The agency time credit model Spice has developed over the last ten years time credits to acknowledge people’s contribution to their community. For every hour contributed by a citizen to designing and delivering services they earn one time credits. Credits can then be used to access events, learning, cultural or leisure opportunities, or to trade time with neighbours: This, again, works on an hour-for-hour basis, so a community event lasting for two hours will require two time credits to access. Time Credit systems are hosted by community groups, local governments, schools, housing associations, prisons and development trusts.
How it works
In this system, a tenant who gives his time by helping to run a local out-of-school club can then spend that time on, to use one example of many, attending a concert at a venue owned by a Spice network Time Spend partner. To this end, Spice has developed a network of time spend partners across the UK: including local authority-run leisure centres, climbing centres, concert venues, sports clubs, cinemas and arts galleries, all of whom accept time credits on the door. Organisations that give out time credits are supported to develop new ways for people spend credits in their service. For example, using credits to access a film night run by the community centre or a school concert/trip or take part in a pool tournament in the homeless hostel.
Spice within the CCIA Project
Within the CCIA project, Spice will be launching, adapting or expanding its existing time credits networks to deliver three pilot projects alongside regional partners in South Wales. Their main focus will be community building, stakeholder engagement and poverty reduction. Through CCIA, Spice intend to take the agency time credits to scale. A collective approach and considered and targeted evaluation, advocacy and dissemination of the benefits of the model to governmental and non-governmental actors will enable us to make a strong and persuasive case for adoption of the methodology to both governmental and non-governmental actors.
The body of knowledge contained within the CCIA partnership, its level of innovation and the design-based approach it is taking to developing community currency solutions will be invaluable to Spice as it grows, both in terms of the learning it can derive from expert practitioners, the innovation it can adapt and replicate from sister projects and the collective voice it provides to make a strong and clear case for the effectiveness of the new approaches it uses. Through CCIA Spice wants to play a role in, and benefit from, scaling up of CCs across Europe.