Category Archives: Spice

Job Opportunity – Head of Business Development with Spice Time Credits

There is an exciting opportunity to join the Spice Time Credits team as their Head of Business Development.

As part of Spice’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT), you will help drive Spice’s scaling strategy. Leading a motivated Business Development, Communications and Marketing Team, with a focus on securing funding from national initiatives, local authorities, CCGs, foundations, trusts and corporate partners, as well as leading Spice external communications and marketing initiatives. Working closely with the Chief Executive Officer, SLT, Trustees and wider organisation to drive the growth of Spice’s offer, you will also have an important role in visioning and designing the future of Spice working with existing and potential clients to ensure that they remain at the cutting edge of community development, public sector reform, preventative health and time banking.

Spice began as a start-up eight years ago and has now grown to a team of more than 40 people, with offices in Cardiff and London, and programmes in five regions of England and Wales – their turnover has grown more than five-fold, reaching over 33,000 participants.

The location of the role is flexible, with a starting salary of £43,000, with London weighting where applicable. Deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 3 April, with interviews taking place on Tuesday 11 April, in London.

You can find out more about Spice here, and to find out more about the role, and to apply, click here.

People Powered System Change

At Spice we are passionate about how people and communities can change public services for the better. Our newly published report focuses on this very topic. The report Positive Change in Challenging Times: How Spice Time Credits are creating system change explains the social impact of Time Credits at the individual, organisational and community level and how these impacts can, over time, accumulate to shift relationships and transform systems.

Spice Statistics

The research used to inform the report was conducted by social impact evaluators Apteligen and found the following through surveying more than 1,000 volunteers and organisations using Spice Time Credits:

  • More than 25,000 UK citizens have earned Time Credits
  • approximately 450,000 Time Credits have been issued across England and Wales
  • 1,200 organisations and services across the private, public and voluntary sectors are working with Spice to create tangible system change in many settings.
  • 77 per cent said that Time Credits have had a positive impact on their lives
  • 66 per cent said they know more about local support and services available to them
  • 60 per cent feel healthier since earning Time Credits
  • 30 per cent report needing to see the doctor less
  • 58 per cent have said their level of social contact has increased as a result of Time Credits

The importance of models of working that naturally develop collaboration and co-production are important as services seek develop new models of prevention and self-care in communities and within services. Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, who writes the Foreword for the report, notes the need for models like this to be expanded, particularly in public services, health and social care:

“Spice Time Credits are a window into a possible future… Models like Spice matter because they address head on what is perhaps the worst feature of the mainstream economy: that it treats as valueless people who obviously have use and value. At a macro scale that failure translates into millions left unemployed or underemployed. At a micro scale it means that many communities simultaneously have unmet needs and underused capacities. Many of our social ills have their roots in this kind of unnecessary uselessness, because people come to internalise the message the system’s implicit message that they have nothing valuable to offer.”

The report outlines how, as organisations begin to make use of the skills and assets of their members through implementing Time Credits, they are able to make better use of existing resources. This leads to a number of overall changes, including higher quality services, increased capacity and financial sustainability. This change leads to a positive feedback loop which helps to sustain the changes over time.
Our research also uncovered five fundamentals that underpin good collaboration, and which have enabled Spice to support and generate system change at scale:

  1. Working within the existing system: Spice Time Credits supports changes at multiple levels of existing systems, always in partnership and across the community, linking outcomes to local objectives.
  2. Valuing people and their time equally: Time Credits value everyone’s time equally, allowing people to engage in systems differently and providing a tool for professionals to engage communities.
  3. Facilitating partnership working across boundaries: Time Credits work across the private, public and voluntary sectors, creating new networks of collaboration and innovation.
  4. Engaging the many: Time Credits enable new and different people to engage within existing systems, facilitate the setup of new activities and groups by new voices, and create new ways to meet needs.
  5. Changing attitudes and building new skills: The practical act of giving out and taking in Time Credits as an organisation has a powerful effect on practitioners’ attitudes and behaviours as well as creating different expectations from communities driving further engagement and change.

To download the report and for further information on Spice Time Credits, head to

David Russell, Head of Development and Policy

About Spice
Founded in South Wales in 2009, Spice Time Credits is the biggest community currency in the UK. The programme swaps one hour’s volunteering in the community for a Time Credit for each hour given.

The credits can be spent on a range of community, cultural and leisure activities locally, as well as across the national network of organisations that are currently participating in the programme, such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and the Wales Millennium Centre.


