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Supporting and Developing a Vibrant Voluntary Sector

Annual Impact Report 2016 - 2017 264

volunteers placed


training courses




groups supported



raised for community and voluntary organisations

Community Coordinators

100% increase in the knowledge

of services offered by voluntary sector organisations and community groups


Welcome / page 1

The Difference We Make Together Welcome Our Collective Impact Report is about the impact we have with the support of community and voluntary organisations and our partners. The support we get and the work they do is incredible. We thank each and every one of our volunteers, members and partners. We believe listening to people and communities is at the core of reducing poverty and improving wellbeing. We are always amazed by how much is done with so little money through community and voluntary groups and volunteers. Community and voluntary groups are at the coal face, and due to austerity and cuts to local services, are having to provide more things to more people in more communities. Because we build on what we have got, rather than worry about what is missing or not working, we are able to make a difference together. We have the very best community and voluntary groups working with communities that always rise to the challenges they face.

Plans for the future

Interlink is celebrating 20 years as a charity and the County Voluntary Council for Rhondda Cynon Taf, acting as an ‘umbrella’ or ‘hub’ organisation to support individuals, volunteers, communities, community and voluntary groups and social enterprises (the Third Sector).

Interlink’s main areas of work are: • Community Advice and Support - providing information, advice, training and funding • Volunteering - supporting volunteers and volunteer organisations • Health, Social Care and Wellbeing - supporting people and working together on early intervention and prevention to improve health, social care and wellbeing

• Citizen, Community and Third Sector Voice - helping people, communities and third sector organisations to influence and take action on those things that matter to them

Our Mission, Vision and Values / page 2

Our mission

Our values and principles

Our vision

• To support all members with special consideration for the needs of smaller groups

Volunteering, community involvement and action lead to connected and resilient communities, where people are treated fairly, have good health and have the resources they need. • To listen to and support the development of communities to be better connected and more resilient • To build on individual and community strengths through volunteering, community involvement and action • To work with others to improve wellbeing and reduce poverty and inequality

• To work sustainably, taking into account the environmental, economic and social needs of local people and communities

• To promote equal opportunities and social justice, aiming to reach those individuals and groups most in need • To support voluntary action, aiming to promote and facilitate the involvement of service users, carers and citizens • To be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of members • To support and develop partnership working at all levels to identify, address and deliver actions that meet the needs of local communities • To work with others using asset based community development and coproductive approaches • To enhance and not compete with the work of member organisations

Our outcomes

1. Collaboration - there is effective collaboration and a strong culture of partnership working 2. Voice - coproduction enables people and communities to have a voice and influence 3. Communication - there is accessible and effective communication 4. Advice and Support - the third sector is effective, well-led and sustainable

Jean Harrington Chair, Interlink

Simon James Chief Executive Officer

Young People / page 3

Young Carers and Wellbeing Young carers redesigned the Cwm Taf Carers Strategy into a version for children and young people to be able to understand. This used their own words, stating what is important to them. Young carers need easy to understand information and advice and more awareness raised of being a young carer.

Young People and Safeguarding The CWM TAF Safeguarding Children Board (CTSCB) wanted to involve children and young people in raising awareness of Safeguarding and ideas for Safeguarding Week (November 14 - 18).

A group of young people who are looked after by the local authority came up with a leaflet with their own designs. A leaflet was professionally produced to explain about child abuse that opened out into a poster for younger children. A DVD was then made with young people. The leaflet, poster and DVD will be used to raise awareness of safeguarding and sexting within schools and the community. ‘Really enjoyed this today and it has made me realise to think before acting, but take action if someone is hurting’

Young carers would like a voice with more choice ‘I am proud to be a young carer’ ‘No understanding = no change’ ‘Young carers are still young people’

What does ‘brilliant’ look like for a young carer? Young carers want:

Getting ready for Safeguarding Week

Young people wanted to discuss ‘sexting’ and felt that ‘sexting’ was happening more and more, with young people getting hurt and bullied as a result.

What young people said:

Even if your settings are private, it’s still not completely safe Online you are not real, it’s a persona, trying to impress but it’s not real, yet the effects are real

• Better understanding of what it is like to be a young carer If you slap a child, it creates fear not respect • To be with others who are in the Your treatment as a child shapes the way you grow same boat Without media you are closed off • To have someone to talk to • To be able to be with mates more • Better knowledge of what help is ‘If you see something that you feel is not right, available speak to someone you trust’ • Support • No bullying A follow up session with Spectacle Theatre in January 17 • More opportunities involved the young people watching ‘Losers’ a film they had ‘Should help the community to produced on ‘sexting.’ understand what it is like to be The young people explored the circumstances around this a young carer too’ issue through role play and discussions.

