Stephanie, Llanelli: “I’ve made so many new friends through Time Credits”

When Stephanie first got involved with Time Credits two years ago it was by accident. Having just moved into a new complex for people aged 58 and above in Llangennech, she was looking for ways to get involved in her new community when the warden pointed out that there was a problem with litter. She decided to take part in a community litter pick, and was surprised to receive Time Credits in return for her time.

“For anyone thinking of getting involved with Time Credits, I’d say ‘do it’! “It’s amazing how many people have gone from being nodding acquaintances to friends…”

Since then, she has continued to earn Time Credits by regularly litter picking  with the local Pride in your Patch group that is part  of Keep Wales Tidy, and she has continued to enjoy spending her Time Credits, too.

“I have worked full time all of my adult life and never really had time for socialising, but since I’ve retired and moved to Wales that has changed.

“Through Spice Time Credits I have been to all sorts of unusual places that I might not otherwise have visited, like the iron age fort Castell Henllys and fairytale Castell Coch near Cardiff. I have used Time Credits to get a manicure and pedicure and even used them to take my neighbour with me to Barry Island Pleasure Park – that was great fun until my phone flew off on the Waltzers!

“It’s amazing how many people have gone from being nodding acquaintances to friends I look forward to having a chat with at the various community groups I now go to. Between Time Credits, Tenovus Choir, Bryn W.I. and Knit & Natter where we knit and crochet items for premature babies, I am as busy as I have ever been.”

Last year Stephanie underwent Spice’s Community Champion Training to develop her community skills and become an ambassador for Time Credits. The benefits to Stephanie as well as many other residents have been invaluable, offering them the opportunity to remain active and try new things.

“As we get older, and particularly if there are health problems, it can be quite easy for people to fall into a rut and become isolated, rarely leaving their homes or mixing with others. It saddens me that many of the residents at the sheltered housing where I live don’t get out much at all, despite my attempts to encourage them, as they are missing out on so many opportunities that would help keep them active and make them feel better.”

We are sharing Stephanie’s story as part of the It’s Our Time campaign, which celebrates everyday heroes, tackles stigma around ageing and celebrates the invaluable contribution that older people bring to our communities. To learn more and get involved contact moishemerry@justaddspice.org