End of the line after 21 years
TimeBank, the national charity created in 2000, has revealed it is to close.
It said it had been struggling to maintain funding, worsened by the pandemic and will close from 31 January, 2022.
The charity recruits and trains volunteers to deliver projects to tackle complex social problems. It also works with businesses to engage their staff in volunteering.
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.”
Its 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 charity, which had an income of £831,000 in the year to the end of March 2020,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.
Jeremy Crook, 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.”