Shine on Rhondda / page 4

Shine On The Rhondda Project The Shine on the Rhondda Project aimed at working with communities to support young people into volunteering by capturing individual interests and supporting young people into opportunities that are available to them. Shine on Rhondda has worked with youth clubs, secondary schools and Coleg y Cymoedd to support the volunteering within the Welsh Baccalaureate. The project enabled a volunteer fair to take place in Treorchy Comprehensive School where 260 pupils attended and were able to meet and gain information from different community organisations. The project worked with Coleg y Cymoedd and the Boost project engaging young people in a Fresher’s event fair where 300 young people attended organisations as well as public services were able to provide volunteer information to young people. ‘Thank you for today, great to see the students so eager to volunteer. Brilliant work, thanks again.’ Donna Smollet Coleg y Cymoedd The project supported Tonypandy Community College by engaging with pupils in year 10 to discuss their interests and develop ways of allowing them to persue their interests by volunteering. ‘Great, thanks Becky, the WRU have agreed to take 12 students to volunteer, thank you.’ Jo Carey, Tonypandy Community College

Case Study Working within schools and youth clubs allowed the worker to form relationships.

‘Ben’ initially had no interest in volunteering and the school struggled to engage him. He started asking questions about volunteering at the youth club, was given some information and he explained his interests. As a result, an interview was arranged with Toogoodtowaste. Lacking in confidence, the project allowed Ben to discover his interests and start volunteering, so it is the magic or getting interested young people in touch with people who can help well done Valleys Kids and Toogoodtowaste!

‘He starts induction on Tuesday, he is really buzzing over it, nice work Becky.’ Roger Willcox, Valleys Kids

Students from Coleg y Cymoedd attended the Getting Porth Connected Event.

Health, Social Care and Wellbeing / page 5

Health, Social Care and Wellbieng - supporting people and

working together on early intervention and prevention to improve health, social care and wellbeing

Intermediate Care Fund - Community Capacity Grant Scheme 2016-17 This year the ICF Community Capacity Grant Scheme distributed a total of £120,000 between 16 third sector organisations supporting older people. Projects ranged from befriending, formalised specialist bereavement to jiving! With a focus on combating the impact of loneliness and isolation and supporting older people to maintain their health, wellbeing and independence all projects achieved exceptional outcomes and a larger grant scheme was secured for 2017/18!

‘We are grateful for the opportunity to get together, have healthy food, meet new people and have a chat.’ Members of Treharris Boys and Girls Club Almond Tree Counselling Service

to improve client emotional well-being through counselling interventions targeted at those aged 50+

Care and Repair

to expand Healthy Homes Scheme and work alongside other projects to offer enhanced packages of support

Cruse Bereavement Service

to provide a “4 Point Plan” to tackle the unprecedented rate of referrals for generic and specialist support

Deafblind UK

to provide community outreach and specific on-the-ground service for local deafblind communities across Cwm Taf

Growing Space

to develop therapeutic gardens at Bronllwyn and Caeglas Care Homes

Merthyr Citizens Advice Bureau

to provide a gateway of advice and support via a home visiting service in order to maximise income and reduce fuel poverty

Merthyr Town AFC Past Carers Group, RCT

to develop new walking football provision within North Merthyr Tydfil area and play recreational and competitive matches to support transition from being a Carer once the caring role has ended

Penrhys Partnership Trust

to provide a series of workshops based on ‘a trip down memory lane’

Pontyclun Bosom Pals

to provide a range of support for members affected by breast cancer and their carers

Rowan Tree Cancer Care

to provide a new and innovative befriending service in RCT for older clients whose lives are touched by cancer

Royal Voluntary Service Treharris Boys & Girls Club

to provide Good Neighbours Service in conjunction with existing and new services to deliver a local Food, Fitness and Friendship project

Unity Cymru Theatre

to introduce Unity Jive; a physical and fun project that will motivate and engage over 50’s to improve physical and emotional health and wellbeing

Valleys Kids

to provide an inclusive community programme for older adults and their families within the Porth / Rhydyfelin areas

Volunteering Matters

to provide one-to-one befriending support across RCT and Merthyr Tydfil and compliment other existing community based befriending schemes

Health, Social Care and Wellbeing / page 6

Cwm Taf Crystal Trophy Awards 2016-2017 Community Groups Praised at Health Challenge Cwm Taf Crystal Trophy Awards! Community groups promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing ill-health in Cwm Taf have been celebrated and rewarded at this year’s Crystal Trophy Awards ceremony. Kelechi Nnoaham, Executive Director for Public Health at Cwm Taf University Health Board spoke about the importance of partnering with communities. On which note first prize went to the Unity Jive, a physical and fun dance project for older people who learnt Rock ’n’ Roll and Jive. People formed great friendships through a range of impressive dance routines.

Second prize went to the Can’t Cook Slow Cook project designed to encourage families to foster healthier and easier ways to cook. Families were provided with a slow cooker and taught how to cook healthy meals at a fraction of the cost compared to conventional cooking methods. Families learned together, the children also participated in games and activities whilst parents learned how to maximise their income by switching energy providers and by accessing Food Co-ops.

‘The energy focus and drive of all the organisations is just amazing. Looking at the enthusiasm and joy, I wish we could bottle it.’ Dr Chris Jones, Chairperson, Cwm Taf University Health Board

Trehafod Shotokan Karate Club, which scooped third prize, was created in response to the increase in anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and drug use causing a huge impact on people’s lives within the local community. The Karate Club set up to divert young people away from crime, promoting a healthy and positive outlook towards exercise and life. Anti-social behaviour in the area has reduced dramatically in the area.

