Flintshire DO-IT: Supporting Inclusion

Flintshire DO-IT are a community interest company delivering an asset-based approach to build a more cohesive community. Flintshire DO-IT are using Time Credits to support the financial inclusion of people living below the poverty line and greater inclusion for people with disabilities.

 

 

“In 2014, we launched our community cinema project in several places in and around Mold. We hosted several successful film screenings on a deprived estate, attracting an average of 50 people each time. Each screening was co-designed and delivered by the people in the community themselves.”

“It was so successful we also supported a Church Community Hall to join the project. They were a bunch of guys in their 80s and applied for their own equipment from the BFI to run their own events!”

“We also ran some music and drama courses, which have resulted in the setup of two community bands, who are still performing and playing 4 years on.”

“We’re using Time Credits because it’s a great way of valuing what our members do. We’re hoping that Time Credits will help us recruit more DO-IT volunteers because of the added benefits. So far, Time Credits are supporting our project-based approach because we are able to use them to mobilise people around a project or idea.”

Eventually, we are hoping to integrate it into our membership offer so that all members of DO-IT are automatically enrolled as Time Credits members. This would help further connect our members with their communities and encourage people to make full use of the opportunities available through earning and spending Time Credits.”

Mark explains that Time Credits are supporting them to build a cohesive community by motivating different people to be involved. “This is helping to change the demographic of people involved in designing and delivering services. In turn, people are making new connections and building strong relationships that contribute to a sense of togetherness and greater well-being.”

Karin, 56, and her son Justin earn Time Credits for contributing their time and skills to Flintshire DO-IT board meetings. In addition, Karin earns Time Credits for her involvement in the design of a project around friendship and dating for isolated people. Justin earns Time Credits for helping organise the community cinema and delivering workshops and training on behalf of DO-IT.

“We consider Justin one of our DOERs: people who Develop Opportunities and Enable Relationships. DOERs work in communities to find other isolated people, introduce them to DO-IT and support them to use their skills and talents for the benefit of others” says Mark.

“We’ve been volunteering with Flintshire DO-IT for a while now,” explains Karin, “and we love it. We love Mark – we love the fact that he advocates for Justin and appreciates the way I’ve brought him up.”

“I’ve always brought Justin up to think of his life and his disability as something really positive. He loves his life! He thinks of his Downs Syndrome as really special as he knows it’s opened up many opportunities for him. For example, he’s recently been on tour with his theatre company and is due to go abroad soon.”

Karin explains that her experience of a lot of services has been quite negative because of that way people with disabilities are viewed and treated. She explains that she’s avoided health professionals in the past for fear of them passing judgement on her.

“Justin recently delivered a workshop to nurses as part of their training on how to deliver news to parents whose prospective child is at high-risk of having Downs Syndrome. Can you believe that they are usually only trained to think of it as a bad thing? He just got up and said ‘It doesn’t have to be bad – look at me!”

Karin recently attended a trip to Blackpool – organised by Tempo – to spend her Time Credits with son Justin.

“As you can imagine, Time Credits are like gold to me,” says Karin who explains that Time Credits mean she can go out and do things she would never usually be able to afford.

“I wish you’d been with us in Madam Tussauds! I’ve not seen him this excited for so long! He was acting, going up to every character – it was like Christmas morning! I’ve not seem him have so much fun – it just made my heart melt.”

“Honestly, the experience of going to just one of those attractions is worth a whole year of happiness… What today means to me is just indescribable. I wouldn’t have been able to do anything like this without Time Credits…”