Timebanking encourages community members to share what they already possess - skills, interests, experiences. We've helped Torbay Community Development Trust take this to the next level.
Since 2014, Torbay Community Development Trust have builtcommunity resilience using neighbourhood timebanks and asset-based community development approaches to support social prescribing.
They have evidenced the following key indicators from a base of 1,500 people: self-reported loneliness has reduced from 59% to 29%; social interaction has increased by 10%; befriending has increased from 23% to 36%; problems with mobility have reduced from 70% to 54%; GP visits have been halved; hospital admittance is down by 60%; extreme anxiety and depression is down from 20% to 8%.
Unable to find a digital platform on the market that met their requirements, the Trust didn’t have the appropriate means to utilise tech to increase their reach. Their previous timebanking solution comprised 14 separate websites (one for each timebank) with limited means to interchange between timebanks (e.g. if you lived in one area but worked in another). Also, the Trust’s community builders struggled to manage the timebank exchanges on their clients behalves (e.g. if their client was digitally illiterate).
Torbay Community Development Trust approached Made Open to see if our online community platform could be adapted to support their timebanking service. We already had similar plans and a partnership between our two organisations duly formed.
Fast forward four months to 1st February 2018 and ‘Torbay Together’ was launched at a unique event in Torbay – helping 27 community neighbourhoods across the region to earn credits online by helping others in their community. This new platform, supported by the Ageing Well Torbay programme, will help the Trust to support any local person over the age of 50 to reconnect with their local community and meet new friends.
Torbay Together got off to an excellent start. In its first 6 weeks, 284 new members joined, 283 new hours were added, 183 credits were earnt, and 85 offers / requests were added to the platform. Going forward, the Made Open platform will enable TorbayCDT and others healthcare partners in Torbay to deliver a more effective, holistic and ‘person-centred’ social prescribing model; reducing GP visits and evidencing a reduction in areas like social isolation, anxiety and depression. For more information, please contact Robert Woolf.