‘The result of the opening night was staggering - over 100 people turned up for the first Karate lesson.’ PC Bird

‘Everyone has said that their physical health, confidence and self-esteem has improved since taking part , dance is a fun and enjoyable activity.’ Unity Jive

Community Coordinators / page 7

Community Coordinators Community Coordinators have had a highly successful year connecting older people to services and activities in their community.

Referrals received between April 2016 - January 2017

Referrals made between April 2016 - January 2017


people helped into support in their communities

Community groups include: Men’s Sheds Wednesday Club Knitting Nanna’s Cameo Gardening groups Tea Dances Singing Groups

Stakeholder Survey 2016


new groups identified


reported increased confidence in the quality of services delivered by third sector


reported increased knowledge of services offered by third sector

Community Coordinators / page 8

‘I can learn and develop to my full potential. I do things that matter to me’ Mrs D is 82 and was referred as she was isolated and lonely. She is partially sighted and wanted to join in with social activities with support. After the initial conversation to determine the support she was seeking, Mrs D decided that she could offer her time to befriend another lonely and isolated individual by visiting them in their own home. Following signposting Mrs D to Welcome Friends Befriending Project, she received training, has a DBS check and is now matched with an older person who was in need of befriending.


of SPA referrals avoided progression into statutory services (pilot in RCT SPA)


of cases dealt with have not returned to Social Services


new initiatives developed including: • Christmas Lunches for 200+ lonely and isolated older people • 5 Mens and Ladies Sheds • 20 Virtual Ward Rounds with 30 patients referred to Coordinators • Brokering Third Sector engagement in condition-specific health projects eg COPD • Lifestyle champion training for GP Clusters resulting in greater community connection

‘It’s been really beneficial, they are easy to engage with lots of knowledge about the community. I’ve been really surprised at what’s out there which has given me more confidence in the preventative approach and promoting preventative services. They come forward with ideas and think outside the box. I really underestimated what they could do.’

‘They’ve been a godsend to the Team and we look forward to them coming in. They go above and beyond to find something out and have contributed to us developing much more of a person-centred approach.’

Referred by Social Services, Mr T’s wife had recently passed away and he was identified as lonely. The Community Coordinator invited him to a local Christmas Lunch. After attending this he was also informed of the Men’s Shed Kurling group and a local soical activity group which he has attended and is continuing to engage with on a weekly basis.

Volunteering / page 9

Volunteering - supporting volunteers and volunteer organisations A huge well done to Trivalis and Home-Start RCT both of which attained the Valuing Volunteers QA Standard 2016 - 2017

The Volunteer Centre supports voluntary organisations to support volunteers through good quality volunteer management. Interlink’s Valuing Volunteers standard got off to a great start with Trivallis and HomeStart RCT being successful in receiving the Valuing Volunteers Award and reporting on how they now feel much better able to support, value and recognise their volunteers.

Volunteers Say Thank You

‘Christine Davies has been an excellent Mentor during this process giving us guidance and feedback. I would highly recommend the Valuing Volunteer programme to everyone as it really does make you look at how you do things and then make them even better.’ Simon Deacon, Trivalis

Interlink are lucky to work with hundreds of amazing volunteers every year whose lives have been transformed through volunteering, and we get many lovely volunteers saying ‘thank you’.

Clare Jones told me; ‘When you see the difference volunteering for just a few hours can make, there’s really no excuse for not getting involved.’

‘Thank you for your help. It’s very much appreciated.’ Steve Smith - who recently became a Trustee with Cruse Bereavement Care

‘Thank you for forwarding my information to Cruse Bereavement Care the role is perfect for me.’ Bradley Matthews 9


volunteers placed

209 advice and support sessions provided

Volunteering / page 10


What volunteering means to me A volunteers experience After having my 5th child 13 years ago, I experienced severe post-natal depression and anxiety, which stopped me working for 12 years. My health was very ‘up and down’ during that time, I rarely went out and always felt drowsy due to the medication I was taking. Some days were better than others and on a ‘good day’ I could get out of bed, get dressed and spend time with my children, just doing normal everyday things. But on a bad day I couldn’t even get out of bed and because my husband worked full time, I had to rely heavily on my sister who was amazing. She’d come over at short notice, look after the children and house, she’d even cook the evening meal. I met Chris in Aberdare, she listened to what I wanted to do and how my illness affected me. She then told me how volunteering could help and gave me information about different organisations. I realised that after being out of work for so long I needed to work my way towards paid work again. I was interested in two opportunities, volunteering in Mountain Ash Hospital and the café in the Feel Good Factory. Volunteering has made a huge difference to my life, it gave me my confidence back, I started feeling better about things. It also gave me the incentive to do things, even on bad days I’d get up and dressed and my family noticed the difference in me as well. Volunteering really helped with my recovery.

‘I GOT THAT JOB’ Kelly at the Feel Good Factory

Fernhill Community Gardens does the business Working in partnership with Business In The Community Cymru Interlink has put businesses in touch with local community groups throughout RCT. Interlink helped arrange a 43 strong team of volunteers to transform Fernhill Community Gardens and offices in Mountain Ash.

