CIVIC RECEPTION FOR STREET BUDDIES
(Big thanks to Nikki Hamilton, Press Officer, for writing this press release!)
Community Ambassadors were welcomed into the Mayor’s Parlour in Llanelli) for a special reception to honour their achievements and commitment to their communities.
The team of eleven Community Ambassadors were presented with certificates by the Mayor of Llanelli, Cllr Roger Price, to acknowledge the completion of a community development training programme delivered by experienced local trainer, Rebecca Rosenthal. The Community Ambassadors, who named themselves ‘Street Buddies’, took part in the three day training programme, specifically created to assist individuals in making the most of their communities.
The programme also promotes community spirit through the Spice Time Credits scheme, which provides a community currency where people can earn credits for volunteering. One hour given to help the community results in a one hour ‘time credit’ voucher being issued, which can then be spent on an activity or service in the time credit network. The social currency scheme supports organisations to develop new approaches to coproduction, sustainability and service provision.
Rachel Gegeshidze, the Time Credits Facilitator for Carmarthenshire explained, “It was a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase Time Credits and the amazing Street Buddies. We have the beginnings of a great relationship between our new citizen lead community engagers and local Councillors working together to meet the needs of the local community.”
Rebecca Rosenthal’s role was to deliver the empowering training to the Street Buddies, providing them with the tools to make a difference in their own communities. This is something that Rebecca is very passionate about having been closely involved in numerous voluntary and community projects over the years. She explained, “Llanelli is such a multi-cultural society, that what works in one area will simply not work in another. The Street Buddies know their communities best and they are ideally placed to enable community development at the heart of their individual communities. Everyone has something to give and the community development training programme was designed to help individuals realise their potential and recognise what they can offer to their community.
“The training course was specifically designed to give the Street Buddies the confidence and tools that they need to understand the needs of their community better and to promote and deliver individually tailored sustainable development from within. The Street Buddies have been absolutely inspirational. They have taken their new found knowledge and skills back to their communities and are already making a difference. Whether it is simply encouraging the sense of community spirit or practically helping by creating public notice-boards for the dissemination of information, the Street Buddies have the potential to make a big difference to their local communities and I’m extremely proud of their achievements.”
Lindsey was part of the Street Buddies team and, whilst she began the course as one of the quieter members of the team, she has grown in confidence and is now a key enabler in her local community. She said, “I can’t believe how much of a difference the course made! I’ve already been coming up with ideas on how to make things better and everyone is listening to me. I really think I can make a difference and help my community and I know others can too.”
The event was hosted by the Mayor and Mayoress as well as members of the Town Council, with the Mayor formally congratulating the Community Ambassadors on their fantastic achievements. Town Councillor Chris Reed OBE was extremely supportive of the scheme. Speaking at the end of the presentations, he said, “The sense of community spirit that you have all shown is fantastic and it’s a real achievement. You are the next generation and we’re looking to you to take the mantle now.”
The Community Ambassadors are:
Michelle Williams and her son Sam were unfortunately unable to attend the presentation.