A voluntary for volunteering

Blow the trumpet! “Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer”, says Allen Klein. So in the interests of longevity, eternal youth, and the like…

TimeBank is a national volunteering charity. It aims to support everyone to find rewarding volunteering, whether an individual, a big corporation or a small business. It does four main things: mentoring programmes; employee volunteering; youth programmes; and its people volunteer too. Currently on its database: volunteering opportunities near EX1.

Confusingly, there is also Timebanking, which looks similar to LETS and other organisations we’ve mentioned in previous posts. “Timebanking is a means of exchange used to organise people and organisations around a purpose, where time is the principal currency.  For every hour participants ‘deposit’ in a timebank, perhaps by giving practical help and support to others, they are able to ‘withdraw’ equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need.”

Harnessing crowds for energy

In the last post, I wrote about peoplefund.it. From the same stable, there’s energyshare. It’s not really a crowd-funding site, more of a place for forming an online community of supporters for your energy project and sharing experience with each other. But there is also the energyshare fund, which rewards a few community projects each year.

Worth keeping an eye on is Microgenius. The full website is not live yet, but its aim is to bring together people who want to invest in green energy with community energy projects.

Two’s company, three’s their source of crowd-funding

We’re up to No.10 in our series of posts about how to simplify your lifestyle, and reach out to your neighbours and local community, so it’s time for a posting on the ‘big society’ in action: crowd-funding.

First up is peoplefund.it [update: now Crowdfunder], linked with one of our TEDxExeter speakers, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This brings “good ideas that might just change the world (for the better)” together with people who want to make them happen with their money (from just £1), or by their time and skills, or by telling their friends. Projects might be “the latest tech gadgets, ground-breaking energy initiatives, or nifty ideas to make good, affordable, local food fun – not worthy.”

Then there is PleaseFund.Us [update: now known as Zequs.com], which is very similar, with a slightly different emphasis on the projects. “The ideas that we showcase come from all sorts of people and varying fields such as music, film, fashion, technology, publishing, and more. The motives vary, the budgets vary, the nature of the projects vary, but the one thing that remains constant is the creativity behind them.

And finally, there’s the new Exeter-based outfit, Crowdcube, targeting businesses wanting to raise equity finance.

In the next post, I’ll look at crowd-funding more targeted at community energy.

Rebecca Mayes biography

Rebecca Mayes BW

Rebecca Mayes BWRebecca Mayes is a Devon based singer/songwriter who rose to notoriety following her series of ‘song-reviews’ written for the gaming review website The Escapist. Each song is accompanied by a quirky video where Rebecca juxtaposes nu-folk music with subversive commentary on the latest blockbuster video-games. The result is the most charming and creative take on the art of review out there. With a song featured on Charlie Brooker’s BBC program Gameswipe and her albums reviewed in The Guardian and The Independent, Rebecca has gained a large following.

She is interested in music that communicates meaning and recently composed the soundtrack for the forthcoming film-documentary In Transition 2.0 for the Transition Network. She’ll be releasing a single from the film later in the year. Rebecca is now touring new material across Europe as one of twenty artists chosen by music network IC Music.

www.rebeccamayes.com

Chloe Goodchild biography

Chloe Goodchild BW

Chloe Goodchild BWChloe Goodchild is an international singer, pioneering music educator, recording artist, author, and director of The Naked Voice Foundation. For more than two decades, Chloe has helped thousands of people to express their truth through the power of spoken and sung voice. Her innovatory work promotes a method of communication, inspiring a new paradigm for conscious leadership, team and community-building. She has made several solo and compilation albums, as well as recording for radio and TV. She has been music director for world humanitarian events taking place in Madison Square Gardens, The Royal Opera House, and the Royal Albert Hall. Chloe has recently moved to Devon, where she sings and writes and works as a consultant with organisations, schools and communities, exploring the human voice as a source of individual and collective self-discovery, linking to the most profound levels of human wisdom and inter-connectedness.

www.thenakedvoice.com

Chloe will be performing at TEDxExeter with internationally-renowned classical and jazz pianist Dhevdas Nair.