That was a year ago and I’ve gone from strength to strength since. When a part time post became available at the Feel Good Factory I applied for it and I GOT THAT JOB!! I’m now working full time. The extra money has made a huge difference, I can give the children treats and days out now, my whole family is benefitting.

‘The team who supported us were amazing. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they achieves so much in such a short time. I can’t thank you enough for arranging this.’ Bev Morgan, Fernhill Youth Project

Young People’s Volunteering / page 11

VolFactor! - Groups celebrate Gwirvol youth grants success! Interlink RCT’s youth-led grant scheme titled ‘The Vol Factor’ offers grant support to projects involving 16-25 year-old volunteers in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Grant funding comes via the Welsh Assembly Government’s GwirVol scheme. Seven more youth-led groups in Rhondda Cynon Taf were awarded GwirVol ‘Vol Factor’ grants.

All seven projects engaged more young people aged 14-25 in volunteering by delivering youthled projects between September 2016 to the end of March 2017. The projects were celebrated in a Youth Volunteering Celebration evening in June 2017.

Spectacle Theatre RCT, Active Valleys and RCT Young Carers Group all received support from the scheme for projects involving 16-25 year-old volunteers in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Spectacle Theatre’s ‘My Practice Smile’ involved young people creating a peer to peer training tool kit, focusing on mental health, bullying and self-harm. This includes the creation of a DVD, digital resource pack and App, as well as face-toface delivery of the training.

Active Valleys’ ‘Student Volunteer Programme’ encouraged students to deliver internal sports competitions and an RCT primary school tag rugby festival. RCT Young Carers Group‘s ’Cultural Activities’ project looked at different cultures and how other children’s lives are affected through music and dance. In September, Hirwaun YMCA, the Urdd, RCT People First and the Aberdare Valley Football League, also made successful bids, receiving GwirVol grants.


Vol Factor Panel, Neil Sanders, Kari Jones and Ryan Davies

Carys Parry of Spectacle Theatre said; ‘The young people are absolutely thrilled and are chomping at the bit to getting going. This project is the beginning of something quite special, Young people, empowering other young people to make changes for themselves.’



Hirwaun YMCA

Girls Multisport and Football Project



Merched Go


RCT People First Team Building Project £630 Aberdare Valley Junior Development AFL Centre


Spectacle Theatre

My Practice Smile


Active Valleys

Student Volunteer Programme


RCT Young Carers Group

Cultural Activities


Young People’s Volunteering / page 12

Volunteer Management Training Volunteer managers have given top marks to the training they received from Interlink RCT to help them recruit and train their own volunteers. Sessions held in Pontypridd and Merthyr covered topics including Preparing for volunteers and Volunteer recruitment, selection and induction. Those who attended came from a wide range of organisations including Valleys Steps; Drink Wise, Age Well; Merthyr and Valleys Mind and the Welsh Blood Service. In their feedback forms following the course, participants gave the training full marks, saying it was excellent and relaxed, and that they had learnt lots of useful information which will help their organisations. They also said they had gained valuable information and ideas from others.

‘The session is very interactive which is an excellent way to learn. It was very hands on, a good way to facilitate.’


University students supported into volunteering placements


people referred to

77 organisations

136 confirmed placements


of volunteers satisfied with the service


Community Advice / page 13

Community Advice and Support - providing information, advice, training and funding

Interlinks Community Advice Service provides community groups and organisations in a Rhondda Cynon and Taff with advice, training and support on a wide range of issues including funding and developing projects. More in depth support includes help with business planning and taking on council buildings.


New Groups and Charities

A large part of our role is in supporting communities to develop their project ideas into reality and include taking over former Council buildings or services (asset transfers). This includes new groups forming as well as groups taking on new projects. Over the last year the Community Advice Service responded to over 1000 separate enquiries from individuals, community groups and organisations and supported over 200 trustees.

requests for support with funding leading to over


secured for local community and voluntary organisations

New Life Church secured £390,000 with

Interlink’s help from the Community Facilities Programme for the renovation of their church into a community hub.

‘We have been very impressed with Interlink and obtained far more in funding than we could have imagined.’ Dawn Parkin An RCT Together small grant from Interlink to the Little Lounge helped them to get started with their Café Initiative in Cilfynydd. This is an excellent example of how a small fund to support community action can help a new initiative get off the ground.

A wide range of local groups were supported to become registered charitable incorporated organisations and community interest companies.

Llantrisant and Pontyclun Community Golf had

support to establish a new type of organisation, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or CIO, to develop golf into schools and communities

‘Just had some great news off the charity commission. Thanks again for all your help to date!! I’m sure we will keep pestering you more!!’ Llantrisant and Pontyclun Community Golf

Lee Gardens Pool in Penrhiwceiber raised £23,346 to bring their local paddling pool back into community use.

Community Advice / page 14

Developing A Stronger Sector This year saw the creation of the Cynon Valley Forum involving 3 forum events attended by over 150 people. Those attending really valued the opportunity to talk about common issues and to find out what was going on. Further networking and funding workshops are planned for 2018.

