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Suppor ng and Developing a Vibrant Voluntary Sector

Annual Impact Report 2015 - 2016


groups supported




raised for community and voluntary organisa ons

RCT groups and


Merthyr groups uploaded onto Findagroup

Community Coordinators



volunteers placed

increase in the knowledge of services offered by voluntary sector organisa ons and community groups


Involve 2 Evolve involvement hours grew to over

training courses



at the Living Wage that equates to



but it is worth much more than that!

Community Voice

The number of people that report that services are better meeting their needs


Abundant Communi es

The Difference We Make Together Welcome We believe listening to people and communi es is at the core of tackling poverty and improving wellbeing. Interlink works with community and voluntary organisa ons to involve people in addressing the challenges they face. Due to ongoing austerity and a reduc on in community services, we are faced with providing more support to those most in need of help. Community and voluntary organisa ons are expected to deal with an endless number of challenges, to con nue to do more with less, to be resilient. However, Rhondda Cynon Taf has an abundance of excep onal community and voluntary organisa ons that constantly rise to these challenges. We are constantly amazed by how much is achieved with very li le money. We do have assets and resources, they are the people and the communi es of RCT. The contribu on of volunteers is immeasurable. Our Collec ve Impact Report is not about Interlink, as we can achieve nothing without the support of community and voluntary organisa ons and our partners. The support we get is truly excep onal. We thank each and every one of you.

Jean Harrington Chair, Interlink

Simon James Chief Execu ve Officer

OUR OUTCOMES Individuals, communi es and organisa ons •

• • •

Promote wellbeing due to increased volunteering, community connec vity and community ac on. Are resilient as a result of building social capital and strong and sustainable community and voluntary groups. Have the informa on, advice, support and training to be effec ve. Are well connected. Contribu on to local decision making is meaningful, recognised and valued.

Plans for the Year were set out in the Strategic Delivery Plan 2014-15. The Plan was tled Building Stronger Communi es ‘suppor ng and connec ng people and communi es in RCT.’ We believe that we can tackle poverty and improve wellbeing by working together and harnessing the huge amount of knowledge and skills held by individuals, communi es and organisa ons in RCT. Interlink provides informa on, advice and support to individuals and community and voluntary groups in Rhondda Cynon Taff. Interlink is a charity with over 450 members and is called a County Voluntary Council.

Our three main areas of work are: Community Advice - ‘Giving communi es all the informa on and support they need’

Interlink has

482 members


Community Volunteering - ‘Suppor ng volunteering to happen’ Community Voice - ‘Suppor ng people and communi es to be involved’


Collec ve Impact Report 2015/16 How we supported volunteers, community groups and voluntary organisa on in 2015/16


‘We put people and communi es at the centre of everything we do.’



new services and organisa ons supported

groups supported

training courses




Every Li le Bit Helps

We helped provide 32 organisa ons in small grants in 2015/16 Community Advice

ly Taff E

nd u F arm ind F


0 0 5 , £2

Interlink Development Fund

The Team provide an incredible amount of in depth support and training in areas such as se ng up new groups and legal structures, business planning, reaching out to the wider community, and funding.


people a ending funding events



raised for community and voluntary organisa ons



R Comm CT Togeth er unity Ac o n Fun d


£8,400 Gwirvol Youth Grant


Trustee Enquiries

Volunteering and Voice Our Achievements Community Voice

Volunteering We had great success placing volunteers through the Volunteer Centre and working with the University of South Wales to place students with member organisa ons.


volun teers


Over 6,000 people of all ages and abili es have been involved, suppor ng people to have a VOICE and take ac on on things that ma er to them. Interlink RCT coordinates 8 organisa ons to work together to deliver 8 projects to engage people and communi es in public service design and delivery. The programme is all about coproduc on between public services and people who use these services. The lessons learnt from this approach will inform the Local Service Board and all partners about meaningful engagement in designing and developing public services.



enquiries on good prac ce in managing volunteers

0 0 d in 1 e c r a e l p Ov ns teers

volun rganisa o t n e stud nity o u m com

The number of people that report that services are better meeting their needs


‘Thank you for the opportunity and valuing my views.’ Young Person Glyncoch

‘Volunteering is fun and enjoyable, it helps you to build confidence and feel posi ve about ge ng back into work.’


Findagroup and Listening Findagroup

- community and voluntary sector organisa ons in RCT and Merthyr can now promote who they are and what they do through our Findagroup.

The Listening Project - trained


collectors and captured the experiences from older people and changed the experiences into data. This means we can listen, learn and act on evidence to tackle the concerns of older people. The key issues iden fied were loneliness, transport and informa on and advice. 43 volunteer listeners were trained from over 25 organisa ons.

187 Merthyr groups

Within months of the training over

uploaded onto Findagroup

120 stories had been

RCT groups and


collected from Older People across Cwm Taf

‘Really good to see so many dedicated people interested in listening to older people and trying to minimise peoples isola on and loneliness.’ ‘This is brilliant! I’ve asked my staff to input all our services and loca ons!’

