Low Carbon Economy

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 >>

Carbon Literacy

Carbon Literacy

Join over 16,000 individuals committed to tackling climate change

Carbon Literacy is:

“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.”

The Award-winning Carbon Literacy Project aims to ensure that every citizen receives at least one day’s worth of learning so that they understand the links between human activity and climate change while empowering individuals, communities and organisations to take action to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.  

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

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. The climate science is pitched for beginners but the approach to enabling and identifying positive action works for all abilities.

This course is suitable for those in a position to lead, organise or support others. This could be senior managers and teams leaders, board members or trustees, support workers or volunteers.

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.

£95 + VAT
  • Price per person
  • Discount for Cynnal Cymru Members
  • Dedicated Tutor
  • For individuals as part of a open group of up to 15 people
  • Peer-to-peer learning through open group sessions
  • Access to this course for as long as it's on available at Sustainability Training Wales
  • *A digital certificate unique to you

For groups

Teams, community groups or small organisations of up to 15 people will develop a shared understanding of how organisational activity relates to climate change and be able to design responses that are relevant and appropriate.

£850 + VAT
  • Price per group booking
  • Discount for Cynnal Cymru Members
  • Dedicated Tutor
  • For teams of up to 15 people
  • Peer-to-peer learning across the team
  • A unique opportunity to learn together
  • Access to this course for as long as it's on available at Sustainability Training Wales
  • *A digital certificate unique to each member of your organisation

Across organisations

For larger organisations and consortiums that want to take the next step to becoming a Carbon Literate Organisation through support with roll out of peer to peer learning and the creation of tailored courses for different learner groups.

£1250* + VAT
  • *Prices from £1250 for a one bespoke course
  • Discount for Cynnal Cymru Members
  • Dedicated tutor
  • For multiple teams across an organisation
  • Peer-to-peer learning rolled out across multiple teams
  • A unique opportunity to learn together
  • Access to this course for as long as it's on available at Sustainability Training Wales
  • A bespoke course, tailored for your organisation
  • *A digital certificate unique to each member of your organisation

Get in touch

Email: training@cynnalcymru.com

Phone: 029 2043 1746

Time Commitment

Duration

Across one week

Self Directed Learning

4 - 6 Hours

Facilitated Sessions

4 Hours

Certification

Subject to completion

*On successful submission of your evidence form and commitment as an individual you will receive your Carbon Literacy certification.

Pre-course

Monday

Tues – Wed

Thursday

Friday

Pre-course

Self-directed Learning
1 - 2 hours

Monday

Virtual Lesson
10 - 11:30am

Tues - Wed

Self-directed Learning
2-3 hours

Thursday

Virtual Lesson
10 - 11:30am

Friday

Evidence Form
30 minutes

Quiz

Test your knowledge

Quiz

Test your knowledge

Evidence Form

Self-directed Learning
30 minutes

Thursday

Virtual Lesson
13:30 - 14:30pm

Rhodri Thomas

Principal Sustainability Consultant

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

Bethan Harvey

Training Officer

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

The Carbon Literacy Project

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 Project divides ‘everyone’ into three distinct audiences – those that live, those that work, and those that study. This allows every citizen to be offered Carbon Literacy learning in a way that has immediate meaning for them.

We have been working with the Carbon Literacy Project since 2017 to help accelerate action on climate change, by providing organisations with the training and support needed to reduce their carbon emissions.

The Project delivers no training directly, but works with a host of people and organisations from all walks of life, that all deliver training that is accredited against the Carbon Literacy Standard. The Project then assesses participant’s and certifies successful candidates with their own uniquely numbered Carbon Literacy certificate.

Due to this ‘crowdsourced’ approach, working with everyone, from all walks of life, The Carbon Literacy Project is globally unique – there is nothing else quite like it anywhere. This was recognised by the United Nations at the UN climate negotiations, COP21, in Paris in 2015, where the Project was awarded TAP100 status, – one of 100 projects worldwide recognised as Transformative Action Programmes, that could materially change the way we deal with climate change.

The Carbon Literacy Project has, from its inception, always been a massive collaborative project. It involves people and organisations from all sectors and walks of life working together and contributing time, materials and funding to advance understanding and action on climate change. The Project is wholly owned by The Carbon Literacy Trust, a registered charity (No 1156722) established in 2013 to take responsibility for The Project in perpetuity, for the public good.

Sustainable Academy Awards


www.sustainableacademy.wales

The Awards recognise the amazing people, projects and initiatives that are contributing towards the seven National Well-being Goals and the five Ways of Working described in the Well-being Future Generations Act.

With collaboration and connection at the heart of the celebration, the annual Awards Ceremony brings together a diverse audience of businesses, charities and third sector organisations.

