Obituary: Dai Powell OBE

‘Icon and founding father of modern social enterprise’ – HCT Group founder passes away

Founder and former Director of social enterprise operation HCT Group, Dai Powell OBE, passed away earlier this month.

A former coal miner, Dai joined HCT as a bus cleaner and worked his way up through the business over his 29 years there. He was instrumental in transforming the entity from a small community transport provider to a national social enterprise running bus routes and accessible transport services across the country.

The revenue from HCT’s commercial routes was used to fund transport services for the elderly and those suffering from social isolation, as well as to provide training and work opportunities for the long-term unemployed and people at the margins of our society.

Dai was the Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee from 2009-2014 and also chaired the Community Transport Association. In 2006, he was awarded an OBE for services to disabled people. Dai chaired HCT Group since 1993, resigning in 2020. HCT went into administration in September 2022.

Social Enterprise UK’s Chief Executive, Peter Holbrook, commented on Dai’s death: “Dai was someone who was deeply invested in social enterprise, Social Enterprise UK and growing our movement into a global force. He exemplified the values of social enterprise throughout his long career in the sector. He was revered and will be remembered both as an icon and founding father of modern social enterprise. He will be celebrated, remembered and missed. He was a real friend to so many people and respected hugely by those he met. He was joyful, insightful, easy and witty company.”

B&CB expresses its condolences to Dai’s family and friends.

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