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Handcrafted help from The Hive

20 November 2018

With The Hive’s support, Bristol Wood Recycling has saved tonnes of wood from landfill.

The Hive is a programme of support for new and existing co‑operatives. Created by Co-operatives UK, in partnership with The Co-operative Bank, it's for people wanting to start a co‑operative or an existing organisation looking to strengthen or grow. Support ranges from a unique mix of online resources and advice, to mentoring and training.

Together, The Hive gives like-minded people, innovators and groups the support they need to succeed.

One of those organisations that’s benefitted from the expertise and resources available from The Hive is a wood recycling project based in Bristol.

Bristol Wood Recycling is part of a network of wood recycling projects across the UK, but this one is different, because it’s a co-operative. Owned and run by the employees and volunteers that work there, it’s grown into a thriving and successful enterprise that turns wood into good.

They collect good quality timber from construction yards and other businesses around Bristol – timber that would otherwise be wasted. They then sell it on, or create amazing wooden products in their Bristol workshop. To date, they’ve already saved an incredible 4,500 tonnes of wood from landfill.

It now has nine paid employees and works with hundreds of willing volunteers, who last year alone, put in 1,000 days of work.

The project not only offers affordable timber to the local community in Bristol, it provides a place where people can enjoy structured tasks, learn new skills, and most importantly come together with other people from completely different backgrounds.

How did The Hive help?

Bristol Wood Recycling approached The Hive for advice and guidance. The Hive provided a trainer who conducted a review, which then led onto training and support for establishing governance procedures within a co-operative framework.

They now have a directorship that everyone wants to be a part of, with clearly defined responsibilities and procedures for becoming a director.

The Hive provided four days of support, getting to know every part of the business, how it operated and where meaningful changes could be made to formalise their business procedures.

“Being a co-operative means we can reflect everybody that’s within it – everybody’s views have an opportunity to be aired and the decisions we make are very much the collective will of all of us.”

Kaleb Debbage, Workshop Manager

Read more case studies from The Hive

The Hive and GlenWyvis Distillery

The Hive and Leeds Bread Co-op

The Hive and SPSC

The Hive and the SELCE Co-operative

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