Project Sylfaen: Firming the foundations of community-based environmental organisations
In 2019, Cynnal Cymru, in partnership with Wales Co-operative Centre, won funding from the Co-op Foundation to take six community-led environmental organisations in Wales on a development journey. The aim was to deliver a bespoke programme of capacity-building support to help enhance the engagement, governance, business planning, income generation and other skills needed to sustain a successful community venture.
The six organisations selected through an open recruitment process have already received a root and branch review of their skills and development needs and the next five months will see a programme of training sessions to meet these. They will be accompanied by regular peer-learning and networking activities to reflect on learning, share experiences and seek ways to widen stakeholder engagement and input. The first sessions on Safeguarding and Enterprising Leadership have already taken place.
Here at Cynnal Cymru we are particularly interested in how organisations can develop to incorporate all aspects of sustainable development and contribute to both foundational and stakeholder economies. Although Sylfaen focuses on voluntary sector organisations and community councils, we recognise that these are cross-sector challenges that all organisations face and need to address if the vision of a just, inclusive, low-carbon and sustainable future is to be realised.
We look forward to sharing, with members and others, the learning and insights that the Sylfaen process uncovers.