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A community is a group of people, usually in a same geographic location, who share values and cooperate for the greater good of that community.  Where there is a strong  sense of community, people are less socially isolated and have more opportunities to improve well-being. Successive governments have tried to invigorate communities as sites for positive social change.

Time Banks have been used as tools in community regeneration schemes across the UK.  Also, time banks themselves are a community  that people are part of and identify with.  By introducing neighbours to each other, encouraging partnership working in the community and developing social networks and social capital,  there is evidence that time banks can stitch the fabric of community together.

Helpful links:

‘Evaluation of the Cambridgeshire Time Banks’ – This study evaluates the outputs and outcomes of four Cambridgeshire timebanks. It is exploring what impacts they have on individuals and communities, and, in particular, whether they can generate public cost savings.

‘How time banking is creating a new generation of volunteers’ – how timebanking enables and rewards people.

‘Spending Time Locally: The Benefits of Time Banks for Local Economies’ – This article explores the potential role of time banks in re-building and sustaining local economies based on two key issues: that time credits need to show that they can help people dependent on limited financial resources; and that they can interact with local businesses.

‘Resilience or Resistance? Time banking in the age of austerity’ – The paper sets out how austerity and the Big Society present a particular form of neo-liberalism within the UK and is built upon the notion of responsibilisation. How time banking is drawn into the Big Society is then illustrated before examining the potential for promoting resistance to neo-liberal ideas and practice: and the challenges faced by efforts to resist.

‘Time and Punishment: a comparison of UK and US time bank use in criminal justice systems’ – This paper explores two developments, one in the UK and one in the US, between time banks and the criminal justice system. The first is the time dollar youth court established in the US, the second an initiative between a UK time bank and a prison. Through an exploration of the differences in policy context in relation to time banks and the details of the two initiatives, this paper makes the claim that the universal practice of time banks, As such the paper claims that along with the importance of context, universal principles provide a key aspect of policy transfer.



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