What is the potential for community currencies to deliver positive public health outcomes? Case study of Time Credits in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, UK

Gemma Burgess

University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy, Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, 19 Silver Street, Cambridge, CB3 9EP, Glb36@cam.ac.uk

There is evidence that increased levels of community engagement and social participation can improve population health. Community currencies such as Time Credits are one way to support and encourage people to be more involved in their local community. As a result, they have attracted investment by local governments in the UK, with the hope of finding new ways to work with deprived communities, improve individual outcomes that lead to better health, and reduce the use of public services at a time of financial austerity.

The aim of this research was to evaluate the health related outcomes of volunteering through Time Credits in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The conceptual model developed during the research shows how Time Credits were expected to influence some of the social determinants of health and, by doing so, enhance health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. This in depth empirical study shows the potential of such activity to support pathways to better health, but equally demonstrates the challenges in quantifying such outcomes and in evidencing any reduction in the use of public services as a result.

Article Burgess

To cite this article: Gemma Burgess (2017) ‘What is the potential for community currencies to deliver positive public health outcomes? Case study of Time Credits in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, UK’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2017 Volume 21 (Summer) 19-32 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.006

What kinds of volunteers become more motivated by community currency? 
Influence of perceptions of reward on motivation

Local communities in Japan are struggling to increase the number of participants in volunteer activities in order to revitalize local life. To maintain the enthusiasm of active volunteers and entice new volunteers, a new type of reward to increase motivation is needed. Accordingly, community currencies (hereafter, CCs) have been introduced as a reward in an attempt to provide such a source of motivation. In particular, local residents have been expected to participate in volunteer work more frequently in return for receiving CCs; however, there is no evidence yet as to whether CCs arouse their motivation to do volunteer work. In this study, we investigated whether CCs play a role in raising local residents’ motivation to do volunteer work. Our conclusion is that even some people with a no-reward orientation are likely to have their motivation raised by CCs, rather than diminished. This result shows that their perception towards CCs and cash is dramatically different though CCs have the same monetary value as cash.

Ken-ichi Kurita , Masayuki Yoshida and Yoshihisa Miyazaki

IJCCR 2015 Kurita et al

To cite this article: Kurita, K., Yoshida, M. and Miyazaki, Y. (2015) ‘What kinds of volunteer become more motivated by community currency? Influence of perceptions of reward on motivation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 53-61  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547  http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.006