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Carmarthenshire June 2014

Carmarthenshire Time Credits

Spice Time Credits
Spice Time Credits are a social currency developed
initially in South Wales and rolled out across Wales and
England. In Wales, Spice are currently delivering large
scale community and housing projects across Cardiff
and Llanelli, with smaller development projects
currently planned or underway in 12 additional
communities in Rhondda-Cynon-Taf, Caerphilly and
Newport. Spice Time Credits are supporting
organisations to develop new approaches to
coproduction, sustainability, service provision and
commissioning with professionals, service users,
funders, commissioners, communities and the private

How Spice Time Credits work: everyone has
something to give
People are thanked with Time Credits for contributing
time to their community or service. They then spend
Time Credits to access events, training and leisure
services, or to thank others in turn. The system is
sustainable as it is coordinated by existing community
facing staff, and because spending opportunities access
under-used community resources as well as direct
(unmediated) exchanges between people.

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, and are enabled and
supported by community services.

Spending Time Credits
Public, community and private organisations identify
ways for people to spend Time Credits in 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 spend brochures include a
wide range of community organisations as well as higher
profile opportunities such as The Barbican and Tower of

Why use Time Credits?
Time Credits encourage more people to get involved in
local community organisations and to give more time,
increasing community action and strengthening local
networks. Individuals are than able to access new
opportunities in the local community, such as swimming,
theatre, training, cinema, exhibitions and tea dances.
Both earning and spending Time Credits can build
confidence and support health and wellbeing.

Using Time Credits also encourages professionals to
work in new ways, collaborating with service users and
citizens to think about how services can be run in co-
productive ways that encourage participation by the
whole community, sharing skills and assets. This can
encourage a greater sense of community integration
and enable improvements in service delivery as they
are shaped by those that use them.

Time Credits in Carmarthenshire
Spice are working with Carmarthenshire Communities
Cluster and Carmarthenshire Housing Services
(CHS) to introduce Time Credits to communities across
Llanelli, Taf-Myrddin and the Lower Gwendraeth Valley.
The programme aims to enable local people to make a
difference in their communities and to local services
and to recognise the value of their contributions, as well
as to diversify tenant engagement across CHS estates
and services. Time Credits support people to develop
their interests and unrealised assets to improve
individual wellbeing and build strong and connected
communities. The Carmarthenshire Time Credits
project supports the work of Communities 1sts new
programme; addressing the priorities of Healthy,
Prosperous and Learning communities.

Progress so far
In the first 18 months of Carmarthenshire Time Credits,
600 people in Carmarthenshire have given over
17,500 hours to their local community, across 70 local
Lis Duffy,
Taf Myrddin Housing
Lis Duffy lives in the Yr Aelwyd Sheltered Scheme and
is part of the Taf Myrddin Tenant network. She has
earned Time Credits by putting on a monthly film night
for other residents in the sheltered scheme, and sharing
her views and experiences in meetings with the Tenant
Network and Council Housing department.

Last year, with the help of the Carmarthenshire Time
Credits Facilitator, Lis hosted a Big Lunch in the
sheltered housing complex to encourage a sense of
community and get others involved in the Time Credits

Lis says, Holding a Big Lunch seemed the ideal vehicle
to engage the community, break the ice and for people
to volunteer and earn credits in the process. It was great
to meet so many new people and encourage the tenants
to get involved in more events.

We now have a regular film night and are planning
more events together including Christmas Fetes and
other Big Lunches next year. The more we organise on
the complex, the more people come along from all areas
of the community. And word has spread fast! Other
people I have spoken to have been inspired to hold their
own Big Lunches and recently a local disbanded
residents association donated 350 to our complex, to
contribute toward a free lunch club in January for all our

Lis has seen a real change in how other people from
the housing scheme engage with the community as a
result; Using Time Credits to spend and earn at the film
night has changed the attitude in the sheltered scheme
by having people from outside the facility come to the
film night regularly; they accept outsiders more readily
now I think.
One lady nearby, though physically fit, has previously
been quite nervous about getting involved in things. Now
she helps with letter drops for our events, using her love
of walking to help the community. Doing this activity she
also earns Time Credits which she uses for going out
with her grandchildren. They now ask whats going on in
the complex and if they can come too!