Upon presen ng the findings,




of respondents in a post event survey reported that it had impacted upon or changed their subsequent work

‘What I learned is that a lot of older people are not just concerned about themselves. They are concerned about younger people and the community at large.’


Community Wellbeing A wide range of support took place to engage the third sector in health, mental health and wellbeing in service development and delivery.

Community Coordinators

have been an overwhelming success, enabling older people to find out about and take part in a huge range ac vi es and services in the community to address isola on and loneliness.

Statutory partners (UHB, Local Authority, PCSO’s) reported:

80% reported an increase in the number of referrals made to voluntary organisa ons and community groups

Mental Health - Involve 2 Evolve


- involved service users working with GP surgeries to raise awareness of how to support pa ents experiencing issues with their mental health. We have been able to employ some support for the project to involve more people and reach out further into the community.


of par cipants at INFORM training sessions felt the training had increased their awareness of poor mental health

Involvement hours grew to over

1,000 •

100% increase in the knowledge of services offered by voluntary sector organisa ons and community groups 73% of respondents reported an increased confidence in the quality of services delivered by voluntary organisa ons and community groups

Third Sector partners reported: • Number of referrals from Local Authority has increased by 23% •

Number of referrals from GP Surgeries has increased by 30%

A 27% increase in referrals from social housing

at the Living Wage that equates to

£8,250 but it is worth much more than that!

‘I like being involved because we make a difference to everyone we meet be it a li le or a lot we are INFORM us, you, them, everybody. All you need is someone to listen and hear the words that you say.’ Nigel Benne , Volunteer trainer


Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Neighbourhoods Neighbourhood Community Capacity Scheme (Intermediate Care Fund) of £65,000 was distributed between 13 projects has supported 1000’s of older people get help from befriending schemes, demen a services and community ac vi es for older people. It has helped connect services provided by the voluntary sector, GP’s, nurses and social services. The independent evalua on has been extremely posi ve, leading to the Community and Voluntary Sector being highly valued with addi onal £100,000 being secured for 2016/17.

‘Thank you for informing me volunteers were needed on Christmas Day at St Fagan’s Church. I volunteered with my friend. It was one of the best Christmases I’ve had for many a year.’ Mrs.D, Volunteer

£65,000 for 2015/16

£100,000 for 2016/17

Mrs R said: ‘Thank you so much for helping me and my husband in obtaining handrails. A er I spoke to you about how I get them, my husband fell outside the house and is now very grateful that they were fi ed. All within 2 weeks from when I first spoke to you. Thank you for the prompt service.


Men in Sheds - Telecare and Business School

A place where he feels at home and pursues prac cal and independent interests

Memories - Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust

A programme of Music Memories, Dance and Exercise Event and the crea on and launch of a Memory Box service

It Doesn’t Have to be Like This - Valleys Kids

It Doesn’t Have to be Like This’ is a programme of weekly ac vi es engaging 65+ in social ac vi es, excercise and arts and culture

Demen a Care Rhondda Fach - Alzheimer’s Society

This project in the Rhondda Fach provide a service for people affected by demen a

A ernoon Tea Troedyrhiw Youth Forum

This intergenera onal project will provide chair exercises, dance sessions, a tradi onal party and quiz games

PATCH (Posi ve Ac on Towards Change) Parkinson’s UK

Develop Parkinson’s Café in Merthyr Tydfil and offer taster ac vi es including music, medita on, yoga and reflexology

Care Gardens Growing Space

Create 2 therapeu c gardens to encourage residents with demen a to par cipate in the communal outdoor spaces in the grounds of care homes

Companionship, Workshops to encourage Conversa on and Crea vity friendships in and outside the - Beddau and Tynant group to give older people Community Library confidence in mee ng new people and revive their interest in new hobbies Community Road Safety Campaign - Rhondda 50+ Forum

A week of ac vi es in the community to address road safety as part of Na onal Road Safety Week

Reaching Out Age Connects Morgannwg (ACM)

Befriending support to isolated older people, focussing on those who have been bereaved

Take Me Out - Accessible Caring Transport

Expand the Range Rider Service to develop a programme trips to include those who are frail or disabled

Time to Talk Cruse Bereavement Care

Run 4 bereavement support groups

Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Project 5 Ways To Wellbeing Merthyr and The Valleys Mind

One gentleman used to distance himself from the ac vi es and kept himself busy making tea and coffee for the tenants. Each week, Project 5 staff would gently encourage him to be involved and build rela onship with him. It has been a step by step journey and now he no longer keeps to himself and ac vely joins in the ac vi es and is a popular and ac ve member of the group.

Sheds - Crystal Trophy Awards This year’s winner of the Crystal Trophy and £1500 prize money was the HAPI project which aims to provide individuals and families with the skills and knowledge to help them to make posi ve choices to improve their health and wellbeing. As a result of the project local residents in Rhydyfelin have gained employment and taken a lead on community ac vi es to benefit and sustain the project.

cond prize of £1000 went to Porth Men’s and Second Women’s Sheds whose aim is to help those at risk of social isola on and loneliness by providing ac vi es in a friendly, welcoming place. Tom loves to take part in the arts and cra s ac vi es, he was unaware of his ar s c ability un l ge ng involved. Tom recycles jars and ns and brings these to the groups for our recycled arts projects and is very relaxed, comfortable and confident when taking part.

