The social entrepreneurs bringing people together and transforming Welsh communities

The social entrepreneurs bringing people together and transforming Welsh communities

Enterprising people in Wales are bringing people together, by building sustainable social businesses. And this St David’s Day, we are publishing a series of three short films to celebrate some of the innovation in Wales that is delivering lasting social impact.

The three social entrepreneurs featured have all been supported by UnLtd; receiving specialist support, mentoring, access to workshops, cash awards and more. It’s part of our unique offer to people in Wales and in every corner of the United Kingdom – we hope these films perhaps might inspire an idea or innovation for your local community.

Jane Ryall, Wales manager for UnLtd, said: “Wales is becoming a real hotspot of social entrepreneurship and innovation. These three stories are just a slice of the innovation and positive social change we’re seeing around the country. In rural and urban areas of Wales, we’re seeing real evidence that when we support people with big ideas for social impact they can make lasting change happen. It’s really pleasing to see more and more Welsh social entrepreneurs working together, to create a movement of social impact.”

Social Soundwaves is a creative arts education service that primarily helps disadvantaged young people with creativity, confidence and developing life skills – all through music creation and using arts as the engagement tool for success. Since it was founded in 2014, Social Soundwaves has delivered services to more than 40 organisations around South Wales, benefitting more than 700 people from different communities and social backgrounds.

The South Wales-based venture is currently without permanent premises, after a tragic fire in its previous location. But the founder Gareth Leaman and his team continue to work with vulnerable young people in schools, youth groups and beyond.

Me, Myself & I was formed in 2013 to provide emotional support, reassurance and opportunities for people in later life. The social venture emphasises friendship and sociability in a relaxed and friendly setting.

Social activities are the heartbeat of the venture. It offers activities such as painting, art group, music, singing, cooking, bingo and more. One of its most popular innovations is the Community Clothes Rack. It’s a chance for people in later life to get shopping again and grab a bargain.

The venture also provides valuable learning and training opportunities for local unemployed in care and dementia, helping them regain their confidence and build a better life again.

Beyond The Boundaries is a beauty salon based in Flintshire. It creates jobs, learning and development opportunities for people with specific additional support needs.

It was founded by Jill Smith, all inspired by her nephew Lewis. The salon offers hair and nail treatments, reflexology and more. A friendly place, that’s become a thriving heart of the community.

The young adults supported have specific roles and responsibilities to help the successful running of the popular salon, generating a real sense of pride and teamwork. At the same time, they gain formal qualifications to help them secure future employment.


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