The interim report of the second Timebanking evaluation has been published today on the NSW Volunteering website.
In summary, the interim report indicates that Timebanking continues to demonstrate that it is a powerful mechanism for building community engagement and increasing volunteering.
This has resulted in new support and care for those in need in our communities, increased social capital, the creation of new pathways to employment, and improved wellbeing and trust among participants.
Key findings include that Timebanking is the largest single such system in the world. It now has 5,700 registered members, including almost 500 organisations.
Member numbers continue to grow steadily with an increase of 44% since 2013.
Since the launch of Timebanking in November 2012, 20,700 hours of support have been exchanged.
There has been an increase of 18% in members using the system for trading compared with the last evaluation.
Timebanking is most active within smaller communities where the participants are embedded in their local community and existing organisations.
Neighbourhood and community centres are the largest groups of participating organisations and are producing some of the most successful engagement, linking local people to Timebanking transactions.
Trading and sustainability in new local communities and organisations are directly related to mutual support by participants and volunteer facilitators called time brokers.
It has had a positive impact of mutual support, particularly in the lives of older and relatively poorer people, factors that will encourage future participation and sustainability into the future.
Timebanking continues to achieve its program objectives, and in particular support of the NSW Volunteering Strategy in removing barriers to volunteering.
The meaning and value of community exchanges to participants will be the subject of further case study and will be presented as part of the final evaluation, which is due at the end of 2015.