Fair Shares Time Bank

FairSharesLogoFair Shares Time Bank in Gloucestershire supports older people through transitions in health in Gloucestershire. Volunteers sign up to the timebank to provide practical support for older people during times of transition. In return the volunteers are given credits in the time bank to spend other activities like Spanish lessons or workshops at the City Farm.
The initiative was developed in response to the observation that lots of older people going through transitions (eg death of a partner, new caring responsibilities, diagnosis of a long term condition) felt isolated. They may be physically cut off, or in need of new social connections or looking for advice about a new situation.
Volunteers might offer to drive older people to appointments or phone and chat regularly. In addition, older people themselves can join the timebank and give some of their skills back.
Fair Shares Time Bank has eight branches in central and western England. Established by 2000, it has run timebank projects in many areas including prison and youth work.
For more information: http://www.fairshares.org.uk/
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Intel Virtual Tea Room

Intel launched a pilot scheme that uses a touch-screen computers or tablets to allow older people to participate in a “virtual tea room” in 2010.
The Tea Room allowed isolation older people to talk to friends and family as well as talk to others in their neighbourhood from the comfort of their own home.
With tablets becoming more affordable the company hopes the software will help isolated older people to make new connections.

Circles of Care

DiSC-CICLogoCircles of Care connects people, communities and care around a particular individual.

It uses secure web-based technologies to enable everyone in an individual’s Circle of Care to stay connected, so that person, their family, friends and carers, can easily stay in touch and access the information, services and support they need, when they need them. For example the web platform includes a co-ordination tool to help family and friends, volunteers, and public social care providers better provide and monitor support for the person at the centre of the circle.

Circles of Care was launched by Digital Services for Care(DISC) in Cornwall in 2012. It is being trialled in two rural areas where social isolation can be high, public transport difficult, and distances between relatives long, with the support of Torbay and Southern Devon Care Trust and Cornwall’s Dementia Friendly Communities programme. It is hoped that in the future the web platform will also include a timebanking element and the service with also be available on mobiles and interactive TVs.