Community Resilience and Timebanking Update, Argyll & Bute

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

Older people are particularly vulnerable to social isolation or loneliness which impact upon individuals’ quality of life and wellbeing, adversely affecting health and increasing their use of health and social care services.  To use community based support services, such as timebanking, as a platform to build social and peer support networks and to harness the contributions of volunteers and communities.  In particular, to focus on those who are over 75, and those who suffer isolation and loneliness providing support measures, and to establish preventative measures for those aged 65 plus.

The full Community Resilience and Timebanking in Argyll and Bute Example of Practice (Update) is available here It is an update of the original Example of Practice published in 2013, which can be accessed here

What you did?

Visiting Friends is a befriending service in Helensburgh and RVS operate a befriending service in Oban area.  Safe at Home is part of Visiting Friends and offers supports immediately post discharge with aim of avoiding readmission due to breakdown of support in first few weeks following hospitalisation.

Timebank supports are almost limitless in potential and include gardening, transport, shopping, minor repairs at home and household tasks which are heavy or difficult.  Amongst services offered are opportunities for social interaction and to make new friends, lunch or lunch and music groups, craft groups, book club, housebound service, Gaelic group, Stitch in Time, a Men’s Shed, history group, transport and Grey Matters which was established as a response to people’s wishes and offers the opportunity for health to be discussed and for peer support.

People are at the centre of services from design, development and through to delivery.  People are regarded as an asset, as are communities, and everyone has something to offer.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

As at September 2014:

  • Community Resilience and Timebank – supports over 2000 older people across timebank and 27 separate initiatives
  • RVS Befriending – by end first year supports 60 older people,
  • Visiting Friends – 30 + volunteers, 70 referrals in first 9 months operating,

From available ‘hard’ data for year 2013-14:

  • Prevention of admission to care home – 22
  • Prevention admission to hospital – 18
  • Supported discharge from hospital – 44
  • Maintain independence / readmission – 133
  • Total volunteer/Timebank hours combined hours annual – 27,000

Health and wellbeing outcomes and volunteering outcomes are being achieved and service costs and VIVA return (Volunteer Investment Value Audit) analysis has been carried out.

The full Community Resilience and Timebanking in Argyll and Bute Example of Practice (Update) is available here

Contacts - to find out more

Glenn Heritage