Third prize of £750 was awarded to RCT Homes (Trevallis) for their Go4it project which supports families to live a more ac ve and healthy life style. Families enjoyed sports taster sessions and took part in cookery sessions with advice provided by a die cian.

‘I really enjoy a ending our group, I didn’t think that I would enjoy the stories and memories as I didn’t think that I had anything much to share. I don’t go very far these days due to my health and things. I do like to socialise though.’

Finally fourth prize of £500 went to Merthyr and the Valleys Mind for their Project 5 Ways to Wellbeing which aims to reduce the impact of loneliness and isola on and improve the health and wellbeing of older people, volunteers support them to engage with ac vi es around the 5 Ways to Wellbeing Give, Learn, Connect, be Ac ve and take No ce.

Tom’s par cipa on with Project 5 ac vi es has strengthened his rela onship with other tenants and reduced feelings of isola on. It is such a pleasure to see how Tom’s rela onship with the team at Project 5 has developed over the months and the enjoyment and sa sfac on he receives from par cipa ng.

‘I find Aerobics very good for me as I had a stroke and now I haven’t got good balance. So it’s nice that I am moving around a bit. You have a good laugh.’ Par cipant at Armchair Aerobics 8


Awesome! That was the verdict on

Fes vol - our first-ever outdoor celebra on of volunteering.

Fes vol gave members the chance to celebrate their volunteers, who enjoyed a free family fun day.

Held in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd on 6 June, the event offered our member organisa ons the opportunity to showcase their projects to hundreds of people. Hirwaun Drum Majors drummed up enthusiasm by star ng off the day in style with a parade.

Some of the many exhibitors on the day included the Phoenix Ini a ve, Toogoodtowaste, Rhondda Breast Friends, Purple Shoots, Glyncoch Regenera on, Contact a Family, Pontypridd Museum, Menter Iaith, New Horizons, RCT People First. We can’t list everyone who a ended here – but would like to thank everyone for your contribu on to the day!

Cor Meibion Morlais later called the tune when they filled the park with upli ing music.

‘A big thank you to all the team at Interlink for making Fes vol go so well. We certainly enjoyed the atmosphere in the marquee and look forward to next year.’ Byron Young, Cor Meibion Morlais There was also a fashion show featuring wedding ou its presented by Rowan Tree Cancer Care and live music, as well as a number of interac ve informa on stands. ‘Had a great day at Fes vol organised by Interlink RCT. Met lots of inspira onal chari es and voluntary groups.’ Graham Williams, South Wales Police Hate Crime Unit

Highlights of the day included Interlink RCT’s Annual Volunteer Celebra on, held in the main marquee, where volunteers were presented with cer ficates.


Feedback from Fes vol showed that a good me was had by all - and that member organisa ons were pleased to have the opportunity to inform people about their work.

Volunteering A Li le Extra Help - Peer Mentoring with Interlink Sherrie had always worked in offices but when her husband became ill, she gave up work to become his full- me carer. Through helping her husband, she realised she would also like to help others and originally considered youth work.

Valuing Volunteers is for any community groups or organisa ons that wants to show that they value and support their volunteers. You may be doing a great job already but may want to do even be er or would like to have some recogni on for the work that you do. For larger organisa ons, Inves ng in Volunteers may be appropriate, but for smaller organisa ons, both the me and cost may be off pu ng.

‘I wanted to be out and about in the community, mee ng new people and I knew I wanted to support people who needed a li le extra help and make a difference to them.’ she said. Sherrie heard about the Volunteer Centre at Interlink through her husband’s connec ons at the organisa on and met Volunteer Officer Chris Davies. Chris told her about the Peer Mentor service that supports people having difficulty ge ng into a voluntary group to successfully bridge the gap and from their first mee ng, Sherrie knew Peer Mentoring was what she’d been looking for. Sherrie a ended training, signed up as a Peer Mentor and was introduced to an adult with learning difficul es. ‘I’ve learnt a lot since then, I now have a be er understanding of Karen’s life and how her condi on affects her. I’ve learnt that working with adults with learning difficul es needs pa ence and understanding. I’ve benefi ed by seeing Karen happier and more confident. It’s a lovely feeling to know that I achieved that.’ Karen now volunteers at a local food bank and a er just two weeks of ge ng se led in, she was willing to a end alone. Sherrie, who received support from Development Officer Chris whenever she needed it, is now moving on and wonders who she will support next and what challenges there will be. Sherrie says she has achieved what she set out to do and Karen is happy in her volunteering opportunity.

Interlink has created a quality standard and can offer help, advice and support to any group that wishes to take part. Taking part is free and you can tell others that you are working towards ‘Valuing Volunteers’ status.