170 people attended the 2019 Awards Celebration at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.


In 2019 over 12,000 individual votes were received across the 24 finalists voting profiles.

The Awards take place each year at the end of November, where we announce the winners from each category.

The Awards were developed in partnership by Cynnal Cymru and RenewableUK Cymru. The Awards were held for the first time in 2018, and are a fusion of the Cynnal Cymru Sustain Wales Awards and the Wales Green Energy Awards, organised by RenewableUK Cymru.


Sponsorship Opportunities

There are a number of excellent sponsorship opportunities to sponsor categories and various aspects of the event.  To find out more details about what is available, please get in contact with awards@cynnalcymru.com

22-25 March | Carbon Literacy Open Course

Join us for the next Carbon Literacy open course where you will learn about the links between human activity and climate change and develop the knowledge to enable you and your organisation to take action to reduce carbon emissions.

Who should attend?

Carbon Literacy works on the principle of peer-to-peer learning and encourages people to learn together, sharing knowledge and experiences along the way. The climate science is pitched for beginners but the approach to enabling and identifying positive action works for all abilities.

This course is suitable for those in a position to lead, organise or support others. This could be senior managers and teams leaders, board members or trustees, support workers or volunteers.

About distance learning

The majority of the course involves self-directed study through our new online learning platform. This will include suggested reading, links to further examples and research as well as links to videos to watch.

The course will also includes three interactive sessions with your course-tutor and fellow students.

  • Duration across one week
  • Self-directed study 4-6 hours
  • Facilitated sessions 4 hours

For more information and to book online, visit the new training section of our website or contact us at training@cynnalcymru.com

WHAT PREVIOUS ATTENDEES HAVE SAID: 

“Course was well delivered – good videos and supporting info”

“I gained a better understanding of climate change and what needs to be done NOW! Enjoyed the presentation and group work.”

“A good balance between presentation and group work. The tutor was likeable and engaging.”

“A valuable course that gave me all the tools I needed to disarm climate sceptics and convey the utter madness of inaction. Motivating and empowering, time truly well spent.”

COST AND BOOKING

Non members £95 plus VAT* per person plus £10 certification fee

Members £85 plus VAT* per person plus £10 certification fee


The Carbon Literacy Project

Carbon Literacy is a concept created in Manchester by Cooler Projects Ltd. and administered by the Carbon Literacy Trust.

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.

National Museum of Wales, Public Health Wales, Tai Ceredigion, Grwp Cynefin, Acuity Legal, Welsh Government, Trivallis, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, Social Farms and Gardens are just some of the organisation that have benefited from our course.

It is now your chance to join a growing movement!

Riversimple Appoint Juergen Maier as Commercial Partner Custodian Director

Maier joins the Welsh hydrogen car manufacturer as they approach volume production

Juergen Maier CBE joins Riversimple after retiring from Siemens a year ago. Maier is actively involved in roles that are focused on accelerating positive change – he is Chair of the Digital Catapult, Co-chairs Made Smarter and serves on the Industrial Strategy Council, which advises Government on Industrial Strategy.

He is also a strong advocate for the modern re-industrialisation of the North of England and is Vice Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. From his years at Siemens, Juergen has notable experience in collaborating with commercial partners in a wide number of fields, so he comes to the role with a great depth of understanding.

The Commercial Partners Custodian represents the interests of all commercial partners engaged with Riversimple, while also ensuring that Riversimple operates in a manner that is fully consistent with its purpose – namely to pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport.

Working with commercial partners, Riversimple’s goal is ultimately to build up a network of relationships that are inherently aligned rather than competitive – and anchored in circular business models based on service rather than product sales.

Maier explains his interest in Riversimple:

My 33 year career has been characterised by technology disruption creating exciting new industries, supporting technology’s role in creating a more sustainable world, and all of that having a positive societal impact. I can’t think of another company that embodies all of this as well as Riversimple. I’m very much looking forward to working with an incredibly ingenious team, creating a new revolution in zero-carbon transport, and creating prosperity for society through that.

Estelle Clark, Steward for Riversimple, said:

“We can already feel the power and focus that Juergen brings to this role. It is a privilege to hear his fresh perspective on Riversimple’s plans and ambitions.”

Riversimple’s Chairman, Guy Battle, commented:

“Juergen’s role will become vital as we approach volume production. We are developing a nascent technology and that needs cooperation, trust and alignment among the players involved. We’re delighted to have such a strong team player at the heart of Riversimple’s value network.”

Climate Change – the Facts

Optional for All

To begin, if you have not already seen it, please watch Climate Change- The Facts.

