Low Carbon Economy

Carbon Literacy Consortium

Carbon Literacy
Consortium

Consortium model
for Carbon Literacy training

Cynnal Cymru’s consortium model for Carbon Literacy training was first developed with the formation of the Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC) consortium of Welsh registered social landlords (RSLs) in 2019.

The CLCC’s aim was to increase Carbon Literacy within the member organisations, pooling money and resources to increase training capacity and knowledge across the consortium. Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales continues to provide secretariat, mentoring and expert training support for the CLCC, which currently has 25 members across Wales, representing 128,539 homes.

The benefits of a consortium

There are multiple benefits to delivering Carbon Literacy training via a consortium. The model provides a coordinated structure through which:

A course can be tailored for your industry

A Carbon Literacy training course that is tailored to the industry can be designed and accredited;

A network can be developed and nutured

A network of peer-to-peer trainers, knowledgeable about the organisation and industry, can be developed and nurtured;

Knowledge is widely shared and understood

A platform for sharing knowledge across member organisations can be supported;

Capacity can be increased

Carbon Literacy training can be delivered to all staff within an organisation, with the economic and operational benefits conferred by having a Carbon Literate-staff base;

Costs can be shared

A central fund, to which each member organisation contributes, can be allocated by agreement to any further projects aligned with member needs.

The structure and scope of a consortium are by its nature flexible; organisations looking to create a consortium for Carbon Literacy training can agree a model that fulfils their individual requirements. 

This may include:

Structured planning and progression

Consortium-wide meetings on a monthly, quarterly or biennial basis to review progress and identify any further needs;

Continuous improvement

Regular Community of Practice (CoP) meetings to provide support, guidance and continuous improvement to trainers;

Collaborative communications

A communications team drawn from across member organisations creating joint content for social media, press releases and communications campaigns;

Collaborative success

A design team drawn from across member organisations working with Cynnal Cymru and the Carbon Literacy Project to ensure that the training course is industry-appropriate and fully accredited within a set timeframe;

Dedicated support

Any additional bespoke work agreed with Cynnal Cymru to support the core proposal.

Member organisations would determine the model during the initial phase, when a proposal would be drafted and agreed. The details of the creation, launch and ongoing management of the consortium would be agreed by the members, but would follow a similar process to the one detailed below:

Get in touch

training@cynnalcymru.com

029 2043 1746

We typically work Monday -Thursday, 9-5pm

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Integrated Sustainability Training

Integrated Sustainability Training

Learn how to create a sustainable development strategy for your business.

New legislation coupled with a significant and growing market demand for brands, products and services that demonstrate positive environmental and social impacts along their supply chain means that sustainability is now essential for every business.

This new training programme is proven to equip participants with the critical skills and practical know-how to build meaningful action plans and implement purposeful strategies that respond to both the climate and nature crisis, whilst satisfying customer needs and building commercial success.

Delivered as a series of tutor led modules, underpinned by best practice examples and supported by one to one guidance, our expert trainers will guide each participant to develop, test and refine their own sustainability plans and gain confidence to immediately take action where it matters.

Course essentials

Peer-to-peer learning

Up to 12 people

Committment

15 hours across 8 weeks

Learning options

Online or in-person

Certification

Subject to successful completion of the course

Who is this course for?

Designed by Cynnal Cymru and Ecostudio and informed by evidence-based practice, this training is for owners, senior and aspiring managers from ambitious businesses that want to:

Your course tutors

Rhodri Thomas

Cynnal Cymru - Sustain Wales

Rhodri Thomas is the Principal Sustainability Consultant and Training Lead at Cynnal Cymru. Rhodri is educated to Masters level in Environmental Management and has a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and is a certified Carbon Literacy trainer.

Iain Cox

Ecostudio

Iain is an award-winning sustainability consultant and business mentor. His experience is in designing training programmes, advising policy makers and delivering projects that build thecapacity and capability of project teams to do sustainability for themselves.

