Timebanking Wales works with public and third sector community organisations in Wales, to reinvent mutualism with time currency. Timebanking is a social instrument designed to develop a more active dialogue between community organisations and ‘people in communities’ - the intention being to move the agenda from people being ‘passive beneficiaries of community services’ to ‘active citizens for change’.
Welsh timebanks work a little differently to the traditional timebank model in that they are ‘hosted’ within public and community agencies. Community members are then invited to actively engage and take ownership of public services rather than being passive recipients. The ‘host’ agency acts as the central bank and acknowledges members for their time with credits. These credits can then be used to access social, cultural and educational activities on a quid pro quo hourly basis.
This co-productive conversation changes the culture of the community landscape by re-engaging peoples talents in the context of participatory democracy, promotes mutual activity, encourages civil renewal and builds positive social capital.
In 2003 the University of Newport came together with Time Banks UK and Valleys Kids in a partnership to set up the Wales Institute for Community Currencies (WICC) and to develop new applications of timebanking. This Institute became so successful, that 5 years later it has evolved into two new organisations devoted to disseminating this work. Timebanking Wales is now working across Wales delivering much larger scale timebanking programmes to the third sector and its sister organisation, Spice is doing the same with engagement of people in public services across the UK. http://justaddspice.org/
Time Banking Wales is dedicated to practicing and researching new applications of time bankinig in communities. It aims to learn from empirical appliations of time currencies to develop working methodologies that improve practice and make the benefits available to a wide range of people. It functions as a 'think and do tank' in the communty sector to:
a) Design, test and support public and third sector organisattions to develop time banking as a tool for active community engagement.
b) Research their effectiveness. Incorporate lessons into modified design to ensure improved practice and achievement of outcome.
c) Disseminate best practice to practitioners, funders and policy makers.
The aims of Time Banking Wales are to:
Time Banking Wales Mission Statement:
Time Banking Wales will progress the introduction of mutuality into the operating structure of public and third sector organisations. Time banking progresses a mutual agenda that brokers a new conversation in the way services are designed and delivered, producing better outcomes for individuals, organisations and communities.
Time banking is underpinned by four core values, which are necessary for inspiring social change:
1. People are assets: All people have the potential to make a positive contribution to the community.
2. Redefining work: The work that people are willing to do to help each other and their community is valued and celebrated.
3. Mutuality: A two-way relationship with opportunities to both give and receive, building healthy and more equal relationships with professional workers/agencies and each other. People need opportunities to give to their communities, to work in partnership with agencies and to be recognised for their work by the wider community.
4. Social Networks: Healthy communities have strong social networks. People are supported to become an active and integrated part of their wider community.
Time banking recognises and put these values into action. People's skills are activated to benefit the community where their contribution is recognised and valued, these are necessary for creating social change.
Evidence shows that focus on these core values engineers a culture shift away from people being defined as beneficiaries/passive recipients of services to an approach which focuses on the value that people can bring to the development of a community, both on an individual and collective basis as active citizens.
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