Timebanking in the Vale of Glamorgan
The importance of volunteering and getting involved in the community was recognised in the PSB’s Well-being Plan under the objective ‘enable people to get involved, participate in their local communities and shape local services’. Partners made a commitment to explore the potential of a Vale wide/regional time banking scheme and work has progressed to build on the successful scheme which has been run by the Council’s Housing Department since 2018 but which is only available to Vale Council tenants.
The current timebanking volunteering scheme helps bring members of the community together through volunteering to improve their local areas, learn new skills, improve well-being and in turn earn a time credit voucher to promote spend in the local area and further afield. Latest figures for April 2020 show the scheme has 527 members and they have generated over 5,387 hours of volunteering time. Members report marked improvements in their self-esteem, increased levels of confidence, new skills and feelings of well-being.
What have we done:
A successful workshop aimed at exploring the possibility of expanding the current timebanking scheme to wider Vale residents was held in July 2019 and attended by current volunteers, scheme leaders, Partners and wider stake holders. The workshop provided the opportunity for stakeholders to come together and share ideas, concerns and resources. Following the support for expanding the scheme in the workshop the PSB established a Task and Finish Group. Group membership includes a range of Partners who are working together to further explore the practical methods and details of expanding the scheme to more residents.
What have we achieved:
The expansion project has received £45,000 of Welsh Government prevention monies to recruit a new post to support and drive the work
A business case, job description and person specification have been developed, reviewed and approved by the Task Group. These documents receiving Cabinet approval has been delayed due to Cabinet meetings being postponed during Covid-19. The documents will be submitted for Cabinet approval and recruitment will commence when meetings resume.The group has analysed the most recent WIMD 2019 data alongside other data sources to help determine potential areas for further expansion to maximise the population benefits.All known volunteering services and opportunities are publicised through Vale Heroes website which is regularly updated by Vale of Glamorgan Council and GVS.78% of surveyed residents taking part in the current timebanking scheme reported an increase in health, well-being and confidence.
The expansion of timebanking in the Vale will progress further following Cabinet approval for the recruitment of the new timebanking officer post once meetings resume, however partners are continuing to promote and support volunteering in the local community. We hope to build on this boost in volunteering and continue the momentum in the future to encourage as many residents as possible to volunteer. By continuing to encourage and facilitate increasing volunteering opportunities in the long term more residents will receive the associated health, well-being and skill enhancing benefits.