‘Volunteers are the life blood of Home-Start RCT Valuing Volunteers has given us the opportunity to assess our current prac ces and procedures and ensure we con nue to recognise the posi ve impact that volunteers have on the lives of children, young people and families.’ Sue Norris, Scheme Manager, Home-Start RCT


Volunteering VolFactor! -

Interlink’s Youth Led

Grant Scheme Interlink RCT’s youth-led grant scheme ‘The Vol Factor’ offers grant support to projects involving 16-25 year-old volunteers in Rhondda Cynon Taf and is funded via the Welsh Government’s Gwirvol programme.

Volunteer Management Training Eighteen par cipants from 14 different voluntary groups a ended and enjoyed Interlink and VAMT’s Volunteer Management Training Course in January and February 2016. The course, consisted of four sessions over six days, with the par cipants being either employees or volunteers.

These sessions covered: • • • •

Introducing what volunteers do Why a volunteering policy is important and how to develop one Learning about how to recruit, select and induct volunteers into an organisa on What mo vates volunteers, support, supervision and training of volunteers.

Interlink’s Youth Led Grant Panel allocated their £8,400 fund to thirteen projects. RCT People First

Rock Week

Aberdare Valley Associa on Football League

Junior Development Centre

Spectacle Theatre

Bullying Behaviour

Unity Theatre

Hansel and Gretel Community Pantomime

Fernhill Youth Project

Healthy Ea ng Sessions

Menter Iaith

Gweithdai DJ

Menter Iaith

Dosbarthiadau Ffitrwydd

Spectacle Theatre

Community Voice Conference

Avant Theatre

Theatre Produc on in Tonyrefail

Ac ve Valleys

Glowminton Project

Hirwaun YMCA

Gym Buddies

Dynamic Young Communi es

Young Peoples Steering Group

Showcase Theatre

Pantomime Produc on

‘This is great news and thank you so much for helping us in achieving this. The young people will be pleased! Please pass on my thanks to all concerned in making this happen.’ Mark Hu on, Dynamic Young Communi es Project Leader


‘Really good course reaffirmed some things I already knew, really good handouts which I’m definitely going to refer back to. Very fun, never laughed so much at a training course.’ Follow on ac ons iden fied by the par cipants included upgrading volunteer procedures, clarifying role descrip ons, organising volunteer social events, implemen ng targeted recruitment strategies and crea ng Volunteer Marke ng DVDs. ‘Really enjoyed the interac on and working in groups. Felt very relaxed and friendly but with good structure.’

Young People’s Volunteering Ac ve Valleys - Volunteering, Sport and Hannah Hannah started as Women and Girls Project Officer with Ac ve Valleys which is a student-run enterprise which specialises in sustainable, inclusive community sport and Hannah’s goal was to deliver three new women’s sport sessions.

Student Volunteering - with the University of South Wales


local voluntary groups recruited as placement providers


stude nt vo on co lunteers p urs lac volun teeri e-related ed ng pl acem ents

Hannah has also managed to fit in volunteering at Golf Development Wales, Disability Sport Wales, Sport RCT and Rhondda Ladies Hockey Club during her me at the University of South Wales. Hannah says her volunteering role is rewarding and she plans to join the board of Ac ve Valleys. She said the support received from her university lecturer, Hannah Mawson, was important to her, and she would now like to use her experience to support those wan ng to get into volunteering and engage with spor ng organisa ons at all levels.

‘Volunteering with Ac ve Valleys has par cularly helped because of their links with so many partner organisa ons and in my current role, I have been in contact with non-spor ng networks, too. My volunteering started off as a hobby and will hopefully now develop into a career.’

on mo o r P g eerin orted by t n u l Vo supp Week ons a s i n orga ed by end a d n a nts stude




Community Advice Museum Secured for the Community - The Cynon Valley Museum Trust Interlink worked with the Cynon Valley Museum Trust helping trustees with their new roles and responsibili es and manage the transfer of the Museum from the Council to the Trust. Interlink also helped the Trust iden fy sources of funding which has led to them securing more than £132,000 from the Heritage Lo ery, RCT Together and Coalfields Regenera on Trust.

New Life in Tonyrefail In Tonyrefail, Interlink worked with Dawn Parkin of New Life Church to help secure £300,000 from the Welsh Government Community Facili es Programme to refurbish and extend the building with a new training kitchen and toilet facili es. This will allow them to increase their community support ac vi es such as their debt advice sessions, veterans support and youth club. Interlink was able to provide a volunteer business mentor who worked with the group on their business plan.

Dinah Pye, Chair of Cynon Valley Museum Trust said: ‘The Cynon Valley Museum Trust are grateful for the support from the staff at Interlink and for providing relevant informa on to enable the trustees to make progress with this important project.’

Chair Dinah Pye, with Centre Manager Charlo e Morgan, Roy Noble, and others at the launch of the Cynon Valley Museum Since receiving support from Interlink the Trustees and volunteers were able to run a series of open days in the Spring of 2016 whilst they completed the lease nego a ons with Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council. Roy Noble formally re-opened the Museum on 3 September 2016.


