The Vancouver Quarter is working with the West Norfolk Partnership and Spice Innovations Ltd, a national charity, to promote and enhance the Time Credits programme in the local area.
Time Credits strengthen and build communities by engaging those who may not normally get very involved in their local area, as well as by encouraging people to be involved in different ways in order to add a new dimension to their lives (and the community). Time Credits are a way of ‘thanking’ people for any time that they choose to give.
In West Norfolk the scheme has two main focuses:
- To engage with families in the local community
- To facilitate mutual community support and active citizenship in a health or social care setting.
Time Credits build local networks, by linking schools, businesses, community groups and individuals. Across Norfolk there are currently 1,500 active volunteers who have given 41,000 hours over the past two years to 65 community groups and charities.
How does it work?
For every one hour of time that an individual gives to a community focused project, group or activity that is a part of the West Norfolk Time Credits network, they will receive one Time Credit (worth one hour) which can be used to access a variety of different services or activities within the local community; for example bread-making classes, swimming sessions, ten-pin bowling, hair and beauty treatments or trips to the theatre – on an hour for hour basis.
What do Time Credits look like?
West Norfolk Time Credits are similar to bank notes but have no monetary value. They have been designed and printed to make imitation or fraud extremely difficult. In West Norfolk, Spice is trialling a six-digit serial number system so that we can track the journey of the Time Credits as they are earned and spent.
In March 2014, a new locally branded Time Note was launched; with two West iconic landmarks on it – King’s Lynn Customs House and Hunstanton’s stripped cliffs.
Who can earn Time Credits?
Because everyone’s time is equal, almost anyone can earn and spend Time Credits. The only people who cannot earn Time Credits are those who are expected to give their time anyway as part of the conditions of their employment, or those on a course where there is a compulsory volunteering element.
Where can I earn Time Credits?
Throughout West Norfolk there are a lot of different organisations where you can give your time in exchange for Time Credits. Click here to discover who the West Norfolk partners are.
To find out more about the opportunities to earn Time Credits please refer to the West Norfolk Time Credits Facebook page or contact the West Norfolk Locality Facilitator.
Where can I spend my Time Credits?
Whilst the majority of our spend offerings are provided by local agencies or businesses, from time to time there may also be the opportunity for you to spend your credits at the place where you gave your time. You can use your Time Credits to thank a friend or neighbour who has helped you or, if you like to travel you can also spend your credits in another part of our national Time Credits network. To date, we have partners in Wales, Wiltshire, Lancashire and parts of London. To obtain a copy of another areas Spending your credits please contact the West Norfolk Locality Facilitator.
How is time banked?
In each organisation we work with, a named individual will oversee the issuing of Time Credits to individuals once they have completed at least one hour of active citizenship. Participants will also be encouraged to become members of the Time Credits programme to us to monitor and evaluate the success of the programme.
How can people get involved?
For an individual looking to volunteer their time: Find out more about Time Credits on their Facebook page and contact a participating Community Group which appeals directly. Lists of Community Partners can be found on the Facebook site and on the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk site
For a Community Group looking to join the project: Either download and fill in the Expression of Interest Form which can be found on the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk site or contact Paul Holley-Smith, Spice’s West Norfolk Locality Facilitator, to be sent the forms at PaulHolley-Smith@justaddspice.org, on 07429 369528 or via Facebook.
For a local or national companies looking to join the project: Please contact Kate Price, Spice’s Partnerships Manager for the East of England on 07476 399878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how Time Credits can work for your business.
Click here to read a special report exploring the impact of this project in-depth.