DCMS features Spice in new Social Action report

Spice and the Time Credits model are featured in a series of reports designed to encourage and promote social action in communities. The reports, launched this week, are a joint effort between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the New Economics Foundation, and set out the steps that will help commissioners to embed social action in their local areas.

The Time Credits model is presented as one example of a tool that can be used to commission the conditions for social action.

From the report:

“Spice is an organisation that pioneers Time Credits as a way of valuing the time people give as volunteers, peer supporters, mentors and more. Everyone’s time is valued equally: you give an hour and you get an hour’s Time Credit, regardless of the activity you were involved in, or your perceived skills and status.”

Across England and Wales, Spice works in partnership with 13 councils and CCGs to deliver Time Credit programmes that are each designed to meet different needs of a local community or embedded within a service. In Buckinghamshire, Time Credits are part of the Prevention Matters programme (also featured in the Creating the conditions for social action report, which brings together the County Council social care, CCGs primary care and the voluntary sector, and aims to help people to live healthily and independently for longer. 

Ian Merrill, Spice CEO:

“We were delighted to see Time Credits featured in these publications and proud to be showcased among a range of innovative organisations that are leading the way in community social action. Creating the conditions that enable people to contribute to public services, and be valued for their contribution, is at the heart of what we do.”

The report also highlights the impact of Time Credits participation in terms of boosting confidence, health & well-being, and connecting individuals to the service and support available to them.

“…As one service working with Spice Time Credits explains: ‘The concept has created a quiet storm; we have seen customers who previously had no structure start to engage with their support workers asking about Time Credits and telling us about their individual skills.”

Social action in the context of these reports is defined as: “People coming together to help improve their lives and solve the problems that are important in their communities. It involves people giving their time and other resources for the common good, in a range of forms – from volunteering and community-owned services to community organising or simple neighbourly acts.”

Alongside the publication on describing social action, topics covered by additional publications in the series detail approaches such as the principles of co-production, social prescribing and engaging with community partnerships teams.

If you are interested in exploring how Time Credits could work with your organisation, or with the approaches outlined above, please contact david@justaddspice.org