What a fantastic year!

Phil Pyatt Phil Pyatt

I can’t believe it’s December already and I’ve nearly completed my first year at TimeBank. It’s been a few months since my last update and the end of a year is always a good opportunity to look back at all that’s been achieved. I’m constantly amazed by the dedication of our staff, volunteers and beneficiaries – none of this would be possible without your help and support!

Our Talking Together project funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) offers informal, everyday language training to marginalised residents – primarily women – who have little or no knowledge of English. Our practical input helps transform lives, open doors and contribute to community integration. 

By the end of March 2020 our volunteers will have helped well over 1,500 beneficiaries and I had the pleasure recently of attending one of the classes at the Sikh Community Centre in Leicester with my colleague Lucy, staff from the MHCLG and our inspirational volunteer Divya and her amazing group of learners.  They talked confidently using everyday scenarios even though there were a number of strangers in the room.  As I write this update, the election result has just come in, and hopefully in the new year we will hear from the MHCLG as to whether we can continue this vitally important programme for another year.

I’ve also made a number of visits to Scotland to see my colleague Ali and how the Shoulder to Shoulder project is going which is funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).  Over the next 12 months we will build on our previous work with ex-service men and women who have been affected by mental health issues or having difficulty adjusting to civilian life by piloting a new online video mentoring platform to link 30 beneficiaries with online volunteer mentors.  This project is being evaluated by The Lines Between who are based in Edinburgh and we’re really keen to see the results of this project to help shape our future models of mentoring.

Employer Volunteering (EV) has been going from strength to strength from cooking at community kitchens to spending the day in a foodbank or improving community outdoor spaces and thanks to the hard work of our EV team thousands of corporate volunteers have been supported through TimeBank in giving back to their local community and having fun while doing so.

20th Anniversary in 2020

In 2020 TimeBank will be celebrating its 20th anniversary of running rewarding volunteer experiences that make a lasting impact to the lives of the beneficiaries and their communities.  We’ve got some exciting plans to celebrate including:

Our new website– launching very soon we will have a new website to make it easier for everyone involved in the TimeBank community to access the information that they need whether they are interested in volunteering or would like to get involved in fundraising for the charity.

TimeBank Voices – Our new project, TimeBank Voices will bring some of the experiences of our volunteers and beneficiaries to life through oral history recordings to go on our website, and at two exhibitions in London and Birmingham to coincide with TimeBank’s 20th anniversary.

We hope the recordings will help future generations understand how, despite facing prejudice and misconception, people from different communities contribute significantly to society and add to the rich tapestry that makes up the UK.

So once again I want to say a huge thank you to everyone, to wish everyone a fantastic end of year break and a happy new year!

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