A social good currency has launched in London to help homeless people access community, cultural and leisure activities as a reward for volunteering.
Social enterprise Spice has introduced its Time Credit currency to help residents of the St Mungo’s Hostel on Mare Street, Hackney, with City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group funding the project to help people affected by homelessness develop better health and quality of life.
For every hour of volunteering, residents earn a Time Credit Note that can be redeemed on community, cultural and leisure activities in the Hackney area and across London.
Residents of the hostel have already volunteered over 100 hours by setting up activities, cooking, tidying communal areas and writing articles. Some have facilitated peer support sessions, while others participated in workshops to develop ideas on the physical design of the City and Hackney Time Credit note.
The central image of the new currency has been designed by street artist Stik (pictured), who was once affected by homelessness and lived in the hostel for a short period of time.
Spice’s Time Credits are already in use nationally, and can be used at around 700 venues. So far an estimated 22,000 users have earned the currency, and approximately 450,000 Time Credits have been issued across England and Wales.
David Fisher, executive director of services at St Mungo’s said:
“Being connected to your local community is a vital step when moving on from homelessness. That’s why we’re excited to see projects like the City and Hackney Time Credit Note launching and the residents in our Mare Street hostel have already taken to the project with a visibly determined enthusiasm.”
Spice’s Time Credits are not the only social good currency. Other examples include last month’s launch of Horyou’s Spotlight: a global social currency, while the Bristol Pound and Totnes Pound are two currencies that exist to help their local communities.
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