Dawn Parkin of New Life Church said: ‘Nothing was too much trouble and without Ken’s help we couldn’t have proceeded with our funding bid. We had no idea how to put our vision down into a business plan and applica ons, but Interlink listened to our ideas and helped us put them in a professional way. We have been very impressed with Interlink and obtained far more in funding than we could have imagined.’

With further support from Interlink New Life Church was able to secure an addi onal £150,000 in match funding, including a loan from WCVA’s Community Investment Fund which will allow them to complete the rebuild of their Church and Community Hub by Spring 2016.

Community Advice Communi es Pull Together RCT Together and Asset Transfer We have worked together with partners to develop a new ‘RCT Together’ approach to look at what Council assets and services the community is able and interested in taking over. We have seen some incredible groups grow and develop such as Beddau and Ty Nant Community Hub, Cynon Valley Museum and Abercynon War Memorial Pool.

We have worked together to develop this new approach to look at what assets and services the community is able and interested in taking on, to support new grass roots community ini a ves to take over surplus Council assets and deliver local services and ac vi es with a greater reliance on volunteers from the community.

RCT Community Ac on Fund The programme has gone on to support groups such as Canolfan Pentre, Treherbert Regenera on and Maerdy Woodlands. This also led to a new small grant scheme, the RCT Community Ac on Fund with £10,000 being given to Interlink from the Council to give to community groups star ng on their journey.

Hall Hits the Heights A well-used community facility in the Cynon Valley, Trecynon Community Hall, has received £170,000 towards a major refurbishment programme, thanks to support from Interlink RCT. Interlink’s Community Advice and Support Coordinator, Joanna Markham, worked with the Hall’s commi ee to help secure the funding.

‘Trecynon Hall is an amazing community facility which has been successful in receiving funding due to the commitment and passion of its volunteers. They are unique in the way they self-generate income and should be used as a role model across RCT.’ Trecynon Hall were supported with their business plan and funding applica on to Welsh Governments Community Facili es Programme. Together and with the help of our volunteer, Paul Robinson, they completed the business plan and submi ed the applica on for £59,000 on me.

Gareth Jones, trustee, said: ‘I found Paul to be a great help in pu ng together the package that was required to put forward our bid for grant aid. I found Paul to be very knowledgeable in the work that he carried out for Trecynon Hall and was very professional in all aspects, as a community group we would like to thank Paul for all that he did for us.’


Community Voice Working Across the Genera ons with Community Voice Interlink RCT coordinates 8 organisa ons to work together to deliver 8 projects to engage people and communi es in public service design and delivery. The programme is all about coproduc on between public services and people who use these services. The lessons learnt from this approach will inform the Local Service Board and all partners about meaningful engagement in designing and developing public services.

Armchair Exercise - The Genera on Game Through a Community Voice consulta on at the Ffordd Gower Davies sheltered accommoda on in Ynysybwl we found out that older people wanted to live a healthier lifestyle and were concerned about physical ac vity and ea ng healthily. A taster session on ‘armchair exercises’ was arranged. It went down amazingly well.

‘It will help us to keep mobile and hopefully we will feel a lot be er as we get be er at it.’ A group of sixth form girls from Porth County and Girls Rugby supported by Mark Hu on, People and Work, agreed to meet with the older residents and to film a DVD of the exercises for them. The girls found working with older people inspiring . When older poeple and younger people meet and connect, something magical takes place as rela onships develop and understanding grows. This intergenera onal project was a huge success as a result. 15

What Katy Did Next - Katy’s Story about Children’s Rights The first project I got involved in was with Spectacle Theatre with the Ty Ddewi project, with Dee and John. John wrote a script, based on a true story. This involved a group of young people bullying an older, disabled person. During this project I believe that I improved on many of my performance skills and I learnt a lot about myself. The second project I worked with Sue Phillips and learnt how to present a training session on the United Na ons Conven on of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and spoke about the rights of a child at the ‘Intergenerate Conference’. I was really nervous about doing this but when it came to actually doing it, I really enjoyed it.

I took part in the Vote at 16 project at the Senedd in Cardiff, met more people and made friends and built upon my confidence along with my social skills. I got to get my voice heard, having an opinion about lowering the vo ng age to 16. Joining Spectacle has also helped me because I’ve had the freedom to become involved in what I want to become involved in. I have volunteered for certain projects that have given me the chance to have an opinion and have my voice heard. Whilst doing these projects, I’ve achieved so much. I’ve met new friends and built upon my skills like my confidence, this due to performing and presen ng to audiences. ‘This has really helped me build upon my social skills.

Community Voice Residents Make Breakthrough The Breakthrough Project of Age Connects Morgannwg is part of the Community Voice Consor a in RCT. The aim of the project is about finding and engaging with harder to reach older people who are not part of a recognised community group, and to give them a voice by using a range of mul media, events, outreach services and working with partner organisa ons.

