Volunteer Now has joined up with Sport Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Sports Forum to launch the 2014/15 Small Grants Programme, funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, to support organisations including sports clubs and groups across Northern Ireland to develop Timebanks in their area.

Timebanks are a way for people to come together to help others and help themselves at the same time by sharing their skills in the community.  Participants ‘deposit’ their time by giving practical help and support to others and are able to make a ‘withdrawal’ when they need help or support themselves.

Funding is being made available through the initiative which primarily supports and involves older people to take the lead in making a positive and lasting change in their community.  Volunteer Now is offering grants of up to £3,000 to explore ways of supporting people and groups to share their skills and be rewarded in time.

Wendy Osborne OBE, CEO Volunteer Now says, “Timebanking is recognised as an effective way of re-establishing neighbourliness and informal volunteering and has been particularly successful in engaging hard to reach groups.”

“These grants offer an excellent opportunity for local people to develop a sustainable Timebank movement in their area that supports the participation of older people.”

Sport Northern Ireland Chief Executive, Antoinette McKeown, comments: “Volunteering is a vital part of sport in our region so this Small Grants Programme and the Timebanking initiative is very exciting. This is a great opportunity for our sports clubs and organisations and could make a big difference to their members!”

Katie Nixon, Executive Manager of the Northern Ireland Sports Forum said, “The Timebank small grants programme can offer our members and their sports clubs a perfect opportunity to develop their volunteer programmes, recruit new volunteers and establish links with the wider volunteer community in their areas”.

For Information on the grant and additional sessions being held across Northern Ireland go to www.volunteernow.co.uk

To book a place please email: Timebanking@volunteernow.co.uk

Closing dates for completed applications is 20 December 2013.