Since establishing Ecostudio in 2008, he has helped many organisations to build commercially sound strategies, create responsible brands and innovative products, packaging and services, that deliver measurable environmental performance and social value for their customers, clients and stakeholders.

About Cynnal Cymru

Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for Sustainable Development in Wales.

About Eco Studio

Ecostudio is an award-winning sustainability and circular economy consultancy.

Get in touch

training@cynnalcymru.com

029 2043 1746

We typically work Monday -Thursday, 9-5pm

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Frequently asked questions

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Our monthly newsletter includes a round up of the latest sustainability news as well as updates on our latest training opportunities.

‘Massive Smalls’ – How RC2 are reducing their dependence on fossil fuels one small project at a time.

Heating and renewable energy installers Heatforce Wales helped Llandaff based RC2 (property & regeneration consultancy) in their journey to achieve “net-zero” carbon status.

Spearheaded by business owner Robert Chapman, RC2 have been on a path towards carbon neutrality for many years, and the project with Heatforce is the latest in a series of investments.

“Over several years now, we have continually invested in Bush House (our head office) as part of our goal to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to become more sustainable,”

said Robert

These investments have included:

  • Installing 14 Solar Panels
  • Improving the fabric of the property to improve energy efficiency and sound insulation
  • The installation of LED lighting throughout both floors
  • The installation of insulation material in the attic space
  • The installation of smart meters 

However, in 2021, Robert decided to completely remove his dependence on fossil fuel gas to heat the property and began looking at alternatives.

“After a considerable amount of research, I decided that an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) would be the most efficient means of heating the property without using gas,”

said Robert.

“However as this was not a “new build”, I needed to find a company that could retrofit an ASHP, and so began my journey towards Heatforce”, he continued.

He initially found a national firm that could provide the ASHP, however, it became apparent that while they could indeed install the system, they were unable to connect it to the existing heating system in the property.

All looked lost until a chance meeting with Jake Maddocks, Director of Heatforce, gave hope that the project could remain on track.

“Robert had used Heatforce previously, but was unaware we had moved into renewables,” said Jake. “We both share a passion for the environment, so when he explained the predicament he was in, I knew instinctively it was something we could help with,” he continued.

With extensive experience in transferring both commercial and residential buildings across to renewable forms of energy production, Jake and his team were not only able to install the ASHP but also retrofit it to the existing heating system.

Planning was submitted by Robert at the end of July 2021 and within a month, the project was given the green light. Fortunately, the lockdown meant no staff were on-site, so the Heatforce team were able to move quickly.

“We started by upgrading the existing heating infrastructure (installing new pipes and replacing the old single radiators with double radiators) and then installed the ASHP, before connecting it all together,” said Jake.

Once switched on, the system worked perfectly.

Robert was able to remove his dependence on gas to heat the property and thanks to the system installed, he gets 3.86 watts of energy for every 1 watt used.

More importantly, the project fits in with his ethos of “Massive Small.”

‘‘Massive Small responds to the frustration of failed grand plans and vast rollouts,” said Robert, “and builds on the success of distributed ‘small’ projects that model new solutions to old problems. A collection of small projects or small initiatives collectively can have a massive impact’’. 

What is more, the installation has taken Bush House from an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of D to a B – a huge jump.

“If more and more businesses realised the savings they can make from replacing fossil fuels with renewables,” said Robert, “not only would they be better off financially, but using the ethos of Massive Small, we could make huge improvements to the environment at the same time.”

A more detailed case study document is available upon request: robert@rchapmanandco.com

Sustainability Glossary for Businesses Unpacked: Net Zero

As a business owner, the word “net” is part of your vocabulary. You make net profit, and you have net profit margins. Net is, as you know it so well, what is left after you take away the expenses and tax. Net in the “Net Zero” is therefore what is left after you reduce your carbon emissions to zero.  

Think of “Net Zero” as a shorthand for lowering carbon emissions from your entire operations to almost zero. However, the emissions that cannot be reduced any further, can be offset.  