This one-hour documentary, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, will provide an introduction to climate change as well as an overview of how communities and ecosystems across the world have been affected by climate change over the past few years. 

Once you have watched the documentary, please move to the next activity.

A Guide to the Well-being of Future Generations Act

It will make the public bodies listed in the Act think more about the long-term, work better with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined-up approach.

Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for sustainable development in Wales. Our mission is to make Wales the first Sustainable Nation. Cynnal Cymru’s overall focus is on developing and promoting a sustainable, resource-efficient and low-carbon society through engagement with enterprises, the third sector and communities. We connect local and national organisations together from across Wales to help each other develop more sustainable solutions and deliver on the Well-being of Future Generations Act. This will help us to create a Wales that we all want to live in, now and in the future.

To make sure we are all working towards the same vision, the Act puts in place seven well-being goals.

Sustainable Development Principle and Ways of Working

The Act puts in place a ‘sustainable development principle’ which tells organisations how to go about meeting their duty under the Act.

There are five things that public bodies need to think about to show that they have applied the sustainable development principle. Following these ways of working will help us work together better, avoid repeating past mistakes and tackle some of the long-term challenges we are facing.

Why do we need this law?

Wales faces a number of challenges now and in the future, such as climate change, poverty, health inequalities and jobs and growth. To tackle these we need to work together. To give our children and grandchildren a good quality of life we need to think about how the decisions we make now will impact them. This law will make sure that our public sector does this.

More information

For a summary of the Act see a copy of the booklet ‘The Essentials’.

You can find out more about the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act on the the Welsh Government website.

Sustainable Academy Spotlight Event Recap

Thank you to everyone that attended our Sustainable Academy Spotlight last week (03 December) in partnership with Renewable UK Cymru and to our past award winners Meleri Davies, Paul Allen and Grant Peisley and our headline sponsor, Sarah Williams, who all shared their progress over the past 12 months and insights into future ambitions and projects. 

Sarah Williams, Wales & West Utilities – Headline sponsor of Sustainable Academy Awards 

Sarah Williams shared Wales & West Utilities sustainable plan for the future, including four key business areas that Wales & West Utilities is currently developing: 

  1. Investing in green gases – hydrogen and biomethane
  2. Delivering a net-zero ready gas network by 2035
  3. Committing to zero to landfill by 2035 
  4. Increasing electric vehicle use

The organisation is keen to speak to any partners that would like to form a green panel. Please email sarah.williams@wwutilities.co.uk if you’d like to be included.

Meleri Davies, Partneriaeth Ogwen – Winner of Sustainability Champion 2019 

Last year’s Sustainability Champion winner, Meleri Davies shared details of her hometown in the beautiful Ogwen Valley and the Partneriaeth Ogwen enterprise which seeks to bring together the economy, language and culture, the environment, society and sustainability. 

Over the past twelve months, the project has grown in strength and size, taking over the community library where various sustainable measures are in place, including edible plants on the land, utilising renewable energy and the use of an electric car.  

She shared more about Ynni Ogwen, which is a project that produces electricity from hydroelectric power from Afon Ogwen and finally, ideas for developing a future plan for sustainable tourism in the area. 

Learn more about their work here: www.partneriaethogwen.cymru 

Paul Allen – Centre for Alternative Technology – winner of the Special Award 2019 

Winner of the Special Award 2019 for his dedication and work with the Centre for Alternative Technology, Paul discussed the cycle of demand for renewable energy and the policies and measures that could be put in place for people to understand and action zero-carbon solutions.

He touches on the importance of Carbon Literacy training to all people in leadership in Wales and also the importance of citizen engagement with local Councils on the declaration of a climate emergency and related action plans. 

Click here to find out more about CAT’s work and Zero Carbon Britain. 

Grant Peisley, YnNi Teg – winner of Outstanding Renewable Energy Project 2018 

Our 2018 winner of Outstanding Renewable Energy Project, Grant Peisley, Director of the community wind turbine project YnNi Teg delves into the success of the project over the past 12 months. 

He shares that 2000 tonnes of Co2 has been saved since 2016 and that a total of 16,000 tonnes will be saved over its lifetime. Also, Grant shared the organisations latest campaign ‘pants powered by wind’ which received the away for Best Community Energy photo of the year.

YnNi Teg’s current goal is to develop more similar projects across Wales, starting with the Bretton Hall project which is in the works for 2023. Grant is working on raising £30million in order to complete the plan for building a solar farm. 

It was great to see so many faces to celebrate action towards a more sustainable Wales. We hope that next year we will be able to hold the Sustainable Academy Awards again. If you would like to keep up to date with the awards, please visit www.sustainableacademy.wales and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for regular news and updates.

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