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Description

Interview carried out by Marion Webber.

The recording discusses Loyce’s role with Maindee Action Group, the Group’s activities and her views of Community House in the local community.

0 – 3 mins: Loyce first visited Community House in 2007 as a Community Housing Development Worker. “It (Community House) is in the heart of the community and it is the heart of the community.” She recounts a fire in Malborough Road that impacted many families, when Community House “opened its doors, we all came and helped [..] Community House just showed a spirit of warmness”. Loyce observed there was a need for a platform for residents to voice their views on issues and she helped set up the Maindee Action Group. The local university helped support the initiative providing free space for the group’s initial meetings, Community House and local schools also supported the group. In partnership with Fairshare the action group developed a foodbank.
3 – 6 mins: In partnership with Newport Credit Union, they started a food bank. Volunteers from NCU worked every week in the food bank. Claire Watkins was an active volunteer. Maindee Action Group also set up a monthly anti-social behaviour group, for residents to discuss issues impacting them with the local police. Jenny Mullis (now Cloete) was their link to the local police. Maindee Action Group also worked in partnership with the Job Club. “Community spirit and getting the community together was important in forming the action group.” The group organised celebrations in Jubilee Park for the Queen’s Jubilee, this included a tea party for the elderly at Community House. They also established an annual Christmas light event, Jessica Morden MP turned on the lights for the first celebration. “Maindee Action Group has been quite a success story in Maindee.”
6 – 9 mins: Maindee Action Group worked in partnership in many ways for example, working with the Maindee Festival and community cleaning. The group introduced ‘time banking’, volunteers were able to gain time credits, which allowed families who were otherwise unable to travel and experience museums and theatres to have access to these opportunities. “For every hour a volunteer volunteers their time they can earn”. Volunteers were then able to access services with companies who were part of the time banking scheme. The time credits could also be gifted to friends. Loyce reflects on her passion of working with the community and her Christian background, “helping people is an ethos,” “it’s about empowering people to do things for themselves and Maindee Action Group empowered people”.
12 - 14 mins: “Most volunteers don't volunteer in order to get something” Loyce remembers the first Chair person (Angela Lloyd) of the group and how their confidence grew as a result of being involved with the Action Group and going on to university and becoming chair of a Community First Cluster Group. Loyce also recalls feedback from parents who had accessed the foodbank, being able to afford the cost of school trips for their children, “I was able to save £10 or £15 and now my kids can go on the school trips.” When the foodbank was first set up the Church in Wales provided St. Matthew’s Church, Maindee, as a venue free of charge. When the church closed they moved to Summerhill Baptist where the food bank continues to run today.
14 - 18 mins: To raise awareness for Maindee Action Group (MAG), young people at Maindee Primary School were involved in a competition to design the logo for MAG. Loyce now works with the homeless for Cardiff Council. “I never really left Community House, with Community House you always keep coming back.” “I don’t believe it is a place you can leave you will always be part of Community House in some shape or form”. She left her post in 2014, having worked much wider across Maindee, Stow Hill and Pill. Loyce believes that building caring communities is “about working together and seeing how you can get over the challenges, creating networks and work in partnership.” Loyce believes that creating networks is important to see where funding is available to support activities. “I believe Community House will continue to be the heart of the community for years to come.”

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