A group of 10 volunteers from Arches Local in Chatham were rewarded for their hard work with a free day out at Diggerland for their families.

 MCCG Diggerland

(L-R): Jonny Buck of Spice, the social enterprise behind Time Credits; Justin Chisnall of Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, which funds Involving Medway - part of Medway Time Credits; and Steve Biggs of Diggerland, with the volunteers and their families.

 

The volunteers are part of Medway Time Credits, an innovative social currency scheme that recognises the time people give to their community. The group had earned five Time Credits each – equating to five hours of volunteering – to earn their ticket to Diggerland by taking part in litter picks and running socially inclusive groups for sewing and woodworking.

Arches Local is part of the Big Local programme. Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, this is an opportunity for residents to make a lasting positive difference to their communities.

Diggerland, situated at the Medway Valley Leisure Park, recently joined the Spice Time Credits ‘spend network’. This is a scheme that recognises volunteers through credits, which can then be exchanged for admission to local attractions and leisure activities.

The group of volunteers spent the day enjoying all the rides and drives available at Diggerland including the skyshuttle, mini tractors, giant dirt diggers, dumper trucks as well as the go-karts and dodgems.

Steve Biggs, General Manager of the Diggerland Kent Park, said: “We wanted to get involved with the Time Credits scheme as we realised their values were perfectly aligned with ours. We want to make Diggerland accessible to everyone in the community and this was a great way of doing so."

Medway Time Credits is part of Involving Medway, an initiative designed to encourage people to engage and help make decisions about health provision in the area. The pilot project is funded by Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for planning and buying local NHS services.

Justin Chisnall, Company Secretary at Medway CCG, said: “Now in its second year, Involving Medway has become an important part of the way we engage with the community. One of the project’s primary purposes is to promote better health and wellbeing and Time Credits is a great example of how we can bring people together and reward them for working to improve their communities. We would like to thank Diggerland for coming on board and we hope this was the first of many visits for volunteers.”

Cllr Andrew Mackness, who represents River Ward where Arches Local is based, said: “I am delighted to support Time Credits and the principle on which it was founded. The scheme recognises the exceptional work volunteers do in our communities and the contribution they make. I am pleased the team at Diggerland has embraced Time Credits and supported their introduction.”

Spice, the social enterprise behind Time Credits, was founded in South Wales and has since spread across the UK. They are now growing their work in the South East of England.

Organisations or individuals wishing to find out more about joining the Medway Time Credits scheme can email Smitha Campbell on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on Time Credits visit www.justaddspice.org or follow @justaddspice on Twitter.

To find out more about Involving Medway visit www.medwayccg.nhs.uk/gettinginvolved/involvement-projects/involving-medway, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01634 407337.

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Notes to Editors

  • Medway CCG is responsible for planning and buying local NHS services, for the patient population of 299,660 across Medway.
  • Medway CCG’s main role is to plan and buy health services across the Medway towns. It works closely with patient groups, local public health, social care and voluntary sector partners to make sure the right services are available at the right time.
  • The CCG is one of 211 in the country, the Medway CCG is made up of GPs, other healthcare professionals and experienced commissioners dedicated to making Medway a healthier place to live.
  • It is committed to developing a strong clinically-led organisation that puts the needs of Medway residents at the heart of its decisions.
  • Medway Clinical Commissioning Group has a governing body made up of local GPs, a registered nurse and several lay members, all working with a network of health professionals across the area.