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Janes Story

My story starts with my passion for children and my passion for depression. They are
the two things I feel I know most about, my mum had depression all of my life, when
I was small, depression was my best friend, depression came to tea, depression held
birthday parties where my mother could not. I was isolated.
All of my life despite a healthy career in child care and child psychology which took
me all oer the world, I hae yearned to be a mother, I hae been married to my
awesome husband for !! years on Saturday and together we raise our three highly
spirited liely kids.
"ut we are not alone either, we lie with depression too, postnatal for me when my
body failed to do what women should haing children and then in the form of
bereaement when I lost my mum in #$!! and it raised its head for %ob too when he
became isolated, he hated his &ob, we lost a baby, hes resentful of his epilepsy, I was
too wrapped up in self and he attempted suicide. It is raw and it is laid bare but it is
us.
'e met %achel, our mama time credit in January at (lanelli MI)* drop in centre, we
had been doing lots of self awareness and self deelopment courses there and
something in the way she spoke, the passion she had for her pro&ect, the enthusiasm
she oo+ed inspired me and I needed to find out more.
'e started doing little bits of olunteering, kind of out of curiosity, kind of out of
boredom and we found we were meeting some really loely people, earning time
credits and getting out of the house. 'e also felt safe in this enironment. Something
ery difficult to find as depressies. I remember going to one workshop and &ust
sitting and crying, people got it, they didnt think I was nuts, they knew I was at the
end of my rope, and &ust listened, signposted help and continue to support today.
Time credits came along when trying to seek work wasnt really an option,
both of us too ill to commit to a &ob both of us needing the other one constantly
around for support. ,ur children were delighted with the pro&ect, we had no money
and we were constantly saying no, something they werent used too, they were
becoming isolated. Suddenly we were able to offer them trips bowling again,
swimming again, days out again, so much so that they loe to earn time credits, look
through the brochure and choose their own eents to sae for. I asked my eight yr old
last night what time credits meant to him, he said -well mum you do something cool
to earn them and you do something cool to spend them,. kinda rounds it up nicely
dont you think.
Time credits hae had such an impact on our lies as a family, %ob always haing
been the proider when in work suddenly found he could earn again but in a different
way, he could proide in a different way, if he had earnt time credits to take us all
out, we could afford the petrol or the picnic and we were getting out as a family again.
/e has far more better days than we thought possible. The school hae noticed and
reported back on how much more focused our children are, they hae gone through so
much in their little lies and they are out the other side and doing well. And as for me,
I cant begin to e0plain. I hae made diamond friends, friends that I loe and who
share the enthusiasm and want to make their communities a better place to lie. I go
to workshops &ust because Im eager to learn, I go to e0ercise classes because I want
to get fitter, I go on community training because Im hungry to see the change in me,
my confidence, my enthusiasm for time credits reflected in those around me.
In &uly, with great thought, much planning and awesome support %ob and I launched
our own organisation.
"acked by %achel, Spice and the time credit network we started 1reate me happy.
An organisation to recognise the impact of parental depression on our children.
'e are ery new but the interest has been inceredible. 'e held two workshops oer
the summer holidays called (ego club. 'e had oer si0ty families at those eents that
came to use (ego as a tool to build grow and learn together. To open up aenues of
communication, to actually &ust sit, focus on a pro&ect and &ust chat. 'hen do we eer
do that2 'hen do we gie our children two whole hours of undiided attention, create
something together and talk 2 Its important, and &ust by coming to a create me happy
eent parents hae reduced the isolation in themseles and in their children.
That is what time credits has done for us, we hae recognised that negatie can be
turned into positie, we hae recognised that we dont need oodles of money to
engage and hae fun, we hae made friends and learnt so much. ,ur summer holiday
was &am packed with e0citing new fun opportunities so much so that we didnt need
to leae our glorious county, we hae it all here on our doorstep.
The time credit network is a support system all of its own, there is always someone
aailable for adice, help, support, a irtual hug or a irtual slap, our street buddy
group is strong, the time credits network is strong and as it gains momentum we look
forward to seeing it grow, seeing our own organisations grow, sharing our training and
skills with those around us, making 1armarthenshire safer, healthier and more
engaging for all of its generations liing here now and for those of its future.
Thank you for listening. 000