According to Climate Change News, this concept has emerged out of discussions in 2013 as to how to convince the world to fully decarbonise, in other words, to achieve zero emissions so that global temperature does not rise above 1.5C and therefore limit the impacts of the changing climate on this planet.  

Knowing this may be difficult to embrace, as no economy or an individual can be emitting zero carbon, Net Zero was introduced instead. Since then, the concept has entered into everyday vocabulary; it has been translated into law in the UK and countless countries and companies have even pledged to be Net Zero by 2050.   

Unlike carbon neutrality, the concept of Net Zero focuses on reduction of emissions as far as it is possible. It is not about offsetting what is emitted into the atmosphere, but rather, it is about offsetting what cannot be reduced after emissions are almost at zero. So when others speak of Net Zero, they hopefully mean the same thing. However, despite its wide use, there was no common definition and so multiple interpretations followed. So, if you feel you got it wrong, do not worry as Net Zero has only recently been defined. In 2022, Science-based Targets Initiative published a Net Zero standard for businesses and in it said that it covers “a company’s entire value chain emissions, including those produced by their own processes (scope 1), purchased electricity and heat (scope 2), and generated by suppliers and end-users (scope 3). Most companies will require deep decarbonization of 90-95% to reach net-zero under the Standard”1

The key message here is that Net Zero means deep decarbonisation in phases in order to archive its target by 2050  while keeping your business profitable in the long term. 

Here is what you can do:

  1. Calculate your carbon footprint – because knowing how much you emit and what parts of the operations have high emissions, you can be practical about decarbonisation. 
  1. Integrate decarbonisation strategy into your business strategy –  because to keep your business going for years to come, you must redesign your operations so they are not impacted by the changing climate, legislation, distruption to supply chains and consumer backlash, 
  1. Set targets and a decarbonisation plan – because this cannot be done in one day and as a business owner you know that having a plan and targets keeps you on the right track. 
  1. Be honest about your efforts before you make the pledge – because staff and consumers stand behind businesses that back up words with actions and as you know it all too well, without them you cannot trade for years to come.  

Net Zero is an opportunity for businesses to thrive for years to come and to be rewarded by consumer and staff loyalty. A sustainable mindset, communication, education and actions are paramount to effective decarbonisation and therefore your future. 

Useful resources for businesses for Net Zero:

Ambitious corporate climate action – Science Based Targets

UK – SME Climate hub

How to Measure, Reduce, and Offset your Company’s Carbon Footprint – FutureLearn

Climate Clauses | The Chancery Lane Project

Carbon Literacy Train-the-Trainer

Carbon Literacy
Train-the-Trainer

Carbon Literacy: “An awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.”

Whether you are an organisation looking to build knowledge and capacity across your whole organisation or an individual in a position to lead, we’ll help you to develop the practical skills, knowledge and confidence to become an advocate for Carbon Literacy with the confidence to be the best trainer you can be.

From an individual...

To a team of colleagues...

To a whole organisation!

The course

Our Carbon Literacy Train-the-Trainer programme is a three day interactive course for organisations that want to develop the skills and capacity to deliver Carbon Literacy training within their own teams. 

Duration

Three days

Facilitated Sessions

Online or in person

Group Sessions

Minimum of four people

£750 + VAT

Per person

Who is this course for?

Carbon Literacy works on the principle of peer-to-peer learning and encourages people to learn together, sharing knowledge and experiences along the way. This award-winning approach enables people of all abilities to work with their colleagues to identify and take positive, practical action

This course is suitable for:

  • For organisations that want to build capacity their own team for peer-to-peer training
  • For individuals who are Carbon Literacy certified and are in a position to train their colleagues in Carbon Literacy.

This is not a formal training / teaching qualification but it will help you and your team to prepare and develop their own Carbon Literacy course.

Course themes:

Being the best trainer you can be

Core principles of adult education, learning how best to convey information to others, creating an atmosphere conducive to learning and sharing, lesson content and planning, and training techniques.

