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T3018 Sudbrook Skills Swap

Comments (14)
Closes: March 1, 2019 / View All
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Closes: September 18, 2019 / Vote Now
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Project Summary

This is an application from GAVO to pilot a one-to-one time banking project in the village of Sudbrook (as lead agency on a multi-agency partnership initiative) for a bespoke skills swap/time-banking project for the Vale of Usk.

Time-banking has long been of interest across the County, and Mon CC’s Changing Practice, Changing Lives Lead and the Community and Partnership Development Lead are keen to support progress towards its development in the Vale of Usk. GAVO have been recognised as the preferred lead agency, to develop and host a project that focuses upon skill swapping and good citizenship. The project is in line with time-banking methods and sits within the Third Sector. The current focus upon personal responsibility in terms of Health and Wellbeing, interest in social and corporate responsibility and the wider strategic landscape, signals the time is right to pilot such a project within Monmouthshire. The aim is to create more cohesive communities.



  • mark

    I would be grateful for any comments on this funding application please. Opportunity for comment closes on Friday 1st March 2019.

    Many thanks


  • John Davies

    This looks good principle however it does suggest that similar schemes have already been carried out at different places. As this appears to be just data collecting for a bigger scheme couldn’t the information already known be used. This appears a lot of money just to collect data and may not go anywhere.
    The reference to door knocking also suggests that only a small proportion of the community engage in local activities so I wonder if they will attend these sessions.

  • Andrew David

    In principle I am in favour of Time Banking as it can deliver many benefits. However, I cannot see why £31,318 needs to be spent on another study into something that is already well established nationally. The study requires funding for 12 months but includes a pilot that is to last just 12 weeks. I am also concerned about the enthusiasm for the project within Sudbrook as with only 32 questionnaires returned the level of engagement doesn’t appear to be strong.
    For community projects to be successful and sustainable they need to be driven from within the community, and so it would have been good to have seen a proposal from Sudbrook seeking assistance to implement a project, and with a more realistic budget.
    I have spoken to the co-ordinator of the Pembrokeshire Time Bank scheme and he would be happy to share the rural Pembrokeshire experience, thus somewhat removing the need for this proposed study.

    • mark

      Thanks for your comments Andrew. I will provide the applicant with an opportunity to respond.

      • mark

        Please see the response below from the applicant:

        Sudbrook has been identified as a useful pilot area due in part to the new housing developments in the area. There is a real and pressing need to integrate communities and bring people together, to improve their sense of well being and belonging.

        Sudbrook is fairly easy to determine in terms of boundaries, which will help us to contain resources in a distinct area and maximise outcomes. The aim of the project is to encourage simple ‘neighbourliness’ and to swap practical skills. It is therefore, imperative that people live in close proximity to one another.

        The survey carried out to help establish evidence of need for the project, provided a small snapshot in time. Based upon the population of Sudbrook, the number of people showing their support and pledging to ‘swap skills’ for the project is, we feel, adequate to start the Skills Swap project.

        There is a plethora of time banking projects from whom we can learn, and many different digital platforms supporting projects across the UK. We have researched a number of these and spoken to people concerned with their delivery. A number have offered to share learning resources (e.g. policies/procedures) and this will help the project to develop quickly and more easily.

        The aim of this project is to learn from a local, rural area and a practical skills swap approach, that can then be adapted to other parts of the County. Volunteers from the project will help to determine project delivery and that delivery model will continue to be shaped by their feedback. Similarly, they will help to determine the best digital platform to underpin their unique project.

        Local people will need to ‘own’ the project if they are to invest their time and energy and make it sustainable in the long-term.

        It would be difficult to establish a County wide time banking project initially, without further resources. Volunteers will need to be face to face in order to swap the majority of the skills we anticipate people donating e.g lawn cutting, sewing, dog walking etc. If volunteers are dispersed, this would be costly in terms of time and travel expenses. Until the number of volunteers hit a critical mass and/or are grouped in distinct parts of the County, matching would be problematic.

        The pilot project would take an action research approach. Project delivery models would evolve and local people would be urged to take ownership and lead on its development. The proposal is for a twelve month project not twelve weeks, (apologies for any lack of clarity.)

        The further context to this important pilot is strategically defined through GAVO’s role as lead for the Active Citizenship Step in the Monmouthshire Well-being Plan. This Step has been agreed by the Monmouthshire PSB, as one of 6 priority areas in the Well-Being Plan, and recognises the critical role that Active Citizenship has to play in realising the Social Capital in Monmouthshire, as identified in the Well-being Assessment.

        As a Monmouithshire PSB and Programme Board Member I recently updated the 2 Boards on the progress of the Active Citizenship Step and additionally presented to Scrutiny on the proposed work programme for the Step. The Active Citizenship Action Plan (available to download) was endorsed and supported at these meetings and you will see from the plan that Timebanking Pilots are integral to the delivery of the Plan.

  • phil powell

    I am supportive of this project as time banking is potentially very useful I am bit concerned about the way the costs and match funding is added together it not clear but we may be double counting some costs and the rdp amount should be less

    • mark

      The project costs section has been completed in accordance with RDP requirements. The match funding amount needs to be included within the project costs table in order to arrive at a total project cost. This match funding amount is then itemised in the match funding table and it is then subtracted from the total cost in order to provide the amount required under the RDP. In this case it is £25,054 which amounts to 80% of the total project cost, the maximum allowable, with a minimum 20% match funding.

  • Alastair Robertson

    I agree with all of Andrew David’s comments

  • Andrew David

    I am concerned about GAVO leading this project. It came up in the last LAG meeting that GAVO were unable to complete the Community Tool Kit project due to a failure I understood to engage with any communities. With h
    this in mind how can we have any confidence in them delivering a successful outcome to this project, which is very much based on community engagement and uptake?

    • mark

      Please see the applicant’s response below:

      I appreciate you passing on the LAG members candid response, as GAVO can now work to address any lack of faith in our ability to deliver this project. I can assure you that we have engaged with a good proportion of the residents of Sudbrook, who are excited about the prospect of the Skills Swap project, and will work with us to deliver the outcomes outlined within the bid.

      As you are aware, our difficulty in delivering the Creative Toolkit’s project was largely a result of staffing issues. It was further hindered by differing expectations from partners, as to what the project aimed to deliver. LAG members may not be fully aware of Mon CC’s role in developing and delivering the project. It was a joint project, that was to be delivered in partnership with Mon CC’s Engagement Team. A change of Mon CC staff/project leads part way through the project further frustrated progress.

      GAVO has every confidence that they will make a success of the proposed Skills Swap project. I hope other members of the LAG will have sufficient knowledge of GAVO’s role and past successes, to feel assured that we are in a strong position to develop a robust project that delivers positive outcomes for all involved.

      Thanks again for the honest feedback, I believe it’s crucial in forging open and productive partnership working that ultimately serves the rural communities of the Vale of Usk.

  • Alastair Robertson

    My position has not changed but I am grateful for the additional info provided.

Comments are now closed


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