Since setting up the film club and organising her Big
Lunch, Liss confidence has grown a lot. Now she will
stop people in the street to tell them what events are
coming up in the complex and invite new people along.
She says: I would never have done that before!

Lis has spent her Time Credits on a wide range of
activities, particularly trips out to places such as Castell
Coch, The Lyric and Ffwrnes Theatres and Ffos Las
horse racing. She feels Time Credits have given me the
opportunity to treat my grandchildren to exciting days out
which we wouldnt have been able to afford, and allowed
me to try new things like the jazz night. They have
encouraged me to take neighbours who also had Time
Credits to spend in going somewhere not one of us
would have gone to on our own.

I love Time Credits and try and encourage everyone to
get involved with something to earn and spend. I feel it is
money in the bank, saved for a special day to go
somewhere nice. It is always a treat to use them.

Derek Hermann,
Maengwynne For Change
Tenants and Residents
Derek Hermann has found Time Credits have helped
him find a new purpose in his community after a
sporting injury changed his life. He describes his

I used to throw Javelin for Wales; I was at
Commonwealth Games standard at age 17. Sport was
my life and I trained every day until an accident whilst
throwing for Wales when I was 19 years old resulted in
me breaking my back in numerous places and
damaging my spinal cord. I used to be known as Big
Del or Del Diesel; I was strong and helped others.
When I broke my back I was no longer able to do the
things Id done before, I became isolated, lonely and
lifeless, it felt like I was hollow. Trying to adjust to the
news that I would be in a wheelchair by 30 has been so

I recently joined the Street Buddy Community
Ambassador training course as part of engaging my
own community and have become the Treasurer for a
new tenants and residents group in Maengwynne, as
well as supporting some events with Carmarthenshire
Time Credits. Life has turned a corner, I am coming out
of myself again and slowly getting back to the person I
was before. I have a purpose again and I can help
others, something that I did before my injury. I can be
involved in my local community, I am valuable.

Derek now has high aspirations for the future of Time
Credits and his community;

We want to develop our community, provide activities
for the children and older people, improving services
and opportunities in a rural area with limited transport
links and amenities in the local area.
Stella Stanhope,
Carmarthenshire Housing
Stella Stanhope is a local resident on the Park Hall
Estate in Carmarthen where she lives with her husband
and 3 children. Stella started earning Time Credits at a
community clean up event in Carmarthen, and for giving
her time to support the local Ty Ni Family Centre,
helping with events and activities as well as fundraising
for Ty Ni, enabling them to provide services to families
living around the Carmarthen area.

Stella was keen to support the Time Credit programme
in Carmarthen and became the Time Credit
administrator for Ty Ni Family Centre, and has
supported earn and spend opportunities. She helped
with other events and activities in Carmarthenshire,
including a community picnic at Pembrey Country Park
and coffee mornings in Carmarthen, and has also run
workshops for children and young people.

Taking part in activities across Carmarthenshire has
helped Stella to grow in confidence, build new
relationships and develop new skills. Stella used her
Time Credits to access a 10 week sign language course
in 2013 and then went on to undertake a level 1
qualification in British Sign Language at Coleg Sir Gar .
She hopes to do the level 2 course next year.

Stella 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 with this;

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 friends. Its
made me feel like I can do something useful and I am
enjoying my new job!

Stella is still an active member of the Time Credits
network and committed to giving her spare time to
support community activities in Carmarthenshire.

Jazmin Morgan,
Carmarthenshire Housing
Services, Taf Myrddin
Jazmin Morgan is 18 years old and lives with her mother
and 2 brothers in Carmarthen. Jazmin has been earning
Time Credits alongside her family since becoming a
member of the Taf Myrddin network in early 2013.

