Jay from ASFAcarduf in Cardiff & Vale shares his experience of Time Credits

Jay is a Time Credit member from Cardiff who has been earning Time Credits since the beginning of 2017. Jay has been engaged in local substance use and mental health services, and has struggled with alcohol dependency and legal high dependency in his past. Jay has been in recovery for several years now, and has developed a keen interest in supporting those experiencing similar difficulties.

As a result, Jay became a very active member of ASFAcarduf, a service user forum that feeds back and steers the design and delivery of substance use support services. For every hour that Jay gives, he earns an hour of Time Credit.

Jay and others at ASFAcarduf played a part in designing the Time Credit note that is used in local services. All of the elements were decided and voted on at a design session, and the quote on the note was Jay’s idea. He took inspiration from the Wales Millennium Centre and came up with “in these notes, potential sings!” Jay speaks proudly about his involvement in the design, and was particularly pleased with how democratic and coproduced the process was.

Jay explains that Time Credits have really motivated him to stay involved and share his experiences with peers. Additionally, Jay says that he is getting used to doing things differently and using Time Credits to access new opportunities.

Jay recently went to see Rent the Musical and admits that it was a daunting prospect since he’d never booked a show before. Spending his Time Credits for the first time broke the ice, and now he feels more confident accessing other opportunities, and less anxious about going out. Jay intends to take his girlfriend out to spend Time Credits together, and he has some adventurous dates planned.

As Jay’s confidence and involvement grew, he also found a creative outlet as the host of a weekly show on Radio Cardiff called ‘The Art of Being Well’. Having previously DJ’d around the world in far flung places like Botswana and Puerto Rico, Jay is now able to combine his music with the topic of mental health and substance use. Jay enjoys sharing his experiences, helping others, and using the show as a way to break down stigma. Jay explained that whilst it is stressful and challenging, it is increasing his confidence and helping him on his own recovery journey.