The role volunteers play is vital, if they were paid the total salary would have been £234bn last year and according to Tempo Time Credits almost half of volunteers last year hadn’t considered doing it prior to being aware of the scheme. Currently Tempo awards 10,000 volunteers with time credits and thanks to its digital transformation there is now scope to manage upwards of 2.5 million a year.
Rewarding people for giving up their time has proved to be a powerful incentive; 70% of those who use Tempo Time Credits say that it has helped their quality of life and 89% feel more positive about their future. One of the major issues in the UK is loneliness and 88% of volunteers who’ve used Tempo Time Credits say they feel less lonely, whilst 93% have shared their skills with others. Community charities say that Tempo helps to retain volunteers and encourages those who might not ordinarily consider it.
Established in 2008 in Wales, Tempo Time Credits is now a national charity that works with local community action groups to provide opportunities for disadvantaged members of society to find their way to a better life, by giving them opportunities to volunteer in local projects. They are then rewarded for their time in ways that matter such as education, health & fitness or even food shopping.
Mark Froud, CEO Tempo Time Credits says: “Volunteering has many positive benefits such as increasing employability, learning new skills and boosting confidence. Being rewarded for your time is not only extra motivation but can offer a lifeline in some cases. We’re encouraging businesses around the UK to become a partner for redeeming credits and playing a role in changing lives for the better.”
Case Study: Simon from Haringey, London
Simon discovered a passion for gardening through earning Tempo Time Credits with the Haringey Project, which is focused on people living with, or at risk of, mental health or substance misuse. As a resident at St Mungo’s Hostel he was offered the opportunity to earn his first Tempo Time Credits.
‘I lived in St Mungos for 2.5 years, I volunteered for them gardening. They were really happy with what I did, which inspired me to work more and earn Tempo Time Credits, to make people happy, make myself happy.’
Simon has since used his skills helping other Haringey organisations such as The A Team, a group of volunteers who deliver household chores such as gardening, regularly giving his time and gaining skills that he hopes will lead to paid employment one day.
‘It’s helped me improve my physical and mental health too. It makes me feel happy and empowered to work, earn and I enjoy going to places. Tempo Time Credits have given me the freedom to do this, it’s made me more outgoing and confident. I’ve always been interested in the history of Haringey but now I can expand my knowledge of London.’
Simon first used his Tempo Time Credits on an edible mushroom growing course with Living Under One Sun, he has since used his Time Credits to treat his Mum, taking her to Tower Bridge, Kensington Palace, Keats House and on the Thames Clipper boats.
‘Another great thing about Tempo Time Credits is that you can use them to treat your family and friends. I’ve taken my Mum to places she’s never been to before. I went on lots of trips with Tempo Time Credits this August, it was the best August of my whole life.’
Currently the charity works with 30 projects, with approximately 24 commissioning organisations such as local health authorities, grant giving organisations such as Esmée Fairburn and local government groups. They provide the Tempo Time Credits to the volunteers via community charity groups and partnerships, who can then redeem them with a variety of different recognition partners ranging from sports centres and education trusts to supermarkets.
People earn Tempo Time Credits when they volunteer with a charity or community group that is part of the Tempo network. They then use their credits on a wide range of activities, products and services of their choice. These activities are provided by the national network of Tempo recognition partners i.e. businesses and organisations, and are essential to ensuring the volunteers are recognised for the invaluable work they do. For businesses and organisations who are heavily reliant on the volunteer sector, Tempo provides an additional offer to their volunteers when selecting where to provide their time.