Jazmin earned Time Credits for her involvement in the
preparations for the Time Credits Big Lunch event at
Pembrey Country Park in June 2013. She came to Big
Lunch workshops in Cardiff in May to learn new skills
and develop ideas for the event in Carmarthenshire, and
as a representative of the planning group she met with
members from the Ely Time Credits programme to plan
activities for the day. At the event in June Jazmin arrived
early to help set up and worked hard alongside
volunteers of all ages.

Jazmin says, I like meeting new people and doing all
the different things that are on offer. It makes me feel
happy when I earn Time Credits because I can use them
in so many different places. I have spent my Time
Credits on a trip to Birmingham, teddy bears picnic and
Im going to spend them in the Xcel bowling.

When she is not busy helping her community, Jazmin is
studying a level 3 in animal care at Pembroke College.
Jazmin has also given her time to support projects in
Park Hall, Ty Ni Family Centre and at an
intergenerational project in summer 2014 to make a
sculpture for the communal garden at St Peters Court
and St Johns Court in Carmarthen. She says,

My favourite way to earn Time Credits is just by
volunteering to help around the community, I feel more
connected to my community. Doing things to earn Time
Credits has helped me have more confidence.
Lindsey Jones,
Communities First and
Carmarthenshire Housing
Lindsey Jones became a resident of Maengwynne 20
years ago, when she moved with her family from the
Traveller site in the Morfa, Llanelli. Lindsey has kept her
culture and roots alive and ensures her children have
their Romany heritage, and she is also keen to share her
heritage and culture with her local community. She now
lives in her own home in Maengwynne with her partner
and two children, two doors down from her parents.

Lindsey earned her first Time Credits supporting
Communities First involvement activities. She supported
childrens play sessions and then spent her Time Credits
taking her children to see the Scarlets at a home game.

Lindsey thinks the best thing about Time Credits is being
able to have new opportunities and as a way of engaging
the local community, she says, I want to get others
involved, I want extra activities to better the community
here. Time Credits will enable us to get more people
involved in the local community, We want to put on
activities for children and clear the gardens of the
elderly, and we can now do this.

Lindsey is keen to develop new skills and hopes to put
on a street party this summer. She has signed up to do a
First Aid course and Food Hygiene and is going to the
Big Lunch Extras at the Eden Project. Having completed
community development training with Carmarthenshire
Street Buddies, Community Ambassadors, Lindsey is
keen to continue developing her skills to support the
Dan Hancock,
Carmarthenshire Housing
Dan Hancock began earning Time Credits at community
clean up events on his estate in Carmarthen. He was
also giving his time to the Dads Group and the local
family centre.

Dan lacked confidence before getting involved in Time
Credits and had struggled with education and school in
the past. Since earning Time Credits, Dans confidence
has grown and he is now always looking for new
opportunities to give his time. He recently supported a
40s tea dance spending event at Llanelli Library, where
he helped to bake cakes, set up and provide amazing
service on the day!

Dan used his first Time Credits to access a taster sign
language course in Carmarthen, and he has since gone
on to undertake a level one course in British Sign
Language. He says, For the first time I can spell. Im
dyslexic and could never spell, now I can finger spell
and I hope to teach my daughter to spell this way.

Dan is also really positive about the wider benefits of
Time Credits, saying, Time Credits is fun. Giving back
to your community you make friends, get to spend them
in places you would never have afforded to go to and
you can use them to learn. Im going on a camping
holiday this summer paid for with my Time Credits!
Eric Jones, St Johns and St
Peters Court, Sheltered
Housing Complex,
Carmarthenshire Housing Services provides sheltered
housing for tenants aged over 65 at St Johns and St
Peters Court in Carmarthen. Scheme officer Idfys
Raybould was keen to integrate Time Credits to support
the work of the tenants committee and to encourage
newer tenants to get involved in activities and services
within the scheme.

Members have been earning Time Credits for running
coffee mornings, cooking group meals, planning social
outings and events, gardening and maintaining
communal areas and participating in consultation and
tenants meetings that shape the service.

