Essex Time Banks have successfully received an award of more than £350,000 from the National Lottery, via the Big Lottery Fund, to support Timebanking for the next four years.
Led by Community360, the Essex Time Banks partnership offers people the chance to exchange their time with one another. Each hour of voluntary work that helps the local community can be exchanged for a range of skills or opportunities offered by other members of the time bank (hour for an hour basis). All activities are valued equally. Exchanges can include learning a language, providing gardening or DIY skills, taking part in social events or befriending someone. Whatever the skill, talent or interest you may have, you could connect with another person through the Time Bank to share it or help them. Organisations can also join to get involved, with public agencies and businesses across the county sharing their time.
The partnership has been supported for the last three years by Essex County Council, who will be match-funding the project with a grant of £26,000 each year for the duration of funding period.
The project has recorded more than 160,000 hours (worth over £1 million pounds of time at minimum or living wage) and recruited over 1500 members.
The application will support local district based Time Banks to enable people to tackle loneliness and isolation, to help others to live independently at home, to improve opportunities for those who want to gain employability skills or improve their health and wellbeing. The project is aiming to reach another 1200 members over the four years.
Tracy Rudling, Chief Executive Officer of Community360 has said ‘The award of funding is a real boost to communities across Essex who will be able to participate in timebanking. Everyone has something of value that they can give by sharing their time. Timebanking encourages stronger neighbourhood connections, creates friendships and assists people to reach personal goals.’
‘We have been supported by a number of organisations since the partnership was formed in 2014. In the spirit of Timebanking, every partner has brought an insight into the potential of the project and they have contributed to this successful application.’