‘Interlink has been an invaluable resource in supporting the establishment of the Cynon Valley Forum at a time where many organisations face ever increasing issues. This support can never been underestimated, as we strive to ensure a prosperous and vibrant future for our communities in the Cynon Valley.’ Neil Reed, Chair YMCA Mountain Ash

Learning and Development


separate training courses were attended by


learners including courses on: • • • •

Fit for funding Meet the governance Group dynamics Asset transfers and leases

99% of those attending rated it as good - excellent with

89% showing an increase in their understanding

91% increased confidence 89% increase in their knowledge ‘Very comprehensive explanation of how to apply for funding, thoroughly enjoyed, very engaging!’

‘On behalf of the Syrian Association Wales I would like to thank Interlinks work in RCT. We truly appreciate your continuous support and without your involvement , we would not be able to aim high and reach our potential.’ Ferass Nadde Syrian Association Wales

Several Syrian families also arrived in the Taf Ely area and Interlink supported the Valleys of Sanctuary group to look at how local organisations could welcome and support people into the community. The families greatly appreciated the warm welcome that they received with St Davids Uniting Church and the Syrian Association Wales in organising ‘Welcome’ events; football with Pontypridd and Merthyr AFC; and even a coach trip to the seaside.

Community Advice / page 15

Whoop, whoop money is in. Thank you, thank you - Community Advice and Support Transforming People’s lives

The former Pentre Day Centre has been handed over to the community and is now a busy hub of activity for Pentre residents and is offering learning, skills and employment activities; pre-school classes, mother and toddler groups and clubs for older residents. They have secured employment for a Centre Manager supported by 6 very active volunteers who have tallied up a total of 3,948 hours since they have opened.

Local group Canolfan Pentre is run by local volunteers is now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and have signed a 25 year lease on the building.

Canolfan Pentre were supported to secure: £7,000 from Coalfields Regeneration £5,000 from Awards for All Wales as well as funding from the Welsh Church Act, Meadow Prospect and Asda Community Grant for computers.

Since they have opened their doors in February 2016, successful projects running the Centre include after school club, craft group, Bingo and Mens sheds.

An over 50s group, Hafal, Men's Shed, Valleys Kids, mother and baby group and bingo are just a few groups that run from the Centre. They have plans to open a community cafe in the New Year on a daily basis and are always looking for new ideas or groups to join them on their journey.

‘Communities are important, we must start helping ourselves if we want to make our communities strong again’ Volunteer Canolfan Pentre

‘RCT put us in touch with Interlink, Joanna Markham soon became my go to person on anything I was unsure of.’ Elizabeth Williams, Trustee, Canolfan Pentre

Community Advice / page 16

A helping hand for small groups: Community Action Fund 26 community groups across Rhondda Cynon Taf benefitted from a share of £10,000 of grants from the Community Action Fund, a fund which supports small groups at grassroots level e.g. Rhydyfelin Community Group, Safe Families for Children Wales and the Fern Partnership in Ferndale. The fund was created with Interlink by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council as part of its RCT Together approach. This grant funded training volunteers and community projects. Interlink launched the Taff Ely Wind Farm Community Fund to allow groups more time for projects to apply and deliver. We allocated £2,500 to Avant Theatre and Dance Group, Brynna Football Club, Gilfach Goch Mini and Junior Rugby, Heol Y Cyw Allotments, Little Fingers Kids Club and Tonyrefail Ladies Choir.

Safe Families for Children Wales received £460 to advertise and run training for volunteers to provide support for children with families who are most in need, helping to prevent children entering the care system. Canolfan Pentre was awarded £500 for kitchen equipment to open a community café. The committee also successfully applied to Interlink’s Development Fund for an additional £500.


community groups across RCT benefitted from a share of


of grants from the Community Action Fund

‘Parents/carers of players are extremeley happy that we are able to train weekly outside. Each child is having access to fresh air, exercise and is able to maintain friendships by socialising. Their socia and emotional wellbeing needs are being met through weekly sessions.’ Gilfach Goch Mini and Junior Rugby

‘The RCT Together grant helped us bring our Community together, reflecting the past, discussing the present and planning the future in a variety of activities.’ Avant Theatre and Dance Group ‘The (windfarm) fund supported us to renew the access road and fencing through the allotments opening up the site to disabled gardeners. Everyone now says how nice our allotments look.’ Claire, Heol Y Cyw Allotment


applicants which were referred to Interlink RCT’s Development Grant, secured a share of more than


Involve 2 Evolve / page 17

Involve 2 Evolve ‘Experts through experience’ Stronger Together for Mental Health Services in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil. Involve 2 Evolve is a project that aims to support people to come together to make a positive difference to the mental health services which affect them. The total number of active involvement hours for April 2016 - March 2017 was a brilliant 1069 we thank all those involved for the support over the year. Total number of new people involved for 2016-2017 was 62.

Coffee and Cake Mornings Involve 2 Evolve worked with Service User and Carer representatives and our partners to host 4 ‘Coffee and Cake’ mornings across Cwm Taf.

49 people gave some excellent feedback on Community Mental Health Teams.