The communal gardening project has been particularly
successful. Eric Jones has been living at St Peters
Court since March 2012 and earned his first Time
Credits with other tenants over 4 days removing
diseased shrubbery, emptying flower beds, re-lining,
filling and planting. Removal of the shrubs was paid for
with funds raised by members themselves.

Eric now carries out daily watering at the complex, as
well as ongoing weeding and maintenance, and said:
I enjoy doing, Im used to doing things, I was doing it at
home since I was a small child and I like mixing with the
community .

Eric has been able to use his skills and love of
gardening to improve the local environment and he now
feels that he has something to offer and is valued for the
role he plays there.
Idfys is keen to support the garden project and the
tenants committee has agreed to fund the purchase of a
range of tools and equipment. The gardens have a real
impact for tenants as many have mobility issues and
dont often leave the complex but can access the

Idfys said, Eric is really enjoying living here. Being a
tenant at the scheme has ensured that Eric belongs to a
community, he would have been extremely isolated
living alone. Eric loves helping others and will work to
support all aspects of the community.

Michelle Williams,
ShelbyArt Creative Mentoring,
Michelle has 6 children and although from Poole, she
now lives with her husband in Carmarthenshire. She has
strong links with community projects and disabled rights.

Michelle runs ShelbyArt, an art and craft club which
meets once a month in the Llanelli area. People of all
ages and abilities come together to practice, learn or just
watch arts and crafts activities. The group has
developed a community of people that have been
mentored to reach their own potential, addressing issues
such as low confidence and self esteem, mental health
issues, bereavement, physical illness and more.
Michelle mentors users through the art and craft
activities as well as supporting individuals to give their
time to facilitate groups or peer support others.

She says, I wanted to help people see beyond their
circumstances & everything they thought was holding
them back from making progress in their lives. I wanted
to help the wider community come together and help
build sustainable relationships.

Michelle hoped to develop ShelbyArt into a business.
However she has been a carer for 2 of her children for
the past 19 years and her business venture needed to fit
in with her commitments as a carer. Time Credits gave
her a safe way of testing her business idea and abilities
after 19 years of being unable to work, as well as gain
confidence herself and balance this with the needs of
her children.
Michelle has been supporting clients to give their time to
help their community and support the growth of her
business idea, using an asset based approach. Clients
have coproduced business ideas and given their time to
help with research, running workshops and developing
blogs. They have also been able to increase their own
skills & abilities around areas that they are interested in.
This has enabled ShelbyArt to support activities across
the Carmarthenshire Time Credits network, providing
workshops in sheltered housing schemes, youth clubs
and family centres. Through these Michelle has been
developing her business plan and testing her ideas and
methods of working, building her network and business
links and plans and gaining confidence.

Michelle has played a vital role in the local Time Credits
network, putting on community activities that members
can spend at and supporting other groups to put on
spend. She earns Time Credits for the time she gives to
do this, and she also supports past users of ShelbyArt to
co-facilitate sessions, enabling them to grow their
confidence and self esteem.

Michelle says: Time Credits have made a massive
difference to my clients lives! It has opened up new
opportunities for them, which they would never have
experienced. They have meant I am able to reward them
for their loyalty & input, which has strengthened all of us
& our own personal goals, and its also supporting
people back into education and employment. Time
Credits have given ShelbyArt a great foundation to build
from, but also I am now building this into the business
plan, so that people can offer their time in return for
something that we offer.

Michelle has also experienced a personal benefit; Time
Credits have had a wider impact, by increasing my
positive family time & drawn all of us closer to the
community around us.
Jane Gwynn and family
Jane Gwynn and her family earn Time Credits through
a number of local groups, for activities that have
included dressmaking, bunting workshops, planning
meetings, Community Ambassador training and running
a stall at the Big Lunch. Earning Time Credits has
helped Jane and her family gain confidence, enabling
them to set up a community group, Create Me Happy,
through which Jane will be developing earn and spend
opportunities for other community members. In addition,
with the skills and knowledge she has gained through
taking part in Community Ambassador training, Jane is
going to take the lead in engagement in her local
community in the Gwendraith.