Local people of all ages were invited to various free ac vi es, informa on events and demonstra ons throughout the week. The campaign was seen as a great success following the support of over 30 partners, feedback, the number of a endees and social media. It was decided that a further campaign would be planned for Na onal Road Safety Week later in the year in an effort to keep the Road Safety Message at the forefront of people’s minds. The Breakthrough Project was then approached by older residents in Gelli who had collected over 300 signatures from those who expressed road safety fears for their area. It was decided that following the concerns of Gelli residents and a pedestrian fatality in Ton Pentre, that the two areas would also be included into the follow up campaign.

Older residents in sheltered accommoda on in the Rhondda voiced their concerns regarding speeding traffic and drivers failing to stop at pedestrian crossings through Ystrad and Pentre. Following discussions with South Wales Police, it was agreed to formulate an Community Road Safety Campaign to raise awareness and educate drivers and pedestrians of all ages in an effort to stop older people becoming more isolated and feeling vulnerable when out in the community. A very successful Road Safety Week took place on the 23-27 November in the Rhondda. South Wales Police have launched Speedwatch in these 4 areas as a legacy to the campaign and to address road safety issues.

‘During this most recent campaign, over 40 Partners and 6 schools were involved with over 30 ac vi es and workshops organised and enjoyed.’ Shelley Bird, Project Officer


Involve 2 Evolve Involve 2 Evolve Project

Have Your Say - Engagement

Stronger Together for Mental Health Services in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.

Ini a ves

Involve 2 Evolve supports people to come together to make a posi ve difference to mental health services. We want to know what ma ers most and support people to work with others, have a voice and influence change.

We looked at two things: • The wellbeing of people living in Cwm Taf. A survey was coproduced to find out about the sorts of things that people do, or would like to do, to improve their wellbeing

The total number of ac ve Service User and Carer Involvement hours for the year was 1095 hours.

Involve 2 Evolve Project brought together a range of people to plan and implement a community wide engagement for the Together for Mental Health Partnership Board.

The priori es for mental health services in Cwm Taf

Together 4 Mental Health Service Planning and Development

This Partnership oversees how the Welsh Government’s mental health strategy is delivered in Cwm Taf. In March 2016, the reps carried out a consulta on to gather people’s views to inform the new Together for Mental Health Delivery Plan.

We engaged with over 200 people as part of our Have Your Say and Wellbeing Surveys and held two workshops to gather qualita ve feedback on specific areas within mental health such as the Crisis Response and Home Treatment Team and Psychological Services. Service users have been ac vely involved in lots of issues and groups including: • Ea ng Disorders Par cipa on Group • Care and Treatment Planning Monitoring group • World Mental Health Day Planning Group • Mental Health Act Monitoring Group • Clinical Psychology Service User and Carer Involvement Commi ee (Cardiff University) • Na onal Service User and Carer Forum


‘The workshops were really good. There was a feeling that the people present were much in agreement over gaps.’

A report was produced with recommenda on which was presented to the Together for Mental Health Partnership Board in October 2015.

Involve 2 Evolve Making Things Be er - Monitoring

Ge ng the Right People -

and Evalua on of Mental Health Services

Involvement in Staff Recruitment

A Care and Treatment Planning Survey was coproduced with Service user reps and sent out to everyone who is accessing secondary mental health services in Cwm Taf. 300 surveys were returned and gave an excellent baseline for further repor ng on people’s involvement and sa sfac on with their Care and Treatment Plan.

Service user recruiters were involved in 20 interview panels for Mental Health posts at Cwm Taf UHB, Board, RCTCBC and the University of South Wales, including Social Workers, Psychologists and the Head of Mental Health Nursing.

The News - SUN Newsle


4 newsle ers filled with all sorts of informa on from serive users have been produced by our amazing volunteer editor and distributed to the Service User Network.

Recruiters have also been involved in interviewing applicants to the Mental Health Nursing degree at the University of South Wales. We trained 11 new recruiters for the forthcoming year.

Involvement in Training We have supported people to deliver the following training sessions to staff: • INFORM - Mental Health Awareness Training Outcomes Focused Care and Treatment Planning Training • Ea ng Disorders Awareness Training • Mental Health Awareness Training ‘Relaxed and very informa ve session. I learnt a lot about community groups.’ INFORM Par cipant

Ge ng the Right Informa on Involvement in Informa on on Mental Health Services Service Users and Carers have been involved in the development of informa on resources with Cwm Taf UHB including the Psychology leaflet for Primary Care Mental, Health Support Service, Trauma Stabilisa on pack, for Secondary Mental Health Services.

‘We have now developed a Trauma Stabilisa on pack in line with the feedback of the Service Users. It was personally I think a great deal about the language we use in services, and how we as a service construct or leaflet.’

‘I thoroughly enjoyed taking part. I felt as if the staff wanted to hear what we had to say.’

‘Thank you all very much for your help with the project. The volunteers made the leaflet what it is.’


