Hyderus – It’s all about Community

Since Hyderus first arrived in the small Welsh village of Cwmfelinfach some sixteen years ago, it has been very keen to invest and support the local community and wider area. Investment in local businesses has been one of the company’s priorities and playing an important role in community life is integral to the day-to-day running of its offices. Local issues play a big role in the life of the company and Hyderus is keen to become involved as they arise.

Staff

The vast majority of our team are local employees with various skills and expertise carefully chosen to complement our business. It proves that, when hiring competent staff, it’s not necessary to cast the net far-and-wide when there is perfectly capable staff in the area. Hyderus proves itself committed to its locality and reaps the many rewards that come with recruiting locally such as loyalty and a low staff turnover.

Local expertise

Whenever possible, and it’s almost always possible, Hyderus uses local experts such as IT providers, telecom providers, builders, handymen, gardeners and dog walkers (yes, we have a company dog). They may cost a little more, but the company prefer to source their services locally and invest in the community.

Chapel matters

Mark Chataway makes every effort to attend the local Sardis Chapel and supported it during a particularly difficult period some years ago when it was facing closure. Fortunately, due to the hard work and dedication of several of the congregation, the chapel is still open and going strong. Hyderus even uses the excellent chapel meeting and catering facilities, see below.

Bringing the community together on the subject of renewable energy

Hyderus is excellent at primary and secondary research and a local student studying for her bachelor’s degree in renewable energy reached out for our help. She didn’t know how, but she needed to ask the local community for its views on the installation of renewable energies such as biomass generators as well as wind turbines, methane capture, etc. in the area. Hyderus hired out a room, recruited a wide-ranging selection of the local community, conducted the focus group and analysed the data at the chapel for the community to come along and express their views. Food and refreshments were also provided to thank them for their participation. This effort was pro-bono and will be the first of many we hope. The community response was overwhelmingly positive, and our professional presentation contributed to her first class (with honours) degree. This lead to a scholarship for her masters degree and a local job which saw her plan and execute our valley’s very first wind turbine, hopefully the first of many.

Language lessons for staff and the wider community

A few years ago, Hyderus became the community hub in terms of its efforts in promoting the Welsh language by holding Welsh lessons at their offices in Cwmfelinfach. We invited both staff and local people in the area to participate. Tutors were brought in from Coleg Gwent (based nearby in Pontypool) to teach staff the Welsh in the Workplace course in which many excelled and are continuing to excel.

One of our English staff members, Pat Ashton, moved to Cwmfelinfach some years ago from Suffolk and decided to learn Welsh, not only because of the benefits this extra skill would bring to herself and the company, but also to enable herself and her family to immerse themselves totally in the culture and traditions of their adopted country. We also had an Indian employee who became a star pupil on one of our courses. By offering Welsh lessons to people in the community together with its staff, Hyderus is building on the much-needed skills of younger people in the area. At the same time, it is raising the morale and self-esteem of older people who, along with a wish to learn the language, crave the social interaction that such gatherings bring.

The whole exercise results in helping to retain good employees, encouraging community members to increase their skill base, creating a social hub for the lonely and, of course, helping to ensure the survival of our national language and its usage in an otherwise, predominantly monolingual area.

Sourcing local produce

The company has always sourced everything locally, using the High Street shops as much as possible to run its business. At a time when sub-post offices are closing down, our local post office is thriving. One of the team works there on a part-time basis, and Hyderus use it almost on a daily basis for sending parcels, registered letters and other documentation. The local pharmacy is frequently used by members of Hyderus, as is the barbershop, the local food store and newsagents. You may say that it is convenient to buy locally but is it always cost-effective when running a small business? We have several large supermarkets in the area and could just as easily source our produce from there under one roof. It would make things a lot cheaper for Hyderus, but we want to invest locally and give something back to our community.