Spice have been working with Lancashire County Council and Chorley Council to introduce Time Credits. Time Credits are a way of enabling local people to make a difference in their communities and local public services. The programme was launched in September 2012 in Chorley with a broad health and social care focus and was extended to be used more widely across the community in 2014.
Time credits are a way of thanking people for the time that they give to their local community. If a person gives 1 hour of time to a community organisation, they earn 1 time credit that can be spent on a range of activities in the local area for example, an adult learning course, swimming, children's play centres and activities, a trip to a football match or a show at the local theatre.
As well as recognising the value of individual contribution, Time Credits strengthens and builds communities by engaging those who may not normally get very involved in their local area. The scheme encourages people to be involved in different ways and it helps to build local networks, by linking community groups, organisations and individuals.
Time credits are similar to bank notes but have no monetary value. They have a standard back in all locality areas with the front localised. In Chorley there is a picture of Astley Hall on the front of the note. The notes are designed and printed to make imitation or fraud extremely difficult.
- How can I spend my Time Credits?
Individuals earning Time Credits are able to spend them across Spice’s national network of over 350 partners. This enables people to use Time Credits both in their local area or at any of the other area’s in the country such as London or Wales.
Time Credits can also be gifted to friends and family in your local area or in other parts of the UK for them to redeem locally. For example someone earning Time Credits in Lancashire can send them as a gift to friends living in London. They can also be used to thank someone for helping you, for example you may choose to give a time credit to a neighbour who has cut your grass or done some shopping for you.
You can find links to everything that is available including the Time Credits Facebook page on the right hand side of this page under Useful Links
- How do I receive and exchange my Time Credits?
In each organisation, a named individual will issue time credits to participants when they have earned them. For every hour of time that you give, you’ll receive 1 Time Credit. Individuals who want to participate in the scheme will be asked to complete a membership form and become a member of the Time Credit Network. This is so that Spice, Chorley Council can monitor and evaluate the success of the programme locally.
- How can I get involved?
If you’re a group or organisation please download The Introduction to Time Credits and the Time Credits Handbook for Groups and Organisations. Once you’ve done this you can download and complete the Expression of Interest form and email it to email@example.com
this confirms your interest and somebody will get in touch to discuss the next stage.
If you’re an individual wanting to get involved and earn Time Credits or to see which local businesses are involved, please see The Lancashire Time Credits Earning and Spending Guide which is under Useful Links on the right hand side of this page. Places you can earn are at the rear of the guide, places to spend are at the front.
If you’re an individual or group if individuals who want to start your own small group, running an activity, looking after your local area or looking after some elderly neighbours, we’d be delighted to talk to you about this! Please get in touch.
Your local contact is Sarah Taylor, Project Managet, Chorley Time Credits Tel: 07481 916278 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a group or organisation who wants to get involved to offer you services to Time Credits members and be part of our network please contact email@example.com
or call 07474 678685
You can also view and like the Lancashire Time Credits Facebook page to stay up to date on what’s happening with time credits in Lancashire.
- How will progress be monitored and evaluated?
Apteligen Limited have published an independent evaluation of Spice Time Credits programmes. This report demonstrates that when we work together we can achieve meaningful change.
For Spice it was essential that our values were reflected in the way that we designed and developed our evaluation. The approach needed to give a voice to the individuals involved in the programmes and to support the ongoing learning process for Spice and its partners. This evaluation involved over 1000 community members, and nearly 300 partner staff who contributed their opinions through three surveys, in-depth interviews and 33 participatory workshops. Key Findings are that Time Credits are an effective way to engage people in giving their time to their communities in a sustainable way. In particular, people who are new to giving.
Time Credits also motivate people who are already giving their time to continue. Please go to the download section to see a summary of the results for Chorley Time Credits.