Jane feels Time Credits offered her an opportunity at a
time when she really needed community support; My
husband and I are parents and we are unashamed to
admit we are depressed parents. Time Credits have
come along at a time in our lives where either of us
committing to employment is a challenge, I would like to
work but also need to offer care and support at home.

Jane is really positive about Time Credits. She says,
Not being able to actively seek work due to caring
commitments, volunteering through Time Credits gives
my husband and I the opportunity to be socially active,
inspired, enthused and creative and to try new things.
Over the years I had become isolated and leaving the
house was becoming an issue. People, friends, are
commenting on my growing confidence and it has given
my family a common goal to aim for and achieve.
Weve tried sewing, textiles, furniture making,
community training, my husband has even tried ironing!
Weve met maybe 30 new people in 6 months.

To gain a Time Credit is empowering, you know you
have done something good to achieve it and that you
are going to use it to do something just as rewarding.
Time Credits have given us the confidence to put
together our family organisation, to meet new people
equally as passionate and offer and accept support.
Jane has seen impact for her family as a whole. She
says, Spending Time Credits for us equals family time,
adventures and memories. We are saving for a family
camping trip. Time Credits have opened up new
adventures for us as a family, we have enough credits
now to visit various leisure facilities over the summer
holidays, that we would not have otherwise afforded. By
having quality family time we build happiness,
emotional wellbeing for us all and create happy

Jane has also experienced more personal changes.
On a personal level, the opportunities to volunteer with
organisations that are partners in the Time Credits
system have given me a chance to talk about my
situation, meet new people and try new skills. I am also
proud that I now know that I can confidently use a
sewing machine, something I hadnt done since leaving
school, I know how to make bunting for events, I have
learnt some new computer and graphics skills. I have
realised that I really like learning and I dont want that to
stop, I feel hungry for new things to learn.

Jane now wants to play a role in enabling more people
to benefit from Time Credits. I hope that with help our
little family organisation Create me Happy can spread
Time Credits wings and reach out to families like ours
that through no fault of their own have found
themselves rich in love and time to give but poorer in
social activities, stimulation and creativity. I hope that by
continuing going on training courses and joining in
supporting organisations involved with Time Credits that
I will gain valuable knowledge, confidence and skills to
bring back to my own community and create a little bit
of the happiness we have found all around us.

Sam Williams,
Street Buddy
Sam Williams is 19 years old and lives in Llanelli with
his family. Sam says I became totally blind at age 11.
After a time of feeling very scared and worried, mum
and dad gave me lots of support and I was able to go to
school at New College Worcester, a college for the
blind and visually impaired. In September 2013 I stared
at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford.

Sam had to return home for health reasons in
December 2013 which also resulted in him spending a
few weeks in hospital. Since moving home, Sam said,
Days have become boring, I hardly have anything to do
and I dont know that many people in Llanelli. I rely on
my family to go places and never go out without them.

Sam became a member of ShelbyArt, a local arts and
craft support and activity group, and has recently
become a Street Buddy through Time Credits, where he
wants to be able to help other people in my area learn
about what it is like to be blind, and give them advice &
ideas about how to make things accessible to the blind.

Sam attended the first Street Buddy session with his
mum. She wasnt able to make the second session and
for the first time Sam felt able to attend something on
his own. He said, I felt empowered through attending
the session on my own, it was good to meet new
people, and its so good to do things by myself.

Sam has only recently started earning Time Credits, but
he reports that they have given him the confidence to
go to new places and make new friends, and make him
feel happy. He says, I have gone to help out at The Big
Lunch and made new friends at events I have been to,
without my parents, which I havent been able to do
before. I like to earn credits. It makes me feel good and
lets me help other people.
Rachel Dyer runs RED Total fitness, an organisation
that encourages the community to engage in body and
mind fitness activities. Rachel aims to support all ages
and abilities in improving confidence and becoming
active and self aware.

