llandudno Junction store will be moving to the bigger site in Llandudno, the popular high street shop on Station Road, Colwyn Bay, will remain open.
Gordon Rafferty, newly appointed Area Manager, for Crest Community Store, said: “We aim to reach more people by opening a Llandudno shop that is easily accessible for members of the public. We are looking forward to celebrating the opening and are inviting shoppers to join us for the celebrations.”
Crest Community Store, Mostyn Broadway, will open from 9am-5pm. Opening celebrations will take place on Saturday, February 16. Shoppers will receive a free drink on arrival and Crest Co-operative’s mascot Tommy Textile will be entertaining children.
NEW Llandudno Crest Community Store opening next month!
WE HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS!
We are opening a new shop on Mostyn Broadway, Llandudno (behind Debenhams) on Saturday, February 16th!
The store will have a large furniture and electrical showroom, stocking washing machines, fridge freezers, sofas, furniture and much more!
Our Llandudno Junction shop will close on Saturday, February 9th.
For further details, download the PDF below…
Big Society Award for Crest Co-operative!
Press notice from 10 Downing Street
Crest Co-operative operates a number of recycling initiatives diverting functional, household and electrical goods and food away from landfill, selling restored household items at affordable costs and distributing surplus food to homeless and vulnerable people. The process also creates employment for the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, and ex-offenders, who work in their warehouses and stores.
Since 2012, The North Wales organisation has worked to ensure in-date food does not go to waste. National and local food manufacturers donate quality surplus food to Crest Co-operative’s FareShare North Wales scheme, which is then redistributed to those who need it most. Crest Co-operative deliver the food to 28 community groups across North Wales, who then prepare meals for homeless and vulnerable people. This in turn generates employment opportunities and helps those who volunteer to develop essential skills.
In the last nine months Crest Co-operative has:
- Diverted 56 tonnes of in-date, quality food away from landfill, contributing to meals for vulnerable people at 28 community groups in North Wales.
- Diverted 69 tonnes of household items destined for landfill and restored and sold them to the public at a low cost through its community stores.
- Created 509 work placements and employment opportunities, such as workshop assistants, van driver’s assistants, retail assistants and work placements assisting adults with learning disabilities.
- Created almost 5,000 hours of volunteering opportunities
- Provided 2,391 hours of community payback.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Crest Co-operative has made a difference to a huge number of people across North Wales by making sure food which would otherwise go to waste is made available to vulnerable and homeless people. On top of this they work with unemployed people to deliver the service, helping even more people in local communities.
“Crest has an innovative and compassionate approach to tackling a range of social problems through one enterprise which really demonstrates what the Big Society can achieve. I’m pleased to be presenting Crest Co-operative with this award and hope they continue to grow and reach even more communities.”
Sharon Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of crest said:
“It is all about changing behaviour as well as perception. From a household’s point of view, it is always easier to just throw something away unless there is an easy and cost free alternative. From an unemployed person’s point of view, the longer you remain unemployed the more confidence you lose.
“Crest provides simple solutions to these issues and while these changes do not happen overnight, it is wonderful to see employees gain confidence through a work scheme, and re-integrate into the community after what is often a very long struggle”, says Mrs Jones.
Ann Bland, former volunteer at Crest who was unemployed for six years after illness now has permanent employment in one of their stores. She said: “At Crest it was different. They didn’t just look at my disability, they could see the person.”