Knowing your subject – being an Advocate for Carbon Literacy

Developing your knowledge of the Carbon Literacy project; history, objectives, The Carbon Literacy Standard, assessment methods, and certification process.

The Practical Element

Presenting a micro-teach and peer assessing the work of others to improve your practical experience of Carbon Literacy delivery

Course tutors

Rhodri Thomas

Principal Training Consultant

Rhodri is the principal training consultant at Cynnal Cymru with over 10 years’ experience in developing and delivering sustainability training.

Rhodri co-ordinates and develops advice and training with a focus on integrated management and reporting, Environmental Management Systems and ‘Carbon Literacy’.

Rhodri has a Professional Graduate Certificate (PGCE) in Adult Education & Training was the first accredited Carbon Literacy trainer in Wales – delivering certified Carbon Literacy training since 2017.

Bethan Harvey

Training Officer

Bethan Harvey is a Training Officer at Cynnal Cymru and leads on the delivery of the online Carbon Literacy open courses.

Bethan has four years training experience both in a community setting and at A-level and a Professional Graduate Certificate (PGCE) in Adult Education and Training.

 

Carbon Literacy logo

About the Carbon Literacy Project

Carbon Literacy is a concept created in Manchester by Cooler Projects Ltd. and its partners. It is governed by the Carbon Literacy Trust.

The Carbon Literacy Project offers everyone a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy learning, covering – climate change, carbon footprints, how you can do your bit, and why it’s relevant to you and your audience.

The Carbon Literacy Project is globally unique – there is nothing else quite like it anywhere. It was recognised as such by the UN at COP21, in Paris, where it was awarded as a TAP100, one of 100 worldwide Transformative Action Programs.

About Cynnal Cymru

Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for Sustainable Development in Wales.

Cynnal Cymru is the official partner in Wales for the award-winning Carbon Literacy Project

In April 2020, Cynnal Cymru was further recognised as a Carbon Literacy Training Organisation – the first in Wales.

Get in touch

training@cynnalcymru.com

029 2043 1746

We typically work Monday -Thursday, 9-5pm

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Sign up for our newsletter

Our monthly newsletter includes a round up of the latest sustainability news as well as updates on our latest training opportunities.

Climate Change Essentials

Climate Change Essentials

An introduction to reducing your carbon footprint

Description

The course

Duration

4 hours

Self Directed Learning

4-5 hours

Who is this Course for?

This course is suitable for

For individuals

Individuals will understand the causes and consequences of climate change, locally and across the world. They will be able to evaluate the contributions they make to climate change and the power they have to make a positive difference.

Standard course

£95 + VAT
  • Price per person
  • Standard course
  • Discount for Cynnal Cymru Members
  • Learn as part of a group of up to 15 people
  • Ongoing access to the course materials
  • A digital certificate unique to you

Courses unique to you

Our standard course can be tailored to reflect your industry or sector. We can also develop the course for different levels and abilities throughout your organisation.

For a more in depth approach we can also help you design a completely new course, unique to your organisation. Please get in contact for more details.

Get in touch

training@cynnalcymru.com

029 2043 1746

We typically work Monday -Thursday, 9-5pm

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Sign up for our newsletter

Our monthly newsletter includes a round up of the latest sustainability news as well as updates on our latest training opportunities.

20,000 UK Citizens now certified as Carbon Literate

Our Government, employers, educators and civil society are all grappling as to how to engage people and organisations in delivering meaningful carbon reduction and action on climate change quickly and at scale.

In very positive news therefore, The Carbon Literacy Project has today announced that more than 20,000 UK citizens have now been formally assessed and certified as Carbon Literate, and as a consequence, pledged and taken well over 40,000 actions to directly address climate change and immediately reduce UK carbon emissions.

Working with citizens, groups and organisations drawn from all sectors of society, The Carbon Literacy Project oversees the delivery of a days worth of learning and action about climate-change. Uniquely however, although quality controlled by the Project, the training is co-designed and delivered not centrally, but by members of the sectors, groups and audiences receiving the training.