‘If I hadn’t come today I wouldn’t have found out about other things that could help me. They really listen to my views and it was great to meet new people.’ Merthyr Participant

Together for Mental Health Representatives A dedicated group of representatives attended the Cwm Taf Together for Mental Health Partnership Board. This is a strategic group that oversees the Welsh Government’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Over the last twelve months, the representatives have: • Advocated for further engagement in Crisis Services. • Developed a proposal for a Patients Council at the Mental health Unit at Royal Glamorgan Hospital. • Presented the results of their Care and Treatment Planning survey to senior managers at Cwm Taf UHB’s Clinical Governance meeting. • Regularly attended Board meetings to represent the voices of people locally.

‘I’m so pleased. This is a good starting point for us and it needs to continue. Service users are central to the development of mental health services and it’s only right they have their say.’ Alyson Jones, Team Leader Merthyr Tydfil

‘The level of jargon used by organisations doesn’t help our understanding in meetings. I don’t think Joe Bloggs on the street feels connected to the Health Board or other organisations. However, through our work with Interlink, we have been involved in reviewing information that is given to Patients and Carers like the information leaflets for the Community Mental Health Team.’

Involve 2 Evolve / page 18

Raising Awareness of Mental Health

Your Wellbeing Matters Project

A fundamental aspect of our work is to raise awareness and challenge the stigma surrounding mental health.

Listening to peoples stories is another key part of our work. Involve 2 Evolve volunteers have:

Involve 2 Evolve volunteers have facilitated the following training sessions over the past 12 months:

• 3 INFORM sessions delivered to GP Practices in RCT - 94% of Participants reported that the session increased their awareness of mental health.

• 6 training sessions facilitated with people

working in partnership with Cardiff University, RCTCBC and Cwm Taf UHB.

‘Very good training giving excellent talk about mental health. Leaflets about local groups very much appreciated.’

• Received training in collecting people’s stories using a story-collecting booklet. • Redesigned the booklet so it is more accessible for people to complete. • Worked alongside Rachel to deliver story-collecting training to staff and other volunteers. ‘T's involvement was great. Being able to hear someone's personal experiences and to ask questions was good. T was clear and descriptive in telling us about her experiences which was extremely beneficial. A great big thank you to her.’

How have people influenced local mental health services over the last 12 months? What People Told Us

What Happened Next

‘There needs to be more social opportunities for people, especially in the Merthyr Tydfil area.’

Interlink has set up a peer support group for people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

‘I would like to see an information leaflet sent out with our first appointment letter. It should include’-

New Patient information leaflets have been developed about the Community Mental Health teams. These were piloted by the Cynon CMHT and have since been rolled out across all teams.

‘We would like to get involved with new developments in Psychology.’

Co-designed research materials with a Trainee Clinical Psychologist for a Trauma research study. ‘The advice and guidance I got from the group were very thought provoking. I hope that the group benefited from meeting me as much I did meeting them. Trainee Clinical Psychologist Cwm Taf UHB’

‘It’s just a maze – I would like to be given better information about the different services that are available locally.’

Involve 2 Evolve have coproduced a new session ‘Who Does What & Where in Mental health’ which was co-delivered with Involve 2 Evolve volunteers in community settings and the inpatient wards at Royal Glamorgan hospital. Our evaluation tells us people are much better informed as a result of the awareness sessions. ‘Very informative should be rolled out to all services’

And Finally… Involve 2 Evolve exists thanks to the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm of all our volunteers. So, a massive thank you must go to everyone who has been involved in this important work over the past 12 months.

Mental Health / page 19

Mental Health Forum

Excellent knowledge of subject, friendly and engaging’

The Forum brings people together to influence positive change in services provided for people with poor mental health, debate local issues and act in the best interest of the mental health community. Members promote mental health awareness, connect and develop new services in response to identified gaps.

• • • • •

‘This is a really good Forum – an excellent meeting today as always’

Safeguarding Depression Busting Stress Management Conflict Resolution Story-telling Training


said that they would recommendStats the Forum to other organisations


training courses delivered






felt well informed


‘Excellent training, great discussion, this training will help me in my work practice.’

found it useful for networking

Funding April 2016 – March 2017 Big Lottery Celebrate Fund to run wellbeing events in Porth - £2,000 Intermediate Care Fund funded 11 new wellbeing projects in Porth - £10,000 Welsh Government for place based work in Porth - £2,000

To deliver adult safeguarding training and Depression Busting- £1,700 Interlink Small Grant for peer support groups - £1,000


1000 Public Health Wales Action Learning for a Mental Health and Deaf Awareness Project - £2,500 Donations raised for World Mental Health Day events - £1,000

Funding Secured

Mental Health / page 20

Getting Porth Connected

World Mental Health Day

A new project connecting people and groups in Porth to improve health and wellbeing using an asset based community development approach (ABCD) with community members and voluntary groups. This has led to increased information through a newsletter and social media and people knowing more about what is available and people working together better.

This year’s World Mental Health Day theme was ‘Dignity in Mental Health Psychological and Mental Health First Aid for All.’ This year’s events took place at the Rhondda Fach Sports Centre (opened by Councillor Rhys Lewis, Mayor) and Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre (opened by Council Leader Brendan Toomey), followed by poetry readings from people who have experienced mental health issues.

With support from Welsh Government Intermediate Care Fund, the community voted to fund a range of amazing projects including mental health first aid, youth theatre, craft, and dementia awareness.

