TimeBank volunteers take on exceptional challenges to change lives for the betterJulia Shipston
TimeBank, the national volunteering charity, says volunteers could be used much more widely to complement the work of professionals in health and care settings to add value and secure better outcomes for service users.
Speaking at the launch of the charity’s impact report at the House of Commons Chief Executive Helen Walker said: “Our projects have shown how successfully volunteers can help build community integration, support vulnerable people through transition and play an important role in early intervention. We know that volunteers can deliver support in the most challenging circumstances, adding real value to professional interventions without duplicating the work of paid staff. We want to see volunteers in places previously seen as the preserve of professionals.”
TimeBank specialises in recruiting and training volunteers for its projects that tackle tough social issues, from mentoring young care leavers and those facing the challenging transition from children’s to adult mental health service to ex-service men, women and their families who are struggling to adapt to civilian life. Its current projects focus on building social integration by utilising volunteers to teach English to residents who can’t speak the language and supporting refugees and asylum seekers to settle into UK life.
Sir Kevin Barron MP who hosted the event said: “Volunteers are the most important resource communities have. Without their energy and commitment many of the services we take for granted would grind to a halt. And what has struck me through my long association with TimeBank is the truly exceptional challenges its volunteers are taking on in order to change lives for the better.”
The charity is highlighting the value that volunteers bring to public service delivery – and their potential to do even more – in response to the Government’s consultation to inform the new civil society strategy announced by Tracey Crouch, the minister for civil society, last week.
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TimeBank is a national volunteering charity, started in 2000. It recruits and trains volunteers to deliver mentoring projects to tackle complex social problems and also works with businesses to engage their staff in volunteering. TimeBank believes that great volunteering can transform the lives of both volunteers and beneficiaries by building stronger, happier and more inclusive communities. Website: www.timebank.org.uk