Mental Health Fantas c Forum - Mental Wellbeing

Dignity in Mental Health -

The Cwm Taf Mental Health Forum brings together the voluntary sector and interested partners to work together to improve services. There were four mee ngs to share informa on, network, and discuss service changes and newly funded projects.

World Mental Health Day


The event was organised in Michael Sobell Sports Centre RCT and Merthyr Tydfil Rugby Club in October 2015 giving members of the public the opportunity to discuss their concerns about mental health and challenges some of the stereotypes people hold around mental health.

of members said that they highly rate the network and feel more informed about local developments in mental health


members of the public a ended and around


Wellbeing set to improve through Mental Health Peer Support People tell us that the peer support groups help to maintain people’s wellbeing in the community. People feel be er connected to their communi es and less isolated. Many group members have reported that they have created friendships with other members and they meet outside of the group for coffee, shopping, walking and cra s.

Peer group member said: ‘I didn’t have friends un l I joined this group we meet up outside the group on a Friday now for coffee and some mes go walking.’


community organisa ons holding stalls, giving advice, guidance and signpos ng people to relevant services

Mental Health Pioneering a New Approach Deaf People and Mental Health Services A Partnership between Public Health Wales, New Horizons and the University Health Board on a Pioneering approach with the deaf community. •

A new focus group has been set up in Pontypridd with seven ladies from the Bri sh Sign Language (BSL) Deaf community who helped develop an awareness DVD Deaf awareness sessions were delivered by the Bri sh Deaf Associa on to primary care staff and volunteers BSL picture cards are now being used in pilot GP Surgeries in Cwn Taf and two GP Surgeries have received BSL training and amended their forms to ask about communica on needs

The project has been working with the Expert Pa ent Programme to develop the programme in BSL.

Feeling Be er - Depression Bus


A Depression Bus ng Course was delivered with 20 par cipants with people feeling less isolated, more confident and with improved well-being. The two day course improves knowledge of mental health issues and condi ons, helps people to recognise their triggers, signs and symptoms and how to respond to various mental health crisis.

Helping People into Work Working with Job Centre Plus Following mental health training, 17 health leads in seven Job Centre Plus offices reported that they are be er able to iden fy people with a mild to moderate depression and are using the on-line service directory to more effec vely to signpost people to local mental health services. A team manager from DWP fed back: ‘We would like to thank you so much for delivering the mental health sessions to us and our work coaches. We all gained so much from it. The Mental Health Directory is such a good source of informa on and used by all our coaches so much they have it saved onto their desktops’

Person-Centred Crea vity With Valleys and Vale Community Arts Journeys, a mental health charity has trained two volunteers from the deaf community to deliver mental health awareness training. The two volunteers are now working with Journeys to design a deaf friendly training course on mental health awareness which will be piloted in Pontypridd Deaf Club. A project member from health said: ‘This is a good example of genuine partnership working and coproduc on with the Third Sector and Deaf Community.’

The workshops brought people together to reflect about their lives, explore issues, be crea ve and to tell their stories. The process was very empowering, enabling individuals and the group to solve their own problems and to communicate their needs and ideas.

100% Sa sfac on

All par cipants improved overall confidence and wellbeing on the Warwick- Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale using the principles of Person Centred Crea vity


Young People’s Par cipa on We Have a Voice - Young People’s

‘It is a fundamental Right for every child to have the opportunity to be bilingual but it is their choice and not their parents.’

Debate on Children’s Rights Young People’s Debate on Children’s Rights ‘Is the UNCRC (United Na ons Conven on on the Rights of the Child) Fit For Purpose? Many young people from across RCT par cipated in the above debate, with Y Pant School speaking in favour and Ysgol Gyfun Cymmer Rhondda speaking against. The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, a ended and fully par cipated in what she described as ‘an excellent event for raising the profile of Children’s Rights’. Almost 100 young people and adults a ended the event, held in the Council Chamber.

Some of the points raised: • • •

• • •

The UNCRC should be promoted much more effec vely Children and young people need a safer place to hang out There is not much help for young people with mental health problems, bullying is s ll a big problem for young people There should be more access to youth provision, as there is not much for young people to do There is a need for the improvement of behaviour in RCT and not just with young people Young carers in par cular need some extra help when they leave young carer services ‘We need to be more concerned with how children and young people feel.’


There should be more help and support for young people when they move from primary to secondary schools

Posi ve role models are very important for young people

More educa on for young people around ci zenship and for some young people schools should be less exam orientated and more towards life skills

Young people need to know about and be able to understand poli cs

More services should be youth led

The pressures on schools is too much e.g. Estyn’s expecta ons. Schools are measured through exams but exams are not the right measure for some children and young people

The UNCRC needs upda ng to take into account the advances made with technology and this could be a good opportunity to promote and raise awareness of Children’s Rights

The vote closed following the arguments researched and presented by the young people themselves, the Chambers voted FOR the mo on in the debate by 60% - 40%. They would like to take forward Children’s Rights in RCT by raising awareness of the UNCRC.

