Somerset Wood Recycling, Weston-super-Mare
Somerset Wood Recycling is a not for profit social enterprise, set up in 2007 by Tristan Tudor and Liz Roberts to re-use and recycle waste wood, as well as to support regeneration in Weston-super-Mare. We are part of a network of similar wood recycling projects across the UK, affiliated to the National Community Wood Recycling Project.
We are collecting and re-using only a small percentage of the waste wood produced in the Weston area, so there is a lot of room for us to grow. We produce a wide array of products - all made from 100% recycled wood and are developing new products all the time. Our next big project is to build eco-coffins.
We want to increase our collections, the volume of products we make and the commissions we undertake. Also, crucially, we want to carry on contributing to the regeneration of Weston by offering volunteering, training and employment opportunities to local people.
We now employ 10 full time staff, 2 part time, a modern apprentice and approximately 30 volunteers. Four of our full time staff started with us under the Future Jobs Fund – giving long-term jobs to long-term unemployed people.
We run courses around recycling and the reuse of wood. These courses are designed to challenge how people see waste and encourage creativity and teamwork at the same time as learning some woodwork skills. We have also started to run “Build it!” sessions in local schools, where pupils get the opportunity to have a go at making things from recycled wood.
We are registered with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier and our services are used by established local businesses such as John West, The Marble Mosaic Company, O.D Cope and Co. Ltd., Cabletec, Radiodetection, Ringway Signs and Mitchell Co.
We were awarded the Santander Social Enterprise Development 2011 Awards for the South West. The £50,000 award bought new machinery for our workshop and a van to transport materials and personnel.
In 2012 we moved from premises on the Oldmixon Crescent in Weston to larger premises at the Motex Centre. We like being in Weston, in North Somerset, as North Somerset Council has been ‘switched on’ to us as a social enterprise that can provide a competitive service whilst at the same time achieving good social outcomes on the ground – training, employment etc. Our work for the council as contractor for Green Infrastructure, which we competitively won, has majorly assisted us in sustaining our business.