Cwm Harry’s Zero Waste Presteigne and Norton was among the winners of Third Sector Awards Cymru, which promote and celebrate the work of the third sector across Wales. Organised by umbrella organisation Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and supported by voluntary sector services specialist Class Telecommunications, the awards were presented at Cardiff’s Park Plaza Hotel on Thursday 19 January by BBC Wales’ Jason Mohammad.
The four category winners were Zero Waste Presteigne from Powys; Llandudno recycling enterprise Crest Co-operative; Carmarthen charity Cerebra, which provides support to children with brain related conditions; and Cardiff-based Safer Wales, which works to help people feel safer in their daily lives. The groups were among 13 shortlisted after being nominated by members or service users in the following categories:
- Best communications activity – for organisations that have an effective or innovative way of communicating their message
- Green award – for organisations that have an innovative policy on reducing their carbon footprint
- Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Award – for organisations that have helped people to be happier and healthier through intervention/preventative work
- Most admired organisation
Jonathan Levy, Chief Operating Officer with Class Telecommunications, said: ‘Class is proud to sponsor the Third Sector Awards Cymru for the fourth consecutive year. Supporting the awards is our way of giving something back to the third sector in Wales, which continues to work extremely hard, often in innovative ways, for the communities it represents.’
WCVA Chief Executive Graham Benfield OBE said it was pleasing to see an increase in both the quantity and quality of nominations for the awards, year on year. ‘While the recession is hitting the third sector particularly hard, these organisations have proved that they are not allowing financial uncertainties to hinder their excellent work,’ he added. ‘The Third Sector Awards Cymru performs the important task of highlighting the achievements of these outstanding groups.’
Class Award for Best Communications: Zero Waste Presteigne
The Zero Waste Presteigne and Norton Service is run by the community with support from the Cwm Harry Land Trust with the aim of reducing waste sent to landfill. The two-year project is funded by the Welsh Government and Powys Zero Waste Action to see how close the community can get to the challenging Wales ‘Towards Zero Waste’ targets or reducing waste by 1.7% a year and recycling 70% of all waste by 2025.
But after just 18 months, the service has smashed both these targets with waste down by 25%, and 75% of what is left being recycled – which compares with just 24% recycling at the start of the scheme. A massive 95% of the community is taking part in the project. Communications, led by Project Manager David Clarke, have been vital in changing the community’s attitude to waste through a multitude of different forms of contact with residents. These have included making waste visible. Rather than whisking it away in a big truck early in the morning, the service uses a converted milk float to collect from just 250 homes a day. This means the team is in the street all day to answer people’s questions. And instead of being hidden in a black bag, landfill refuse is collected in a clear bag as a prompt to take out that last bottle.
Last September, a series of events were held during Zero Waste Fortnight, including a town crier informing each street how much it was sending to landfill that could have been recycled, and a light show projecting landfill statistics that made Presteigne look ‘like Leicester Square’ for two hours. Volunteers have also devised their own communication initiatives, such as handing out recycled fabric bags to mark the introduction of the 5p charge for single use bags.
‘Through communications, the community have gained a better understanding of how to reduce their waste and why it is so important, and this has led them to change their behaviour,’ said nominator Katy Anderson, Zero Waste Development Manager with the Cwm Harry Land Trust.
For more information about Third Sector Awards Cymru please contact Lynne Reynolds on 029 2043 1718 or Jackie Huybs on 07814 070239 or visit the WCVA website