Creating the Conditions for Health and Wellbeing to Thrive, a New Approach for the NHS?

Becky Booth, CEO of innovative social enterprise Spice, a C4CC partner, has written a guest blog for us, following their publication of a report measuring the impact of Spice’s work in developing Time Credit systems for communities and public sectors.

At Spice we were heartened to see special mention of the role of communities and volunteering in Simon Steven’s Five Year Forward View and are keen to see how this is developed by the NHS and partners in coming years. As a C4CC partner we are pleased to be working with partners who share this vision for creating health and wellbeing as a root method to develop a sustainable health and care system.

We work across the UK to engage people in the design and delivery of public services and support them to take a more active role in their communities. Whether that’s with schools, local authorities, housing associations or local people working with their community anchor organisation, Spice Time Credits increase active engagement, reduce dependency and build community and individual esteem.

The Spice model works on a simple basis. For every hour a person gives to their community or service they earn a printed Time Credit which can then be spent in that community or across the Spice network nationally. Spend partners include adult education colleges, leisure centres and larger heritage sites such as Tower of London.

We recently published a new evaluation report that demonstrates the impact that Time Credits is having for some of the UK’s most disadvantaged citizens, supporting them to be involved in their communities, many for the very first time. A range of key health benefits are also emerging as a result of this involvement with people reporting less use of formal health and care services and improved health and wellbeing. Over the last few years, our external evaluators, Apteligen, have surveyed over a 1000 members, 300 professional staff, run 33 workshops, conducted 25 interviews and facilitated 40 organisational workshops.

One of the exciting sets of findings from our recent evaluation has been seeing how Time Credits is encouraging individuals and communities to support one another. Consistently across our programme individuals describe how Time Credits has given them new support structures, enabled them to make new friends and use their skills and talents to help other people.

“I was socially isolated, suffering with depression and low confidence…Then I got involved with ACE and everything changed for the better.” (Time Credits member)

“I feel part of a supportive community with active and motivated people that I enjoy being with and who make a huge difference to the community. They are excellent mentors and role models to me and my children.” (Time Credits member)

The outcomes of this positive change is demonstrated throughout the evaluation findings:

– 81 per cent said Time Credits have a had a positive impact on their quality of life
– 60 per cent said their level of social contact has increased as a result of Time Credits
– 48 per cent of respondents reported being more likely to get important needs met because they are part of a local community.
– 13 per cent have started a new community group since being involved with Time Credits
– 23 per cent report having less need to go to the doctor

These results are not just important for individual’s happiness, health and wellbeing, but also for the way that we design and deliver our public services.

Designing services that facilitate peer support and self-management is critical to prevention programmes. As Wendy Lansdown from one of our council partners, Cambridgeshire County Council describes,

“Research shows us that professionals are not always the right people to provide help and support. Help from local community peers, with a clear mechanism for their support and training, can be far more effective in reaching people who may need help but who do not come forward to ask for help from professional services….The findings give evidence for one of the most powerful effects I have witnessed with Time Credits – connecting people – both in terms of individuals, combating social isolation and helping people to know others in their community.”

For the last 12 months Spice has been working in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council to deliver their ‘Prevention Matters’ programme. Prevention Matters is targeted at adults who are not yet eligible for social care services and aims to help them stay independent by linking them into community activities, groups and services depending on their individual needs and interests.

Half of the 2860 referrals have identified social isolation as a primary reason for the referral. The Time Credits are supporting those referred to not only to receive support from others but enabling them to contribute to other individuals and the wider community. For example, Pat is volunteering at a community café and has begun organising group trips to spend Time Credits, with volunteers contributing their spare Time Credits to enable other customers and friends to join them.

“I have enjoyed socializing with other volunteers and being able to treat customers and friends who normally don’t go to the theatre. Using Time Credits stops it seeming like we’re offering Charity.”

For individuals and staff taking part in Time Credit programmes, being able to develop new support networks is key to strengthening individual and collective resilience. As one member describes,

“I feel that Time Credits have taken me places that I haven’t seen before…It has helped me to gain confidence in myself and improve the way I now live my life. Through Time Credits I have made lots of new friends.”

Looking forward we see huge potential in aligning our work with the ‘formal’ health and care economy and we know from experience that everyone benefits when proven systems like Time Credits, which are people powered and asset based, are integrated with formal services.