Carbon Literacy is thus adaptable for anywhere and yet consistent everywhere, and engages, informs and inspires audiences both to act right now to reduce their carbon emissions, but also to begin to plan and take much longer term action toward a zero-carbon society, whatever they do, and whoever they are.       

The Carbon Literacy Project (wholly owned by The Carbon Literacy Trust, Registered Charity no 1156722) works with citizens and community groups, social housing providers and civil society. It works with employers both public and private sector and organisations from SMEs to PLCs and local authorities and Government, and works in formal and informal education with schools, colleges and universities across the UK.

Because of this unique reach across all organisations and sectors of society, the Project has been able to bring together groups, organisations and individuals, to form unique partnerships and consortia, working and acting together to share ideas, resources, and funding, to achieve far more to accelerate climate action and reduce carbon emissions immediately than any single organisation could ever achieve alone. In summary, in regards to Carbon Literacy: “The whole is far greater than the sum of the parts”.

Because of its unique approach, the training and certification of 20,000 individuals has been performed not by the central Project working alone, but by the vast network of sectoral partners and organisations distributed across the sectors and geography of the United Kingdom and beyond.

Cynnal Cymru played a pivotal role in bringing Carbon Literacy to Wales and have certified over 550 people:

“In 2017, I was the only Carbon Literacy trainer in Wales outside the BBC. Since then, we have collaborated with Manchester Metropolitan University to equip another 60 people within the social housing sector with the skills to deliver their own Carbon Literacy course. This September we launch Cynnal Cymru’s ‘Train the Trainer’ course. Over the last four years I have provided Carbon Literacy to around 500 people from all kinds of background and across a wide spectrum of roles and sectors. Most of these did the course in 2020/21! I am proud to have brought Carbon Literacy to Wales – I now want it to continue its phenomenal growth so that every citizen understands what global warming & climate change are, the relevance to their well-being but most importantly of all, the actions and behaviours they can take in response to this global challenge. We all have a role to play in this – climate change will spare no-one.”

Rhodri Thomas, Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales

“I was honoured to join the cohort of Carbon Literacy Trainers delivering this insightful and motivational training across the UK in 2020. Since then, I have trained individuals from a wide variety of organisations and spanning the globe with attendees from Canada, The US, Australia and Germany – and learned a lot in the process. I’m so pleased to see the 20,000 citizens certified milestone reached as I genuinely believe in the power of this training and see it as climate action; in the carbon reductions made as a result of the pledges but also the course’s reach in that it not only spurs those in attendance into action but allows them to bring their families, friends and workplaces on board too. Everybody has a part to play in tackling the Climate Crisis and Carbon Literacy helps people to realise their role in this and arms them to empower others.”

Bethan Harvey, Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales

Since its inception in 2012 the Project has grown steadily but for the last five years has been doubling in size every 20 months.

As a result of the effective, collaborative approach of Carbon Literacy, the UK Government (Dept of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) has funded Carbon Literacy implementation across the public sector, so that every UK local authority, university and college, government department and NHS department now has access to comprehensive, free, government-sponsored Carbon Literacy Toolkits, to acceleration adoption and implementation.

This has been followed by adoption within the wider private and commercial sector, with collaborative toolkits for social housing, the rail sector, the automotive sector, and museum and galleries all now either launched or in advanced preparation.

Over 60 organisations have now been certified as Carbon Literate Organisations, but over 1500 organisations now have Carbon Literate staff, via some 216 unique certified Carbon Literacy courses, in some nine sectoral consortia developed, presented and delivered by partner organisations taking action on climate across the UK and beyond.

Work by Jacobs Engineering indicates that each Carbon Literate citizen reduces their personal and/or professional resource footprint by between 5% and 15% annually.

“One of the core values of Carbon Literacy is that by working together we achieve far more than any of us could alone.”

