Scottish social enterprise named as one of the best in the UK.
Kelvin Valley Honey is buzzing after being honoured in the SE100 list.
A Scottish social enterprise has scooped a prestigious UK award and been named as one of the best social enterprises in Britain for its work turning an environmental project into a viable business.
Kelvin Valley Honey was set up in 2011 in Kilsyth to reverse a dramatic decline area’s honey bee population.
Four years on, not only has it done so by creating a number of new habitats, it is also turning a profit by selling high end products from the honey and wax produced by the bees.
Added to that, it has taught other communities in the region to do the same.
Kelvin Valley Honey’s efforts were recognised this week at the NatWest SE100 awards which were created to showcase the best of the UK’s social enterprise sector.
The North Lanarkshire social enterprise, along with Liverpudlian furniture recycling and waste management project FRC Group, was deemed to have made the best impact of any social enterprise and scooped a £5,000 prize.
Paul Holmes, chair of Kelvin Valley Honey, said everyone involved is delighted.
He said: “Being named Impact Champion isn’t about the organisation but recognition of everyone who has made this possible, those who benefit from our services, the volunteers and staff who deliver them and of course not forgetting the honey bees whose excessive hard work in producing the honey and beeswax makes everything we do possible.
“Equally gratifying is that we, as the only Scottish enterprise, have been able to exemplify and reinforce awareness of all the great work in transforming the lives of multiply deprived individuals and disadvantaged communities done by Scotland’s hundreds of social enterprises.
“It’s all too easy for people to forget the extent and impacts of economic and social innovation that’s at the very heart of the social enterprise movement north of the border.”
On announcing Kelvin Valley Honey as one of six award winners at the Critical Mass social enterprise conference in London the judges said they had been impressed by its impact in the local community.
Over 600 people have graduated from Kelvin Valley Honey’s Become a Beekeeper for Free programme and it has trained 14 community groups to run replica business models of which four are now up and running generating on average £160,000 per year.
The social enterprise also visits local schools, outsources production of some of its products to people who are housebound through disability or illness and trains others to support them.
Mark Parsons, SE100 judge, said: “The thing that we really like about Kelvin Valley Honey and the reason we awarded them the Impact Champion prize was that they were consistently collecting impact information, qualitative and quantitative, and using that in the decision making of the organisation and they were redesigning services based on the feedback from their service users.
Marcelino Castrillo, managing director of business banking at NatWest, added: “I want to congratulate all this year’s winners, not just on their success in the awards, but on the profound social impact that they are having on our society.”
The above article by Paul Cardwell first published on thirdforcenews.org.uk in Oct, 2015.