2018 Pave the Way OCD group


The Secret Garden in Bute Park

Thanks to the determination of our wonderful Pave the Way volunteers, our OCD group socials ran from March to October this year. Group members have formed lasting friendships, and we have all enjoyed getting together every few weeks to catch up and chat, eat cake and drink cuppas.

2018 has flown by and though we are all sad to see the end of Pave the Way we know that these friendships will continue long into the future.

Most group members have attended a specialist OCD support group that runs from Ty Canna in Canton on a Monday evening.  That same group also meets on a Thursday in Cardiff town centre for a get together. Find out more about the Ty Canna group by contacting Ty Canna at:

40, Market Road, Canton CF5 1RZ                       telephone: 029 2064 1530

Meanwhile House

Julian shows his skills – he thrashed us

Pave the Way OCD group meet again

28th march saw the second meeting of our OCD group. It’s a social thing, a small group of people meeting to chat about whatever comes to mind, to eat cake and to have a cuppa.


We had planned to go for a wander around Bute Park but early rain a change of venue to somewhere with a roof and a cafe. We met at the Museum, arriving just as lots of people were leaving for the day. We just sat in the cafe catching up and chewing the fat – well, chewing a delicious piece of cake to be honest…..


Great to meet up again, thanks all. Looking forward to the next one, Cardiff’s our oyster, where will it take us?


Stay well, Jo


Whatever you need to talk about the Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Phone free on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org, Cardiff and district info here: https://www.samaritans.org/branches/cardiff-district-samaritans


A blog from a Pave the Way volunteer

I started volunteering a couple of months ago. I volunteer a couple of hours a day, 2 days a week. VCS is a relaxed setting and where there is little pressure put on you so I can work at my own pace.

The VCS Radio Cardiff building is a 10 minute walk from the City Centre so it is easily accessible and easy to travel by bus or rail.

My main areas of focus are Administration & Research. With regards to administration:

  • I have inputted guests & volunteer contact information and their time and dates that they visited VCS on Microsoft Excel.
  • I also have inputted printed receipts of expenses on to Microsoft Excel (on Chronicle and Petty cash).

With regards to research, I carry our research for WellWaves, a community mental health radio show. I put together information to give to the two presenters of the show.

  • The Wellwaves radio show focuses on Mental Health.
  • The topic changes weekly so I am never doing the same thing.
  • Some of the topics I have a bit of knowledge of from personal experience namely the one week which focused on Autism but most weeks I have researched topics which I have no experience of or even on topics that I have never heard of previously (Dual Diagnosis).

I have also had buddying help role from Raj on how to cope with a reception role. I had about 5 hours help from him.


  • It gives greater structure to my life.
  • Most weeks I am resear
    ching different topics or doing different types of administration stuff so there are a variety of things that I am doing which means my voluntary experience is more interesting.
  • The staff and volunteers are friendly and more than happy to provide support and feedback when you require help.
  • The hours are flexible so you can volunteer however many hours that suits you.
  • Provides opportunities to improve skills such as social and communication skills.
  • Opportunities to learn new skills but under no pressure to do tasks if you don’t feel ready or interested in these tasks.
    • These new tasks can include administration roles, researching for radio shows, editing shows, doing a reception role which can but does not require you to answer the telephone. Other roles can include a buddying role where you can help someone who needs help on a specific issue.

Pave the Way on Radio Cardiff 8th June 2017

Just a short time after joining Pave the Way, on the 8th June, our inspirational volunteer, Karen spoke live on our Art of Being Well show about her experience of living with bipolar.  Karen has an amazing story and her passion for all things wonderful is infectious. You can listen again here: www.mixcloud.com/BeingWell/the-art-of-being-well-8th-june-2017/

Karen on air with Jay and Jen – Cassie and Jo are in the studio listening in

Rhodri Morgan, a reflection

Our founder, Robert Davies has taken some time to reflect on the news of Rhodri Morgan’s passing.

Rhodri Morgan who was Vice-President of Voluntary Community Service from 1997 has died.

At a local, national and international level he was known and admired by many. Great people are praised by the great for their great work But many ordinary folk will also be aware of his closeness to their everyday concerns. Typical of this was his involvement with VCS and many similar organisations.

His first contact with our work was in 1966 shortly after VCS was founded. It was to plan the construction (by a UNA International workcamp) of an adventure playground at the former Ely Hospital School for Handicapped. Together we discussed the proposal with the Headteacher, Grace Edwards and her daughter Julie ( who he was to marry soon after). This happened to be the year when George Thomas, MP, became Pesident of VCS Cymru. Rhodri became Honorary Vice-President in 1997 at the death of George Thomas (with Robert Davies as Hon. President).

VCS Cymru now runs Radio Cardiff, which Rhodri officially opened in 2007. Subsequently he was a frequent guest for broadcast interviews until his retirement.

He attended the VCS Cymru 50th Anniversary although not “officially” and his wife Julie Morgan, AM, gave an address at the main celebration meeting.

Over the years of our organisation’s long history we are grateful for the significant and continuous support and influence of such a person.

Our thoughts are with those closest to him at this time.

Cardiff Chronicle #8: the story of VCS volunteering

Alice Campion from VCS Cymru’s Chronicle Project meets Robert Davies – the Founder of VCS – and hears about what inspired him to set up the Charity in 1964 following a summer ‘Work Camp’ in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay. Robert is joined by Laurence Kahn (one of the first VCS Volunteers); Mary Newman MBE (long-term Trustee & current Chair of VCS); John Drysdale (Volunteer Co-ordinator in the 70s) & Martin Pollard (Chief Executive of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs) to reminisce about the early days of a Charity which has been now been opening doors to volunteering in Cardiff for over half a century.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 28th February 2017.
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #7: the Story of Cardiff’s cinemas

Alice Campion from VCS Cymru’s Chronicle Project hears about the history of Cardiff’s cinema from four people with different perspectives:- John Robinson has been working in cinemas since he left school in the 70s (and his Father was Manager at the Capitol in the 30s) – he now runs a Facebook page ‘Welsh Cinema History in Photos’; Ceri Stennett ran several cinema’s in South Wales & the West in the 80s & 90s with his entertainer father (Stan); Elfed Salmon was a projectionist for much of his career; and Colin James worked ‘front of house’ in the Capitol during the 60s and is now a volunteer usher at the Chapter Arts Centre cinema
This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 21st February 2017
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #6: The Story of Cardiff City FC

The story of how Cardiff City Football Club started and grew, and its crowing glory in winning the FA Cup 90 years ago in 1927 – the only time the cup has left England. Local historian Ceri Stennett is co-ordinating an exhibition of the historic win at the Cardiff Story Museum in the Spring, and he is joined by Dave Collins – Editor of Welsh Football magaizine and Richard Shepherd – official historian on Cardiff FC (and internet match commentator) on the 6th edition of Radio Cardiff’s local history programme, presented by Alice Campion from the VCS Chronicle project.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 14th February 2017
Produced by VCS Cymru

Cardiff Chronicle #5: Iconic Buildings of the Coal Boom

The impact of the ‘coal boom’ on Cardiff’s architecture is the topic for this weeks’ edition of Radio Cardiff’s local history programme presented by Alice Campion from the VCS Chronicle project. Ian Hill – Director of campaign group ‘Save The Coal Exchange’. Neil MC Sinclair – author, historian of Tiger Bay & raconteur; and Juliet Davies – Senior Lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture join Alice to tell the stories of some of the Cities most iconic buildings.

Listen back to an edited version of the programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 7th February 2016
Produced by VCS Cymru.