Local community group, Paxton Green Time Bank, is today celebrating after being awarded over £200,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work helping vulnerable and isolated people in Southwark and Lambeth. The group, based on the Kingswood Estate in SE21, will use the cash to continue their project for the next three years, and to develop their organization in order to reach out to even more local people.
Paxton Green Time Bank (PGTB) has been running since 2008 and is staffed by a small team of 6 part-time workers. It was founded by local GPs at Paxton Green Health Centre after they realised that many patients could benefit from being ‘prescribed’ community and something to engage with as much as from their medication. Timebanking works on the principle that everyone has a skill they can share to help others, and every hour members spend earns them one time credit they can then use to get some help back. So an hour of gardening can earn you a lesson in conversational Italian!
The group now has over 700 members and as well as facilitating one to one exchanges runs a full monthly timetable of group activities and social events. They also take members into local care homes where they engage with elderly residents and share skills and time. Time Bank members have exchanged over 40,000 hours of community time since 2008!
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will see PGTB be able to reach out to even more local people, and to take referrals from more local health centres.
At the same time, the group will be able to employ an admin support worker, which will give existing staff more time to support our more vulnerable members, who are often referred to PGTB due to suffering from depression or isolation. This is another way the group is able to benefit the local community, offering a way back into work for a local person.
Alison Paule, director of PGTB says: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to continue to coproduce healthy communities with and for local people. Paxton Green Time Bank is celebrating its eleventh anniversary this year, and we are extremely proud of our progress and successes as a small local coproduced charity. Started by two GPs as an early form of social prescribing, we have now grown into a charity which is open to anyone who lives or works in Lambeth or Southwark.”
Jane, volunteer at PGTB, says: “Getting help from the reliable and enthusiastic Time Bank members is fabulous, and personally feeling part of the time bank network is really helpful and feels great. It’s just a great, great network to be part of. Its brilliant news that PGTB has received this core funding’’
Sacha Rose-Smith, Head of Funding for London at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we are able to support more projects addressing loneliness and social isolation than any other funder in the UK. We’re delighted that many of the projects we have funded this quarter, such as Paxton Green Time Bank, are focused on bringing communities together, enabling people to make new connections and empowering their communities to thrive. With their ideas, knowledge and passion, this money changes lives.”