Rachel wanted to get involved in Time Credits because
I wanted my business to be more accessible to local
people, who may have more spare time but less spare
cash, to come to classes, because part of my aim is to
improve social capital for my customers and myself.

People can earn Time Credits at RED Total fitness by
helping Rachel set up before and after classes or
helping with advertising and admin duties. Customers
are then able to use Time Credits to access classes in
Zumba or relaxation and stress management, or for
Rachels workshops.

Rachel feels that Time Credits enable me to provide
services to those who may not usually come due to cash
shortage, and also by allowing them to come they are
boosting self esteem and meeting new contacts and
engaging in new roles. If they are doing small admin
tasks or set up then it is also experience they can put on
a CV.

Time Credits have also helped Rachels organisation;
Time Credits have enabled my business to reach a
broader crowd of customers and to network. I have been
advertised via Time Credits for no additional cost which
is a big help and also facilitated my meeting of like-
minded people. It has enabled my personal confidence
to grow.

Time Credits have helped me and my new small
business in areas where other people have closed
doors. I have been part of various events and meetings
which gives you the feel that you belong to something
bigger. I think that is what stands out most about Time
Credits, it builds bridges, but it also helps you cross
Rachel Dyer,
RED Total Fitness
Sian Cook is a full time mother of two daughters, Becca
and Ellie. Sian has been taking her children to Ty Ni
family Centre for the past five years, which provides a
place for her children to play and learn with other
children of similar ages. It has also been a place for Sian
to meet friends and gain valuable support.

Around three years ago Sian helped to set up the
parents committee at Ty Ni. The aim of the committee is
fundraise for and support a range of services and
activities for children and parents attending the centre.
Many of the families would not be able to access
services without the support of the fundraising
committee. Sian also supports a range of events and
activities at the centre, such as play, arts and craft
sessions, childrens tea parties and outings to nearby

Sian has been earning Time Credits for the past nine
months for the time she gives to Ty Ni family centre.
Recently she has been making the most of having a few
hours a week to herself and do some physical activtiy;
Using Time Credits at the leisure centre is great for me;
its really accessible as it is nearby and has long opening
hours. I go swimming once a week while Ellie is in
Meithrin - a time to exercise, relax and have me time - to
do something I enjoy.

Staff have always been polite and friendly. Carmarthen
Leisure Centre is a great facility with lots of different
activities on offer for all ages and abilities, modern
facilities that are clean and well maintained, its also
easy to park. As my children get older I hope they will be
able to make the most of it too as part of an active
healthy lifestyle and we will be able to use Time Credits
to be an active family.

Sian is a qualified Youth Worker. She was made
redundant following her maternity leave, and is looking
forward to supporting more local projects using her skills
and knowledge to benefit the community once her
youngest daughter starts school.
Sian Cook,
Ty Ni Family Centre
John Moran and
Communities 2.0
John Moran lives in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire with
his wife. He started volunteering 3 years ago following
his retirement. John is committed to volunteering, giving
his time to support a number of local organisations
including Communities 2.0, which is a Welsh
Government programme supporting digital inclusion in
Carmarthenshire. John has been volunteering with
Communities 2.0 for the past 2 years. He teaches
basic computer courses for over-50s and jobseekers at
the local library and at Job Centre Plus.

Communities 2.0 sessions support community
members to increase their knowledge and confidence
in using digital technology; for shopping, searching for
the best banking or insurance deals, using government
services, accessing jobs online or keeping in touch with
friends and family. Carmarthenshire County Councils
Digital Inclusion Team, which is working on
Communities 2.0 with four other partner organisations,
is already working with Communities First Partnerships
and Sheltered Accommodation Schemes, as well as
looking at how it can improve access to Council
Services through E-Government initiatives.

In May 2013 the Communities 2.0 programme became
part of the Spice Carmarthenshire Time Credits
network, enabling them to recognise the contributions
made by volunteers with Time Credits. Communities
2.0 hope to use Time Credits to encourage more people
into volunteering and engage more people within their
communities and into social action.
John began earning Time Credits in May 2013 and
earns on average 4-5 Time Credits per week. Since
earning Time Credits John has been using the
Ammanford Leisure Centre fitness suite and has been
going 4 times per week for the past 3 months. He also
occasionally uses the pool.

