Public Health Outcomes of Volunteering with Time Credits

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University Centre

Granta Place

Cambridge

CB2 1RU

United Kingdom

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Launch event of research on the public health outcomes of volunteering with Time Credits

One increasingly important approach to reducing health inequalities is through improving social capital and reducing isolation. Time Credits are a way of recognising and celebrating the time people spend volunteering with a local organisation, community group, volunteer group or a statutory sector service provider.

In exchange for their contribution, the volunteers ‘earn’ a Time Credit note, one for every hour they give. These can be ‘spent’ on a range of leisure and other opportunities, typically donated by organisations, local businesses and corporations to allow the community members to take advantage of their spare capacity. They can also be spent on activities run by other community members, on activities at the organisation they were earned with, and to trade time and skills with other individuals.

The aim of the research was to evaluate the outcomes of the Time Credit project in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, with a focus on health outcomes. In particular, to determine the initiative’s potential to tackle social exclusion and loneliness and to assess the extent to which it can improve wellbeing and increase community cohesion and social capital.

The research shows that earning Time Credits can have both direct and indirect health benefits for individuals. People gained a sense of purpose and felt that they were making a positive contribution which increased their life satisfaction and improved their mental health. They became more physically active and more socially connected. There is also evidence of increased confidence and development of skills and work experience to support moving into paid employment.

The event is an opportunity to learn more about the research findings and to discuss how community engagement can be developed as a strategy for health improvement.

Event starts at 12.30 and will include lunch

Date and Time

Location

University Centre

Granta Place

Cambridge

CB2 1RU

United Kingdom

View Map

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