“When Carbon Literacy learners are given both knowledge and agency to take action, we see newly Carbon Literate individuals taking personal action at the small scale, but also professionally at massive scale, resulting in real savings of carbon immediately, and a long-term shift towards the kinds of personal and organisational behaviours that will deliver the zero-carbon society that we all need.”

“We could not have achieved this without the work of Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales – who have worked so hard to make this happen and deliver real change now”.

Dave Coleman, Managing Director and Co-founder of The Carbon Literacy Project

Why saving water matters

Being water efficient not only helps to reduce water wastage but as an organisation, you pay for all the water that passes through your meter – so it makes good financial sense to ensure you are not letting any of it go to waste. Taking simple inexpensive measures can typically reduce your water consumption by up to 50%.

Saving water is also good for the environment and will help to reduce the carbon footprint of your organisation. Cleaning and treating water uses valuable energy and resources, and if water levels fall, the wildlife in wetland habitats may suffer. Also, if you are heating your water prior to use, any reduction in water consumption will also have a positive impact on your energy bills.

Calculate your water usage

As with carbon foot-printing, it is important to understand how much water you are currently using in order to reduce your impacts.

The following resources are available to help you in this process:

Water Footprint Assessment

Reduce your water usage

Simple, quick measures to reduce your water usage include installing a water-butt, water-saving taps, and low-flush or dual-flush toilets. More ideas for ‘simple changes’ to help you save water and reduce leaks can be found from Waterwise and The Carbon Trust’s Energy and Water Efficiency’ guide.

Dwr Cymru offer businesses Water Efficiency Audit.

They estimate that most small businesses (or organisations) can typically achieve a 20 – 50% decrease in the amount of water they use.

Their Rainscape project also provides ideas and links to further resources for ‘rainscaping’ buildings; from simple rainwater collection to more ambitious projects such as green roofs. There is also information about ‘porous paving’ which is increasingly required due to recent changes in planning consents.

Flintshire County Council: Investing in ‘micro-care’ to strengthen the foundational economy

Like other counties in Wales, Flintshire faces the interlinked challenges of austerity, an ageing population and a care sector struggling to meet the rising demand for care. With help from Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund, Flintshire County Council has been piloting the development of community-based ‘micro-care’ to help grow the supply of care; create well-paid sustainable jobs; expand choice and deliver high quality care services.

The Covid pandemic has highlighted the importance of social care to vulnerable people and yet, compared to other professions with similar skills requirements, this work is often poorly paid, with challenging conditions and limited opportunities for training and progression. The recruitment and retention of care staff therefore is a challenge, particularly in rural areas.

The Council’s strategic review of the care sector in Flintshire in 2019 highlighted ‘micro-care’ as a potential solution to some of these challenges. Micro-care is defined as care delivered either by a small team or an individual, to a small number of clients, usually at a localised level.

Micro-care offers a number of benefits to both carers and those receiving care services. The smaller caseload allows micro providers to deliver a more personalised, flexible service to those in their care. It also removes the need for lengthy travel times between multiple clients – for which carers are often not paid – making the work less stressful and more financially rewarding.  

Micro-provision also offers an opportunity for self-employment, potentially attracting those wishing to work for themselves – such as informal carers or those in part-time employment- who may not otherwise have thought about joining the care profession.

The Council therefore approached the Challenge Fund to support a 2- year pilot project to grow and support micro-care in Flintshire, with the aim of increasing the number of carers in the county and providing sustainable, well-paid, local jobs to help meet rising care demand.

Funding was awarded in 2019 for a project to directly support micro-carers to start-up, with advice, seed funding and marketing. The grant also enabled the Council to develop networks of micro-providers and to create structures that ensure their practice is safe, legal and high-quality and which will enable the local authority to directly commission services from them.

Micro-care at this scale is new for Wales. While Flintshire County Council was influenced by work undertaken in Somerset and elsewhere in England to support micro-care, because there are differences in legislation and models of care between England and Wales, it was necessary to build a model from scratch that suited the circumstances in Flintshire.

