Local housing group, Orbit has extended funding for the Stratford Time Bank, a local volunteering service that has over 200 members across the district who have contributed over 2,000 hours of community and neighbourly help over the past two years.
Stratford Time Bank rewards people for the ordinary, neighbourly help they give to those around them. For every hour that a person gives to helping someone, or doing community work, they earn one ‘time credit’ which can then be spent receiving an hour’s help in return. One hour’s help given equals one hour’s help received, no matter what the task. Everyone’s time is valued equally and everyone can give to and benefit from the scheme.
Orbit has invested over £50,000 over the last two years to support the employment of a full-time time broker to control the day-to-day running of the time bank and promote it to enable it to grow for a two year period.
Sam Scharf, head of community investment at Orbit said: “The Stratford Time Bank is an incredible service that has delivered for both the volunteer and the beneficiary as part of a thriving community.
“We are investing a further £13,000 into the service until March 2019 with a hope that this can be expanded upon and make it a constant part of how the community support each other in Stratford.
Roger Matthews, the Chair of Stratford Time Bank said: “We are grateful for Orbit’s continued investment in time banking in Stratford District. Stratford Time Bank brings people together, enabling jobs to be done and building social links.
“Orbit’s funding has enabled us to triple the number of people involved in the Time Bank, as well as bring a range of local organisations – and their volunteers – into the Time Bank network. More people are involved and more voluntary work is being done thanks to Orbit.”
Originally set up in 2012 by Gloucester-based time bank Fair Shares, the Stratford Time Bank steering group set up the time bank as a Community Interest Company (CIC) after Fair Shares made the decision to concentrate on its Gloucestershire operation. Stratford Time Bank is now run by a community interest organisation, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.