Volunteering charity TimeBank announces closure

Volunteering charity TimeBank has announced that it will close from January 31, 2022. The charity says that since the pandemic, it has struggled to maintain adequate levels of funding for its volunteer-led mentoring and social action projects. It says recognising this has enabled it to plan for closure in a responsible way, with least impact to its staff, volunteers and beneficiaries.

TimeBank chair Stuart Crotaz says: “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.”

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.

TimeBank 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.

Stuart Crotaz adds: “We are very proud to be able to support BTEG, which shares TimeBank’s mission to build strong communities, improve wellbeing and promote the value of volunteering.”

Jeremy Crook OBE, chief executive of BTEG says: “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.”

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