Rob Loudon, one of 2 Micro-Care Development Officers at Flintshire County Council, explains: “In England there is a greater percentage of people needing care who receive a Direct Payment to purchase their own care. In Wales more care is provided by local authority commissioning care agencies. This has influenced how our model has been developed”

The key aim of the Flintshire project was to expand the overall supply of care available. Fundamental to achieving this was to find a way of developing the micro-care market without jeopardising the existing supply of care provided by care agencies and Personal Assistants (directly employed by people in receipt of a Direct Payment).

In England there was evidence to suggest that the growth in micro-care enterprises was creating supply issues for the care agency and personal assistant sectors, as significant numbers of people left those sectors to become micro-carers. This may have been due to a number of factors including a desire to “be your own boss” but also due to significantly higher hourly rates that micro providers were able to charge. 

To address this challenge, and to help ensure the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders, the Council decided to take a pro-active role in micro-care commissioning, setting hourly rates for micro- providers providing care either via a direct payment or a direct commissioning arrangement.

The rate decided upon was £12.63 per hour for 2020/21– well above the minimum rate of £9.50 per hour advocated by the Living Wage Foundation – sufficient to attract new people to the care profession without micro-care jobs being taken exclusively by people already working in other parts of the care sector. Council control over the rates for charging out services also prevented ‘over-charging’ compared to traditional services. This proved a delicate balance between ensuring that micro-carers were paid fairly for their work and not creating such a disparity with wages in other parts of the care sector that there was a mass exodus from one to the other.

A combination of all these measures has contributed to the creation of 14 micro-care businesses in Flintshire, 9 more than initially anticipated. An additional 6 are also in the process of being set up as a direct result of the Challenge Fund project.

As of yet, none of the staff for these new micro-providers have come from other care agencies and, although it is early days for these ventures, Rob believes this is a great sign that the active role the Council is taking in micro-care is bringing more people into the care sector overall.

This in turn is having a positive impact on the people needing care services. As Rob explains “the bottom line is that if we didn’t have these micro-carers in Flintshire there would still be a number of people potentially on our waiting list for care.” In other words, micro-carers have been able to fill the gaps, particularly in rural areas, where care agencies did not have capacity to meet care demands.

The Council is rightly proud that the development of these new enterprises has not only attracted more people to the care profession but has done so in a way that is building local economic resilience through increasing well-paid and sustainable employment options, particularly in rural areas.

Although the project has laid a firm foundation for micro-care in Flintshire, the Council is still navigating challenges in the system – one being the issue of cover if a micro-carer is absent, for example through illness or holiday.

Currently legislation limits the number of people that micro-providers can care for before they need to register with Care Inspectorate Wales as a domiciliary care agency – a step that many small providers are not set up to do. This makes it more difficult for micro-carers to ‘cover’ each other if the number of people that will receive their services, even temporarily, exceeds the registration threshold.

Helping micro businesses develop robust contingency plans is therefore a challenge but one that the Flintshire team are determined to solve through continued cooperation and dialogue with stakeholders.

As the pilot draws to a close, Rob is confident that work will continue to grow micro-care in Flintshire, potentially serving as a model for sustainable foundational economy employment that can be adapted and replicated across Wales.

Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly

In March 2021, it will bring together 50 people from the Blaenau Gwent area to address the question:

What should we do in Blaenau Gwent to tackle the climate crisis in a way that is fair and improves living standards for everyone?

The participants will hear evidence, discuss the issues, and produce recommendations for what local public service organisations, communities and individuals can do to address the climate crisis. The recommendations made will be considered by organisations including Blaenau Gwent Council and will help to shape the climate plans of local housing associations.

The Climate Assembly will explore the overarching question through learning about, and discussion of related sub-themes including housing, nature / green space and transport.

Lead Experts will present information on climate change and the sub-themes to provide context for the discussions.

The Assembly is being organised by four housing associations in Blaenau Gwent in collaboration with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Electoral Reform Society, Cynnal Cymru.

A Steering Group has been established to oversee the organisation and format of the Assembly.

Find out more >>

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