Project name: Timebanking in a box for GPs
We will create 'Timebanking in a Box'; a model for GPs to use to implement timebanking within their practices based on the success of Paxton Green Time Bank (PGTB) in Lambeth, London set up in 2008.
PGTB will be our partners helping us to structure a package that GPs can use to connect local people in communities building networks of mutual support using time as the currency. We will work with GPs who have already expressed an interest in Tower Hamlets to help them develop timebanking which we will then expand to three other areas, culminating in a national roll-out using our existing regional networks.
PGTB has a focus on people living with depression (which is a significant issue for older people who live alone in isolation). Their evidence: 76% of people agreed that timebanking lifted their mood, 67% said it had helped reduce their loneliness, 71% of those previously reporting depression felt it had improved depression and 83% agreed it had helped them make new friends.
How the £50,000 grant will help
There are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK. The NHS 10 year plan urges GPs to use social prescribing as a way to address the social care crisis. Timebanking encourages local people to help one another, providing recognition by giving back hours so that they can ask for help themselves, creating support networks.
This programme will impact upon thousands of people and grow the timebanking movement exponentially. Timebanking is bold by challenging preconceived notions about priority groups. Society often sees those who are elderly and vulnerable as passive users of services rather than providers themselves - which they can be with the right support and inspiration. We will show that everyone can contribute, no matter their circumstances, age or skills, recognising that everyone in society is of value. We will use our network of 268 time banks across the UK to showcase this ‘Timebanking In A Box’ for GPs and hold events, meetings and roadshows to roll it out. This will reach many hundreds and thousands of people who will all be able to realise their value and worth, reducing the strain on health services, creating stronger and more connected communities.