John says, I had never used a gym previously, but as a
result of using the gym I have lost a stone and a half 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.
Doctor Mz Youth Centre,
Dr.Mz is a youth drop in centre run by Carmarthen
Youth Project for young people aged 11-25. It provides a
comfortable, safe, informative and stimulating place for
young people to meet and take part in activities. In
March 2013 Dr Mz joined the Carmarthenshire Time
Credits network and since then has been using Time
Credits to engage young people in co-producing the
service, by giving ideas and direction via the youth

Young people aged 13-19 years have also been giving
their time to support the wider community, including to
provide a range of activities for clients attending the
Myrddin Day Centre in Carmarthen; examples have
included playing bingo, making cards, fridge magnets
and other arts and craft activities.
Time Credits have led to increased participation in the
wider community from the young people who attend Dr
Mz, improving local perceptions of young people and
also enabling disadvantaged young people to gain new
skills and access a range of activities that improve their
health and wellbeing.

Dr Mz has also experienced exciting new developments
that have grown out of their journey with Time Credits. In
spring 2013 in partnership with the League of Friends at
Glangwilli Hospital, a group of enthusiastic staff and
young people spent a Saturday clearing weeds and litter
from the hospital garden and planting flowers and plants,
returned the garden to a peaceful and pleasant place for
patients and visitors. This very positive experience led
Dr Mz to seek funding for a growing project as they
wanted to be able to teach young people how to grow
plants and develop an allotment. They applied to the Big
Lottery and following a public vote were successful in
gaining 42,000 to develop the project.

Crops grown on the allotment are brought back to the
youth centre where older volunteers teach methods of
growing and selling food to young people. The project
will improve the lives of people in the community by
introducing disadvantaged young people to a positive
activity and new skills and knowledge that will help them
to live physically and mentally healthy lives.

Gayle Harris, Dr Mz Manager says, "Time Credits have
given staff at the project a new way of thinking and
enabled us to work in a more innovative way. It has
been a refreshing project and long may it continue! The
networks that have developed have been invaluable to
us as a small local project.
Joanne Simons,
Womens Aid
Joanne Simons first became involved in Time Credits
through Llanelli Womens Aid and earned Time Credits
through volunteering there and taking First Aid and Food
Hygiene courses to support her volunteering activities.
Joanne had experienced domestic abuse in her past and
was keen to give back to the organisation.

Since earning her first Time Credits and enjoying spend
opportunities such as trips and outings, visits to see the
Ospreys, paying for her children to go to Ramps
Skatepark and having her hair styled, Joannes
confidence has grown significantly and she has been
keen to support other events and activities in
Carmarthenshire. She has volunteered her time to
support learning events put on by Communities First and
with her children and fianc has supported community
clean-up activities and large scale events including a 40s
tea dance for the older community and a Big Lunch picnic
at the local country park.

Joanne says, When I used to help volunteer in
Womens Aid before Time Credits I didnt feel worthy or
a part of them, but then Time Credits became available
and I have done things I never done before - like face
painting! I face painted my children but never anyone
elses and then got given the opportunity and it was
fantastic, I go to events on my own to help and I get very
nervous and scared but the opportunity to help has
given me confidence. I no longer sit in the house afraid
of my own shadow, I am out there with the community
and with the people and I am starting to get ME back.. I
cant even explain in writing how much these have
helped me.

Time Credits are amazing. They bring families back
together and give you your independence, and for me
my life back. When we go and spend them I feel great
knowing I worked for them and now we can have fun as
a family.
Joanne is a very talented artist and baker and she has
always been interested in having her own business that
would enable her to work and still look after her young
children. Joanne has recently completed a Business
Enterprise 2 course with Coleg Sir Gar and now feels
she has the skills and confidence to develop her
business idea into reality.

The course was amazing, hard, stressful, full of
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.