Several hundred people attended the events with over 60 partners promoting their services to offer advice and support to people with mental health issues, carers, friends and family. Many people found the support they needed at the event. There were a number of activities throughout the event, including Mindfulness, Bracelet Making, Reiki, Reflexology, Nail painting, Acoustic Music, Wellbeing/Feedback Tree, Meditation and Tai Chi and Merthyr Aloud Choir.

The Challenging Behaviour Support (CBS) received the largest vote and is a parent led group that offers support to families with children that present with challenging behaviour. Some of the children’s parents struggle to cope and are often at crisis point. The Group organised an Emotional Freedom Technique course in Porth for 30 people with fantastic results.

J's experience

‘Now less than 24 hours later, I feel calmer. I have had my first night’s sleep of 9 hours and I haven’t even attempted to over think my traumatic past. I feel at peace with myself and accept I change the past and I am not to blame for it. I have no idea how to begin to explain this course but what I can say is that I’ve undergone over 20 years of medication, counselling, meditation, relaxation and confidence courses and nothing compares to the results of the EFT course! Thank you so much for the opportunity I had to manage and see my life from a different perspective, and teaching me a way to manage and let go of the past.’

‘Brilliant event, we’ve found services that are going to help our client group that we didn’t know about, overall a good networking experience.’ Valleys Kids

‘I’m so grateful I came to the event today because it’s the best outcome I’ve ever had in terms of support, I’m very impressed.’



The Listening Project / page 21

Your Wellbeing Matters

The Listening Project The listening Project is all about creating meaningful conversations in our communities; helping people and organisations to understand what is going on in our communities, what is amiss and what is going well. Through collecting stories, the project aims to connect communities through talking about what matters to them, whilst providing useful evidence to help develop local solutions.

Older Person’s Listening Project

Having trained over 40 volunteer from 25 organisations, to be ‘Volunteer Listeners’, the project held a conference to share stories and findings, with key themes including the importance of social networks and friendship, transport and experiences of loneliness in the evening/weekends. Over 80 delegates took part in workshops to identify what they could do to build upon the strengths identified and help overcome the issues identified; and what they could do in collaboration with other attendees.

Evaluation and Impact

Following on from the event, where 77% of respondents reported that the information from the presentations or workshops had informed or impacted upon their subsequent work. This included organisations changing the timing of their events/classes to reflect the common theme of experiencing loneliness during evenings and weekends.

Following feedback form the Older Person’s Listening Project, the ‘Your Wellbeing Matters’ story telling project was born out of the Cwm Taf Mental Health Forum as a new initiative to improve wellbeing by breaking down the stigma of talking about mental health, identifying what matters to people, what services help and where the gaps are. Working closely with the Invovle-2Evolve project, the project was co-produced with Service Users, who also took part in peer to peer story telling. ‘Everyone has a story inside them, whether they want to share it with others it’s up to them. But what I have witnessed is that when people are ready to tell their story it gives them a kind of release and relief and often helps them understand what's happened to them and even understanding themselves better. They are often happy in the knowledge if their experiences can help others.’

Similarly to the Older Persons’s Listening Project, Interlink hosted a conference and workshop to share findings and plan for future provision and development of Mental Health Services to reflect what people have told us. ‘Very good discussion and talks, great to discuss the topics with people from all backgrounds/ experiences.’


of attendees rated the overall event as Excellent or Very Good Event Evaluation:

‘Lots of informed discussion between agencies. Lots of common agreement. Must not lose this, must take this forward.’ 21

60% Excellent 33% Very good 7% Good

Community Voice / page 22

Community Voice: Changing Lives: Changing Communities Community Voice to Create Your Space The Community Voice Programme is about involving people and working to improve public services. People and communities who use services work with those who provide them, share decisions and experiences and learn together as equals.

Who was involved?

Co-producing the Future - Glyncoch Regeneration Partnership Create a Voice – Eye to Eye The Breakthrough Project – Age Concern Morgannwg Our Voice, Our Future – Tonypandy Community College Neighbours – Spectacle Theatre Wanting to be heard – Cardiff Vale and the Valleys Ynysybwl Futures – Ynysybwl and Glyncoch Regeneration Partnership Welcome to Our Woods – Learn and Grow

My Name is Dominic Baker, the support I have been given from the Community Voice project has helped me develop my skills such as communication and teamwork skills. Also it’s helped me achieve my CSCS card and supported me to get into college. If it wasn’t for the project I would be in a lot more trouble in the community.’ Dominic Baker

My Practice Smile

An awe inspiring group of young people took responsibility to empower others to change things for themselves and have an impact on mental health. Young people came together with the support of Spectacle Theatre and Community Voice partners to create a training tool kit on mental health, bullying and self-harm, including a DVD, a resource pack and an ‘App’, and delivered face to face training.

Coproduction Works! Outcomes Smashed! Due to the outstanding efforts of all the people and communities involved and all our partners, all the programme targets were smashed!

• The number of people involved in engagement opportunities - 6,317 (target 3,550) • Opportunities developed for people and service providers to work together 391 (target 40) • People and communities reporting improved participation through more effective engagement with public services - 2,772 (target 1000)

Glyncoch – Coproducing the Future

The project delivered Street Games where young people ran community sports sessions for other children and young people! The Youth Forum successfully applied for Starbucks funding to involve over 90 people and 12 services in sports, healthy eating and volunteering activities, with young people leading the project benefitting from improved leadership and life skills.

