At the time of writing, we are taking steps to convert from a Community Interest Company to a Community Benefit Society, which will enable us to have members who hold shares. Community Benefit Societies can pay a reasonable interest to their investor members, and this counts as a legitimate running cost. Beyond that, any surplus income cannot go to the members. It has to be distributed for community benefit.
That won’t be a problem for us – we have plenty of experience in this area! In our tenth year of operation, it is so rewarding to look back at some of the great projects we have supported over the years.
They are all inspiring examples of the community spirit and ingenuity we have in Swansea, and there is a more detailed article about each of them on our Community Projects page.
Down to Earth – Build Me Up: A project teaching sustainable construction skills to people who have struggled in education and/or employment.
Matt’s Café: Enabling a waste-reducing, pay-as-you-feel café (part of Matthew’s House, Swansea) to provide fresh, free takeaway meals during the Covid crisis.
Spring Mills Garden Group: A shared community fruit and vegetable garden purchasing ground cover to suppress weeds and reduce labour time on site, increasing efficiency and yields. ” We’re very grateful to Gower Power for the investment in this simple but transformative method of growing food; it provides a template for our less experienced growers.”
Cyfoeth y Coed: Collecting excess and unwanted fruit (mainly apples) from around Swansea and engaging people in using them in different ways, including free food projects.
Pontarddulais Partnership – Free Food Project: Community garden and food bank also providing training and guidance on cooking, nutrition, and eating well on a small budget.
Feed the NHS Wales: Mobilising chefs on furlough with underused professional kitchens to prepare healthy meals for NHS staff during the Covid crisis.
Swansea Wellbeing Centre – Cocoon: A variety of wellbeing interventions during lockdown with a ‘pay it forward’ model and innovative crowdfunding to enable those on low incomes to participate.
Room to Grow: Improving biodiversity, growing skills and urban green space by creating raised beds on concrete front yards, producing vegetables, fruit and herbs.
Big Meadow CSA – new tunnel and shed: Allowing a relatively new local CSA to increase the quantity and range of food grown and provide a safe, covered veg box collection point.
Clydach Community Garden: An uplifting, connecting community food-growing project taking Social Prescribing referrals (GPs recommending activity for health and wellbeing), reducing social isolation and relieving poor mental health.
Cae Tan CSA – Sustainable Schools: Working with local primary schools on environmental awareness, nutrition and ‘field to fork’ growing and cooking skills. “We are seeing the conversations in schools change as a result of this work.” Jessie, Can Tan Education Officer
If you’d like to have a say in how Gower Power operates in future, and get involved in decisions about how community benefit funds get distributed, get in touch and join our mailing list. You will be notified when our share offer goes live, giving you the chance to become a member of Gower Power, look forward to a projected 6% return on your investment, and help ensure more small grants make a big difference.