The Listening Project Tackling Loneliness The Listening Project Since hos ng a volunteer Listening Project Training day in January, the Listening Project has collected well over 100 in-depth stories (and coun ng!) about what it is like to be over 50 and living in Cwm Taf. The Listening Project is an ac on research project that has involved over 40 volunteer listeners ranging from local individuals to staff from over 25 organisa ons; from the third sector, Public Health, Housing and County Borough Councils. Everyone involved shared the common belief that older people are highly valuable members of our communi es, with experiences and knowledge that should be listened to and shared. However, it has been raised that a lot of older people in our communi es are o en subject to loneliness and isola on.

The Listening Project has been engaging with over 50’s and recording their experiences using a tool called SenseMaker®. Unlike tradi onal consulta on SenseMaker® is used to capture and make sense of what ma ers most to people, making research about people not sta s cs; whilst s ll genera ng strong evidence to support and guide the work of the third sector.

‘Love the concept. Most important part of my job is to listen to people.’

The findings were presented at the Cwm Taf Older Peoples Coproduc on Network.

The main issues were:

Loneliness Transport Informa on f


‘The findings will help highlight best prac ce that is in place as well as establishing needs within communi es.’

of respondents in a post event survey reported that it had impacted upon or changed their subsequent work


Execu ve Commi ee Interlink Trustees April 2015 to March 2016

Jean Harrington



Pauline Richards

Valleys Kids

Vice Chair

Geo Bell

Llantrisant and District 50+ Forum


Kate O’Sullivan

Gilfach Goch Community Associa on

Rhian Dash

Rowan Tree Cancer Care

Stephen Davis

Spectacle Theatre

Janet Whiteman

New Horizons

Louisa Addisco

Glyncoch Community Regenera on


Staff Team Simon James June Williams-Sykes Kath Price Alisa Davies Cara Jordan-Evans Joanna Markham Ken Moon Ravi Vedi Meriel Gough Jason Tynan Karen Powell Chris ne Davies Thomas Crocke Maria Abson Rachel Wya Amie Brown Anne Morris Lucy Foster Kate O’Donohue Bethan Smith Brandon Allsopp Maria Prosser Sue Phillips

Chief Execu ve Finance and Resources Manager Office Manager Finance Officer Informa on and Communica ons Officer Development Officer Development Officer Development Officer (from April 2015 to June 2015) Community Coordinator Community Coordinator Community Coordinator Volunteering Development Officer Volunteering Development Officer Mental Health Development Officer Mental Health Service User Involvement Officer (Development) Mental Health Service User Involvement Worker (from October 2015 to December 2016) Health, Social Care Coordinator Community Voice Par cipa on and Evalua on Officer/ Stepping Forward Coordinator Rhondda Worker (from November 2015 to January 2016) Community Ac on Researcher (from January 2016) Volunteer Centre Administrator (from January 2016) Children and Young People’s Partnership Development Officer (Hosted by Interlink) Fframwaith Par cipa on and Involvement Officer (Hosted by Interlink)

Interlink Cleaners

Jackie Willis Rebecca Edwards

Interlink Volunteers

Nick John Paul Robinson




Balance Sheet As at 31 March 2016

2016 £

2015 £

24,988 213,601 238,589

38,064 220,980 259,044

212,343 198,518 410,861

145,121 250,079 395,200



Net Current Assets



Net Assets



Funds Unrestricted Funds







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

Restricted Funds Total Funds

These summarised accounts may not contain sufficient informa on to allow for a full understanding of the financial affairs of the charitable company. For further informa on, 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 3 November 2016. WILLIAMS ROSS LIMITED Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditor, 4 Ynys Bridge Court, Gwaelod y Garth, Cardiff, CF15 9SS.


Accounts Statement of Financial Ac vi es (Including Income and Expenditure Account and Statement of total recognised Gains and Losses) For the year ended 31 March 2016 Unrestricted £

2015 Restricted £

Total £

2015 Total £





326,030 51,243

609,803 -

935,833 51,243

975,516 53,766






Sponsorship and dona ons Income from charitable ac vi es: Grants and contracts Management fees Income from other trading ac vi es Prin ng, training and room hire


Investment Income


Other incoming resources Total Incoming Resources


919 392,808

919 962 609,803 1,002,611 1,089,768

Cost of Genera ng Funds Charitable Ac vi es Total Resources Expended

4,380 393,544 397,924

600,189 600,189

Opera ng (deficit)/surplus





Gains/(losses) on investments





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

(15,209) -

9,614 -

(5,595) -

40,185 -

Net Movement in Funds





Funds brought forward





Funds Carried Forward





Expenditure 4,380 2,847 993,733 1,068,128 998,113 1,070,975


Get In Touch For further informa on on Interlink’s ac vi es and membership details, visit: www.twi Contact us on 01443 846200 Fax No. 01443 844843 E.mail: Interlink, 6 Melin Corrwg, Cardi Road, Upper Boat CF37 5BE Registered Charity No: 1141143 Company Limited by Guarantee No: 07549533

With thanks to : The Rhondda Trust Fund The Rank Founda on Public Health Wales

Annual report1516