Timebanking UK and Made Open have launched a national IT platform called Communities Together to help all UK communities respond to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The aim of this platform is to facilitate the exchange of offers and requests between people in communities – helping people who are self-isolating to access support and stay connected during this time of crisis. We know that the best response is a local response and as such we are putting a call-out for “street coordinators” who can perform duties to connect others by finding out who can help or who needs help. The aim of this role is to post offers / requests on behalf of other people and check that users of the platform are who they say they are. Activities will be logged which will help support our safeguarding processes. Members of the platform can also apply to become “digital champions” – helping people to use this platform and stay connected.
Timebanking UK has come up with a fresh way of building self-esteem in young offenders with the aim of cutting re-offending rates and combating loneliness.
Timebanking UK (TBUK) is working with Young Offendersâ€™ Institutions (YOI) to enable residents to earn time credits for work they do during their sentence â€“ and theyâ€™re seeking funding through Avivaâ€™s crowdfunding platform, the Aviva Community Fund.
Young offenders earn time credits by supporting each other following training from the Samaritans, or by setting up recreational clubs, attending vocational and educational courses, or teaching.
TBUK distributes the credits they earn to time banks around the country, who give them to isolated or vulnerable people who need help with tasks such as shopping or housework.
As the time banks report back on how their credits have been used, young offenders are able to see the impact their work has had. Their efforts improve the lives of others â€“ and this may be the first time these young men can see their actions having a positive impact of this kind. Lack or empathy is statistically proven to be a major indicator in re-offending, and timebanking creates empathy and connectedness in a unique and highly effective way.
Claire Coxwell of Woolmer Forest Timebank in Hampshire says sheâ€™s delighted to have the opportunity to distribute the hours. She explains, â€śA lady approached us about getting some IT help. Sheâ€™s a full-time carer for her disabled husband and also looks after grandchildren.â€ť
Claire says the time bank member has had some IT support and is now looking forward to giving time back to her time bankâ€¦ but the credits donated by young offenders means she can enjoy additional support.
Young offenders can also save time credits for their release. By joining a time bank, they can use their credits to get help with writing their CV, for example, or to get advice on budgeting or jobseeking, or they can use them for mentoring and support.
TBUKâ€™s funding drive will enable them to roll out the scheme across the UK, enabling more young offenders to start making connections with the wider community that will increase their chances of staying on the straight and narrow upon their release.
To support Timebanking UK with our fundraising drive, visit https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/the-gift-of-time