A LLANDUDNO Junction-based social enterprise tackling waste and unemployment has won a UK Government award and praise from Prime Minister David Cameron.
Crest Co-Operative won the Big Society award for its work in recycling, and providing jobs, voluntary positions and community service in Wales.
The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010 with the aim of acknowledging individuals and organisations across the UK that contribute to the Big Society in their work.
Mr Cameron said: “Crest Co-operative has made a difference to a huge number of people across North Wales by making sure food which would otherwise go to waste is made available to vulnerable and homeless people.
“On top of this they work with unemployed people to deliver the service, helping even more people in local communities
“Crest has an innovative and compassionate approach to tackling a range of social problems through one enterprise which really demonstrates what the Big Society can achieve.
“I’m pleased to be presenting Crest Co-operative with this award and hope they continue to grow and reach even more communities.”
Secretary of State for Wales David Jones added his congratulations
Mr Jones said: “I am delighted that Crest Co-operative, a Llandudno Junction based social enterprise has won the Big Society award today.
“I commended the great work Crest Co-operative were doing in February 2011 – the social enterprise is a true example of the power of the third sector changing people’s lives for the better. They truly deserve this award, as they are a great example of the Big Society in action, and through their hard work and dedication many people are benefiting.”
In the past nine months, Crest has diverted 125 tonnes of food and household items away from landfill.
Crest Co-Founder and CEO Sharon Jones said: “Crest provides simple solutions to these issues and while these changes do not happen overnight, it is wonderful to see employees gain confidence through a work scheme, and re-integrate into the community after what is often a very long struggle.”
The organisation also created more than 500 jobs and work placements in a range of fields.