Organisation story: Manage Your Mind

The situation:

Manage Your Mind (MYM) was one of the first groups to become part of the Medway Time Credits network. The entirely volunteer-run community group teaches people practical skills to relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression through structured weekly workshops. MYM has won multiple awards for their work, and their impact has been endorsed by the University of Kent and the NHS Medway Commissioning Group.

MYM’s founder GP Dr Farnaaz Sharief was attracted to integrating Time Credits with their service in order to recruit more volunteers, spread the volunteer responsibilities across a wider team, and reach more people with their work.

The approach:

  • Training given to MYM volunteers on Time Credits, and a session run by Medway Time Credits project manager to co-design how Time Credits could be used to support their services.
  • Volunteer recruitment opportunities shared with service users, giving them the opportunity to earn Time Credits for their volunteering.
  • Time Credits helped MYM recruit a volunteer with experience of writing grant applications.

The change we’ve seen:

Increased volunteer recruitment

Some service users started volunteering even before they had completed the MYM programme fully, because they wanted to earn Time Credits. Five individuals registered to volunteer for the service after three months, which more than doubled their volunteer base.

Improved volunteer morale

Sylvia is one of MYM’s new volunteers, helping to organise the six month schedule for the group:

“They come in week one with shoulders down, faces gloomy. After ten weeks, they are different people! The fact that you get Time Credits makes it a little more rewarding for you. It’s like a double bonus. You always feel that your time is being appreciated by Fern [Dr Sharief], but now it’s being appreciated more widely than just within MYM.”

Organisational sustainability:

The fundraising volunteer has also helped MYM secure additional funding for the next eighteen months. As a result, Dr Sharief has been able to pass on more responsibilities to her team, using her time concentrating on growing the service and on the quality of programme delivery.

“With the funding we are able to get, we are planning to streamline the whole process. We will develop the services so it’s all online. We will start training more teachers on Time Credits to deliver more programmes. This new funding is all based on volunteers offering time and skills.”