Cae Post 30th anniversary
Cae Post recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, so we thought we would take a look at what we’ve achieved in that time and look ahead to the future and our next 30 years…
What started out as a small community organisation to help create work for people with learning disabilities, has now become a highly successful social enterprise recycling thousands of tonnes of materials each year and providing work opportunities to many people who are disadvantaged in the labour market.
Our early years
Set up in 1986 as a ‘not for profit’ community business by a group of parents, professionals and supporters, Cae Post had the purpose of finding or creating meaningful work for people with learning disabilities. In the beginning, we operated a residential and employment project for young people with learning disabilities at a cottage called ‘Cae-Post’ in Pool Quay near Welshpool (hence our name!) providing real work and ‘ordinary life’ experiences.
This project quickly expanded to provide employment in the wider community and for a number of years we worked in partnership with the Llanfyllin based Mencap project, which provided forestry work for people with learning disabilities.
By 1991, our garden services and landscaping initiative was up and running, creating part-time work for people with learning difficulties, and this eventually led to Cae Post offering a Christmas tree recycling service in Welshpool and Newtown. Our collaboration with Powys Council grew out of this project.
Cae Post began recycling plastic bottles collected from the bring sites of north Powys in March 1996 and, within a year, we were providing 12 days’ work a week to people with learning disabilities at our sorting depot in Trewern, a former council workshop. In 1998 we got our first van to collect the plastic bottles and transport them to our depot.
By 2000, every householder in Welshpool was being provided with clear sacks for recycling, which were collected by Powys County Council and delivered to Cae Post for sorting. To handle the ever increasing amounts of recycling, in 2002, with funding from the Wales Assembly Government and in partnership with Powys County Council, we opened our new Resource Recovery Centre in Trewern.
Cae Post had 20 paid staff and almost 40 supported volunteers by 2003. We were operating 35 bring sites and sorting recyclates from over 13,000 households in north Powys. And then, in 2006, our rural kerbside collection of recyclable materials began. This saw us working with Powys County Council to collect plastic, glass, paper, card, cans, tins and textiles from over 5,000 households in north Powys.
Into the future
We now recycle thousands of tonnes of materials each year and, although our kerbside collection contract with Powys County Council is due to end next year, we have been successfully developing our trade recycling service to businesses and organisations across Powys and north Shropshire and we are constantly investigating new opportunities.
“The story of Cae Post is one of adaptation and change,” says John Harrington, Chair of Cae Post Trustees and one of the Founders of the charity. “Our focus has always been on providing help to those who are disadvantaged in the jobs market, but how we achieve this has inevitably developed over the years.
“As we celebrate our latest milestone, we are looking forward to continuing to work towards our mission of supporting the environment and those seeking work and we are excited about the future and the opportunities it will bring.”
Take a look at some of our highlights from the last 30 years!
30th birthday party
Over 100 people gathered at Welshpool Town Hall on Saturday 26th November to celebrate our 30th birthday and to witness the first ever Cae Post Red Dragon Awards. Read more here and see the photos.