Time Credits – helping good causes

If you volunteer with Friends of City Gardens you can earn Time Credits. It is a way for the City to thank you for giving up your time to help improve our environment. Time Credits can be spent in a huge range of venues and on lots of activities, such as visits to the Tower of London or St Paul’s Cathedral, trips on the Thames Clipper service or at the gym, cinema or leisure centres. If you would like to receive Time Credits just let us know.

You can also donate your Time Credits to help other people. This is a case study of the great work carried out by St James’s Piccadilly and how donated Time Credits have helped their International Group Outings.

Case Study: The International Group at St James’s Church Piccadilly

St James’s church, Piccadilly, is there for people with no right to work and no access to public funds, some of whom are homeless; guests come from all over the world. The International Group meets every Saturday morning between  8 and 10.30 a.m. Volunteers prepare a hot breakfast and then welcome up to 30 guests to join them in eating it; it’s a shared time for conversation, reading the papers and  perhaps some music and art work. 

FoCG volunteers donated some of their Time Credits to enable the International Group to visit Greenwich on the Thames Clippers.  Last summer the Group went to Greenwich twice as it was very popular and we were told the first visit was too short! Greenwich fascinated them.  We began both visits with refreshments which always raises everyone’s spirits.

We visited the Queen’s Gallery, the Maritime Museum and on the second visit climbed the hill to the Observatory where an interested and kind door man engaged us in conversation and showed us how to access the dome without having to purchase tickets! Of particular interest was Greenwich meantime and the Meridian which we stood on and was then the site for many selfies.

My most treasured memory remains visiting the Queen’s Gallery with Len, a guest who loves British history. On both visits he lay on his back on the padded benches provided and gazed at the magnificent painted ceiling until the gallery closed and we had to persuade him to leave!  The ticket office has given us a year’s pass so that we can return again – and again, if Len wants to!

The Time Credits provide a chance for people currently in limbo to experience something beautiful and totally different to their daily experience of just trying to subsist and we are immensely grateful for the donation of them. We intend to use them during this coming year for short courses at colleges of education and also at sports centres to add some more value to their lives.