Ynysybwl and Welcome to Our Woods!

The success of Community Voice has led to two hugely successful bids to the Lottery’s Create Your Space programme attracting over £2,000,000 to RCT over the next 7 years in Ynysybwl and the Upper Rhondda, where local communities will lead on developing a new approach to making better use of their local spaces. There are lots of other projects in the melting pot, including applications for young people to create safe places and a new young person’s enterprise programme - giving young people a voice and opportunities. ‘It’s a close knit community, it’s a friendly place and the people are helpful. When my children were growing up here there was nothing for them to do, I would like to see better for my grandchildren.’ A future for our children

Executive Committee / page 23

Executive Committee April 2016 to March 2017

Jean Harrington



Pauline Richards

Valleys Kids

Vice Chair

Geoff Bell

Llantrisant and District 50+ Forum


Richard Flowerdew

RCT Scouts

Treasurer (from March 2017)

(until March 2017)

(from November 2016)

Kate O’Sullivan

Gilfach Goch Community Association

Rhian Dash

Rowan Tree Cancer Care

Stephen Davis

Spectacle Theatre

Janet Whiteman

New Horizons

Louisa Addiscott

Glyncoch Community Regeneration

Jeff Woodington

Safe Families for Children

(until November 2016) (until March 2017)

(from March 2017)

Natasha Applasamy Co-opted (from November 2016)

Staff Team / page 24

Staff Team Simon James Anne Morris Kath Price Alisa Davies Cara Jordan-Evans Joanna Markham Ken Moon Meriel Gough Jason Tynan Karen Powell Christine Davies Thomas Crockett Maria Abson Rachel Wyatt Lucy Foster Bethan Smith Brandon Allsopp Helen Stokes Sue Phillips

Chief Executive Health and Social Care Manager Office Manager Finance Officer Information and Communications Officer Development Officer Development Officer Community Coordinator Rhondda Community Coordinator Cynon Community Coordinator Taff Volunteering Development Officer Volunteering Development Officer Mental Health Development Officer Mental Health Service User Involvement Officer (Development) Community Voice Participation and Evaluation Officer/ Service User Involvement Development Officer Community Action Researcher Volunteering Centre Administrator (until June 2016) Reception/Hospitality Assistant (from July 2016) Fframwaith Participation and Involvement Officer (Hosted by Interlink)

Interlink Cleaners

Jackie Willis Rebecca Edwards (until January 2017)

Interlink Volunteers

Steph McNicholas Paul Robinson Mark White Kayleigh Taylor

Accounts / page 25

Accounts Accounts Balance Sheet as at 31 March 2017

2017 £

2016 £

17,199 243,966 261,165

24,988 213,601 238,589

75,677 303,487 379,164

212,343 198,518 410,861



Net Current Assets



Net Assets



Funds Unrestricted income Funds







Fixed Assets Tangible Fixed Assets Investments Current Assets Debtors Cash at Bank and in hand Liabilities: Amounts falling due within one year

Restricted income Funds Total Funds

These summarised accounts may not contain sufficient information to allow for a full understanding of the financial affairs of the charitable company. For further information, the full accounts, the independent auditor’s report and the trustees’ annual report should be consulted. Copies of these can be obtained from Interlink, 6 Melin Corrwg, Cardiff Road, Upper Boat CF37 5BE Telephone: 01443 846200. To the Members of Interlink RCT In the opinion of the independent auditors, Williams Ross Limited, the summarised accounts given in this document are consistent with the full annual accounts. The full annual accounts were approved by the trustees on 24 October 2017. WILLIAMS ROSS LIMITED Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditor, 4 Ynys Bridge Court, Gwaelod y Garth, Cardiff, CF15 9SS.

Accounts / page 26

Accounts Statement of Financial Activities (Including Income and Expenditure Account) for the year ended 31 March 2017 Unrestricted £

2017 Restricted £

Total £

2016 Total £





307,041 59,150

509,338 -

816,379 59,150

935,833 51,243

8,175 11,550

5,680 -




Donations and legacies Income from charitable activities: Grants and contracts Management fees Income from other trading activities: Printing and room hire Consultancy and training Investment Income

8,175 11,550




4,128 395,337


4,128 919 904,675 1,002,611

Cost of Raising Funds Expenditure on Charitable Activities Total Expenditure

4,633 427,472 432,105

528,464 528,464

4,633 955,936 960,569

4,380 993,733 998,113

Operating (deficit)/surplus





Gains/(losses) on investments





Net (expenditure)/income for the year Transfers between funds

(8,144) -

(19,126) -

(27,270) -

(5,595) -





Funds brought forward





Funds Carried Forward





Other income Total Income Expenditure

Get In Touch For further information on Interlink’s activities and membership details, visit: Contact us on 01443 846200 E.mail: Interlink, 6 Melin Corrwg, Cardiff Road, Upper Boat CF37 5BE Registered Charity No: 1141143 Company Limited by Guarantee No: 07549533

Annual impact report 16017  
Annual impact report 16017