You are on page 1of 3

Spice Time Credits facilitate community engagement

and involvement across communities and services.

Spice has been working with Carmarthenshire County
Council over the past two years to develop a
programme that now has 600 members. Participants
have been aged between 3 and 97 years. These
individuals have given over 17,500 hours back to their
community through the scheme through a network of
70 organisations.

Time Credits open up the opportunity to discuss the needs of a community, the wishes, desires,
issues and problems. They bring people together who might not normally meet and offer an
opportunity to be aware of the very idea of a community which is often lost these days. Time
Credits are a form of communication, open to all people without community, there is no backbone
to existence
Carmarthenshire Time Credit member

How Spice Time Credits work: everyone has something to give
People receive Time Credits as a thank you for contributing time to their community or service. They can then spend
Time Credits to access events, training and leisure activities, or to thank others in turn.

Earning Time Credits: Services and local community groups identify current and new opportunities for people to
give their time. The new opportunities are based on the interests, skills and availability of local people.
Spending Time Credits: Public, community and private organisations identify ways people can spend Time Credits
with their services or at events. This can be spare capacity at theatres or swimming pools for example, or for
community services a way of recognising and thanking people for the contributions they have made (trips for young
people on free school meals become trips for young people who have contributed). Spice spending menus include a
wide range of community organisations as well as higher profile opportunities such as the National Botanical Gardens
of Wales and the Millennium Stadium.
Carmarthenshire Time Credits

Impact to Date
Over the last year, Time Credits have been embedded across initiatives to deliver Carmarthenshires Integrated
Community Strategy.

51% individuals earning Time Credits have never or rarely given their time before
84% of participants state that they are very likely to continue giving their time
73% of participants feel they can contribute more.

People in Carmarthenshire are healthier

34% of participants feel healthier as a result of being part of Time Credits. Earners
in Carmarthenshire can spend their Time Credits with Carmarthenshire Leisure
Services, local gyms and fitness providers.

John Moran became a Carmarthenshire Time Credit Earner in May 2013. He
currently gives 4 -5 hours a week and spends his credits at the Ammanford
Leisure Centre fitness. He said I had never used a gym previously, but as a result
of using the gym I have lost two and a half stone in weight and have already felt
the benefits making me feel fitter and healthier. I am hoping to continue using the
gym and to lose some more weight. Because I enjoy being a volunteer it is a
bonus to earn the Time Credits and rewarding to spend them as I would not
normally be able to afford the gym membership.

Participation in Time Credit Earn and Spend activities have also led to
improvements in mental well being. Joanne Simons, a Time Credit earner with
Llaneli Womans aid commented Time Credits have changed my life. After being
in a domestic violence relationship, your confidence, your faith, your beliefs, your
trust in people disappears and you lock yourself away but Time Credits help so
many people out there like myself.

People in Carmarthenshire fulfil their learning potential

I really enjoyed the taster sign language course so much, fantastic teacher and will look brilliant on my CV, Im now
going to college to do level 1 in BSL sign language, Time Credits enabled me to access this course.
Carmarthenshire Time Credit Earner

66% of participants report that they have learnt a new skill as part of their involvement in the Time Credits
Programme. In Carmarthenshire, members have been able to access courses in Food Hygiene, First Aid, BSL sign
language, Community Development as well as sessions run by Carmarthenshire Adult Community Education

Joanne Simons completed a Business Enterprise 2 course with Coleg Sir Gar and now feels has the skills and
confidence to develop her business idea into reality; The course was amazing, hard, stressful, laughter, and most
importantly I made new friends and gained confidence. I have done presentations, powerpoints - to some it may not
seem a lot, but for me its been a huge difference.

Volunteers are supporting Family Learning sessions facilitated by Community First and young people not in education,
employment or training have been able to learn bike maintenance and use their new skills to help others in their

People who live, work and visit Carmarthenshire are safe and feel safer

65% of participants in Time Credit Programmes spend more time with others in their community and 43% have more
trust in people in their own community.
Time Credits have supported the launch of a new Street Buddies initiative where by community members become
the ears and eyes of the community and ensure that local services focus on what matters most to local community
members. Tenants have started to run lunch clubs and coffee mornings, new activities which have helped to address
social isolation on Carmarthenshire Housing Estates.
Earning Time Credits helps to keep your mind alert, you meet new people and learn new skills. It also stops you from
becoming isolated and helps the community to be a safer place to live in - Time Credit Participant

Carmarthenshires communities and environment are sustainable

Time Credits have supported a number of environmental initiatives such as Pride
in Your Patch where local community members actively manage local parks and
green spaces, community clean ups and community involvement in estate
inspections. Tenants have taken more ownership of community spaces and are
now actively contributing to the maintenance of their local area.

Intergenerational projects have brought together different groups in the community
to develop growing spaces. A local youth project contributed their time to clear
and plant flowers in a Glangwilli Community Hospital and have now decided to
build on the enthusiasm demonstrated by young people by developing a local food
project. Community mentors will earn Time Credits by supporting young people to
grow their own food.

Time Credits have also increased the capacity of local community organisations
and enabled them to offer new services such as childrens activities. 84% of Time
Credit earners are very likely to continue giving their time & 73% of participants
feel they can contribute more, contributing to the sustainability of local community

Carmarthenshire has a stronger and more prosperous economy
Thank you so much for my time credits today, this now means that I and my family, can now enjoy a very rare family
day out to somewhere that we usually wouldn`t be able to afford to go - Carmarthenshire Time Credit Earner
Adding to my C.V. this evening that I have now become a Community Ambassador for Carmarthenshire TC -
Carmarthenshire Time Credit Earner
52% participants report being able to afford to do more things by participating in the Time Credits Scheme.
Several volunteers have gone on to employment following their involvement with the scheme. Stella Stanhope had
been out of work since 2007 and has recently started a new job in retail. She describes how her Time Credits
experiences helped her to get back into work; Earning Time Credits has made me want to do things instead of sitting
at home doing nothing all day. Its given me confidence to even go to the interview and get the role, as being a Time
Credit Administrator made me feel important and as Ive made loads of new friend its made me feel like I can do
something useful and I am enjoying my new job!
Time Credits have also supported community responses to fuel poverty by enabling local community volunteers to run
a local fuel club. This has provided more affordable fuel to housing tenants on a number of housing estates in
Time Credit earners also support their peers at debt and advice sessions facilitated by Community First.

Future Developments
Time credits have helped me to regain some form of community life.
This time last year I was too afraid to go outside on my own & knew no
one in my local area - Carmarthenshire Time Credit Earner
The success of Time Credits within Carmarthenshire Housing Service
and Communities First has created interest across a number of Council
Probation, Youth Offending, Leisure Services, Health and Social Care
and Childrens Services have all expressed interest in developing
initiatives to support their work, demonstrating the potential growth of
Carmarthenshire Time Credits to grow in the future.

Related Interests