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.

Chooselife Wales
Chooselife Wales are a drug and alcohol service in the
seaside area of Llanelli, providing a day drop in centre as
well as accommodation. Volunteers have supported their
work for many years, providing support to service users,
assisting in the facilitation of family sessions, running
lunch clubs or providing a much needed space to talk.
Many volunteers have been through the centre as service
users previously.

Chooselife Wales have used Time Credits as a means of
engaging everyone at the centre, both service users and
volunteers. Service users earn credits by delivering the
lunch club, cooking meals, laying tables and cleaning up
after sessions, running family centre activities, carrying
out litter picks and gardening and maintenance at the
services allotment. They also earn for delivering moving
and landscaping services for Chooselifes social
enterprise that helps fund the service and raises the
profile of service users as playing a positive role in the
local community.

Chooselife have embedded Time Credits into their
service delivery model so that earning or spending run
through all activities. Each service user has a 3-point
action plan developed and Time Credits are discussed
when this is developed and opportunities to earn and
spend identified. This has led to service users being
more engaged in their support.
A staff member reports; Its hard to separate Time
Credits and Chooselife; they are part of everything we
do. They help to get things going and build support from
service users. Time Credits are a catalyst for

Increased engagement has led to a group of service
users taking horticultural courses at the Botanical
Gardens of Wales, and staff said that If it wasnt for
Time Credits, we wouldnt know who the committed
people are, to support them to take the course.

Spending opportunities have also made a difference to
service users and their involvement in the service, as
reported by Lindy Butler, Team Leader; Thank you so
much for last weeks tickets for the Scarlets [rugby
game], our service users had a fantastic time and they
have become more motivated since their visit to the

Chooselife feel that Time Credits have changed the day
to day running of their services as users are now asking
for activities that they can participate in and staying
longer at the centre. They have even had to put on
more activities throughout the day. This really supports
the work of the organisation as they want to extend their
opening hours to provide extended support provision.
Home-Start is a charity that focuses on families in the
community who need support. Support is given by
volunteers who support the families for 2 hours a week in
their homes.

Home-Starts volunteers are very precious to them and
undertake extensive training in order to support families
in the community. They felt that the opportunity to
recognise the contributions of their volunteers with Time
Credits which they could share with their own families
was priceless and would also further incentivise people
to take up volunteering opportunities.

Volunteers earn Time Credits for the direct support they
provide to families. On average a volunteer can earn two
Time Credits a week for supporting a family. Lots of
volunteers are interested in spending their Time Credits
on local leisure opportunities or on family outings.

Time Credits offer Home-Start volunteers more
opportunities to spend more time together as a family unit
and increase participation. Home-Start also feel that they
reduce discrimination in terms of poverty as people can
access things they could not previously afford, and
reduce stress as they create the opportunity to go places.
More widely, Lia Davies, Volunteer Coordinator, reports
that being part of the Time Credits Network has given
us the chance to participate in events and networking
opportunities and to feel part of the community.
For more information contact:

Rachel Gegeshidze
Carmarthenshire Time Credits
07453 987 648

Ben Dineen
Head of Communities & Housing -
07429 313 860

David Russell
Head of Health and Social Care
074 2946 4265
This programme has been enabled through funding from the Interreg IVB North West
Europe (NWE) programme as part of the Community Currencies in Action project
(CCIA). CCIA is a transnational partnership working to develop and deliver community
currency demonstrations in several member states across the North West of Europe.
CCIA will lead the way in sharing knowledge and best practice to enable communities
throughout Europe to grow stronger in their ability to achieve vibrant and prosperous
networks that are efficient in delivering social, economic and environmental outcomes.
CCIA will design, develop and implement community currencies (CCs) across NW
Europe; providing a rigorously tested package of support structures to facilitate the
development of CCs across NWE and promote CCs as a credible (policy) vehicle for
achieving positive outcomes. CCIA is part funded through the INTERREG IVB North West
Europe (NWE) Programme, which is a financial instrument of the European Unions
Cohesion Policy.