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Volunteering charity TimeBank to close

Melanie May | 21 December 2021 | News

hands hold a volunteer badge on an orange top

TimeBank has announced that it will close from 31 January 2022, having struggled to maintain adequate levels of funding for its volunteer-led mentoring and social action projects since the start of the pandemic.

TimeBank’s mentoring projects supported a wide range of disadvantaged groups including service veterans, care leavers, young people with mental health issues, carers and refugees.  Its Talking Together project helped more than 8,000 people – primarily women with little or no knowledge of English – to speak the language and integrate more fully in community life. 

The closure has been planned to have the least possible impact to its staff, volunteers and beneficiaries, with staff helped to find jobs ahead of closure. TimeBank also leaves a small amount of unrestricted reserves, which it will donate to The Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG), a national charity delivering programmes for young black, Asian and minority ethnic people aged 11-30 years. 

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TimeBank chair Stuart Crotaz said:

“Charities like ours are the grassroots of civil society. However they have been hit by falling revenues and the shift from grant funding to commissioned contracts and service delivery. This means there has been less support for volunteering, even though demand is increasing to support those people and communities hardest hit by Covid-19.

 

“We’re very proud of everything that TimeBank has achieved over the last 20 years and of our incredible staff and volunteers. We have inspired more than a million people to give their time – and our ground-breaking mentoring projects have shown the vital role of volunteering in tackling some of the most difficult social problems in our society.

 

“We hope that going forward, policy makers and funders will recognise that volunteering is not cost free – it needs an infrastructure to support it, be that local volunteer centres or volunteering organisations like TimeBank.”

Jeremy Crook OBE, chief executive of BTEG said:

“We were saddened to hear that TimeBank will be closing after two decades of delivering much needed volunteering projects. BTEG is a small national charity in our 30th year and we are delighted to receive this donation from TimeBank, which will support our Routes2Success volunteer role model and mentoring programme for ethnic minority children and young people.”

This is the second closure due to funding issues announced in the last few days. On Friday, the Small Charities Coalition also revealed that it too would be closing next year.

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