Volunteers can add a bit of spice to their life by taking part in a Time Credit scheme launching in Cambridge.
People volunteering for Spice Time Credits can give their time to help their community and in return they receive Time Credits to spend on activities, events and leisure services.
Time Credits are a community currency developed by Spice, a social enterprise and registered charity. Anyone can volunteer and offer skills to organisations involved in the Time Credit Network and in return they earn one Time Credit for each hour they give. Volunteering activities include things such as gardening, helping at events or supporting a school.
Once earned Time Credits can then be spent at events or cultural venues, entertainment and leisure activities with local partners including The Junction, The Light Cinema and Out Spoken. Volunteers can also spend the time credits across the national Spice Network on a range of activities including St Paul's Cathedral, Blackpool Tower, football clubs, theatres and cinemas as well as SME businesses and council run activities.
Cambridgeshire Time Credits is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and the CHS Group working in partnership with Spice. The Time Credits Programme which was launched in Wisbech in 2014, and is being rolled out across certain areas of the county over the next two years.
Current organisations signed up to the scheme in Cambridge and offering Time Credits include community organisations like Abbey People, Turtle Dove, Sustrans, The Centre at St Pauls, Winter Comfort and CHS Group, with more organisations joining over the next month.
Stuart Wood, Chair of Abbey People said: "We're pleased to be using time credits. It's a great way for us to engage with local residents and encourage people to get involved in their community. It's the sort of thing that I think will bring organisations and the community closer and, more importantly, help communities get things done."
Yannick Auckland, Cambridgeshire Time Credits Project Manager, said: "Time Credits are slowly being rolled out across areas of Cambridgeshire. We know how successful they can be by seeing the evidence around the country and close to home in Wisbech with over 4,000 hours being volunteered already. Through Time Credits people are getting to know more people, gaining confidence, and we've even had some of our volunteers going on to find employment! We want it to develop in the same way in Cambridge, so please get in touch if you want to find out more."