Following the successful push to increase volunteering around the London 2012 Olympic Games, Team Hackney A partners have continued to promote opportunities and to celebrate the active contribution that volunteering makes to the local community and civic life. For example, the Hackney Volunteer Centre promotes volunteering as a route into work for people who are unemployed, and the Homerton Helpers programme contributes to community life at Homerton Hospital.

Volunteering services for the City of London are run by Tower Hamlets Volunteer Centre (THVC). THVC recruits volunteers for a wide variety of non-profit organisations and groups, providing free information, training and advice on all aspects of volunteering. Volunteers are able to claim Spice Time Credits, which are a way of thanking those who give their time to their local community (see Box 4).

Box 4: Case study – Spice Time Credits in the City of London B

  • Time Credits is a scheme delivering informal volunteering on the City of London’s housing estates, increasing the number of people involved in the community, sustaining that involvement over time and bringing about a range of transformative health and wellbeing outcomes for volunteers.
  • Volunteers are able to claim Spice Time Credits, which are a way of thanking those who give their time to their local community. Time Credits can then be spent in places such as Lord’s Cricket Ground, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.
  • Current and prospective volunteers are able to search for opportunities via an online portal and anyone who faces barriers to volunteering is offered a face-to-face appointment to guide them through the process.
  • A 2015 evaluation of the programme found that 60% of volunteers said their level of social contact had increased as a result of Time Credits, 32% said they felt less socially isolated and 13% had started a new community group. The recent Volunteering Review found that the volunteers being recruited are reasonably representative of the City’s residential communities.

Notes

  1. Team Hackney is Hackney’s local strategic partnership. It is dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone in the borough by bringing together key partners in the public, private, community and voluntary sectors.
  2. http://www.justaddspice.org/