Jackie Juno biography

Jackie Juno BW

Jackie Juno BWJackie Juno Bard of Exeter 2011-2012; stand-up poet, singer and artist. Jackie left the city and moved to Devon in 1982, gradually simplifying her way of life until she was living very simply off the land in a tipi for several years. This way of life became increasingly difficult with the implementation of the Criminal Justice Bill, forcing travellers back into housing or abroad. She has been campaigning for sustainable solutions for decades, and through her work she highlights environmental, political and social issues – in a most moving and entertaining way.

She now lives on the edge of Dartmoor with her rock-god guitarist husband and young daughter. Jackie is 48 and a quarter and is a firm believer in Death Before Diet.

www.myspace.com/jackiejuno

Kagemusha Taiko about

Kagemusha Taiko BW

Kagemusha Taiko BWBased in Exeter, Kagemusha Taiko have a mission to enrich people’s lives through the experience of taiko drumming.  The group creates and performs original taiko repertoire and through an extensive training programme enable people not only to enjoy taiko as a spectacle, but to take part in it as players themselves.  Modern taiko is originally from Japan, where the first group was created by a jazz drummer in the 1950s.  This then, it has been spreading around the world, attracting people with its joyful energy.

www.kagemusha.com

Bandi Mbubi biography

Bandi Mbubi BW

Bandi Mbubi BWBandi Mbubi was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. He spent the first 21 years of his life there, experiencing first hand the political unrest and oppression which have since worsened throughout the region. As a student activist, Bandi suffered persecution and fled, seeking political asylum in the UK.

During the next 21 years, in the UK, Bandi’s commitment to social justice has continued to inspire his work. He is the Director of the Manna Society, the largest day centre for homeless people in South London. The Manna offers hot meals, medical care, shower facilities, clothing and advice about housing and welfare. The recently launched Education and Training programme aims to counter social exclusion by improving clients’ basic literacy and ICT skills. He is also a Trustee of Church Action on Poverty.

Bandi lives in Essex with his family and hopes one day to be able to take his children to visit their grandparents in a peaceful DRC. He is working to bring the world’s attention to the atrocities being committed in the Congo and for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing war.

Lily Lapenna biography

Lily Lapenna BW

Lily Lapenna BWLily Lapenna is the Founder and CEO of award winning UK social enterprise, MyBnk. Her non-profit organisation helps 11-25-year-olds in some of the poorest parts of London manage their money effectively and make enterprising choices. She’s created the county’s first FSA approved, independent, in-school and online youth-led banking scheme. 

From academies and supported housing to those in state care and young offender institutes, Lily’s practical education programmes are helping to shape the next generation of financially literate, entrepreneurial and responsible citizens. Lily is Italian and grew up between London, Italy and the USA within a very socially minded family. At 18 she left London for rural Zimbabwe working on youth AIDS awareness. A SOAS graduate in Development, she later worked in Asia for BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) and after this experience, returned to London and founded MyBnk. From a lone pilot and with no government funds, her charity has reached over 34,000 young Londoners in three years.

Her 24 microfinance branches offer young people a safe and accessible place to save, develop good financial habits. Pupils are trained to administer the banks and decide on approving 0% interest loans – 100s have had their first enterprise experience. As part of the this global movement, she is spreading her expertise to China with the Shanghai Better Education Foundation, Save the Children in Ghana, Kenya, Nepal and Columbia, and PEDN in Uganda.  This autumn the first of several UK social franchises goes live in the North West of England.

This year Lily was appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Selected as an Ashoka fellow in 2010, she was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the New Statesman in 2008 and her programmes continue to win awards for excellence in financial capability – most recently in 2010 by Children and Young People Now Magazine.Lily mentors and guide start-ups such as Big Society Award winners, FoodCycle, of which she is a Director. She sits on the Board of Trustees for CIVA (Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action) and is an advisor to the charity Olive Branch for Children (Tanzania).

Rob Hopkins biography

Rob Hopkins BW

Rob Hopkins BWRob Hopkins is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. This grew out of many years experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and setting up the first 2 year full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland, as well as co-ordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission. He is author of ‘The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience’, which has been published in a number of other languages, and which was voted the 5th most popular book taken on holiday by MPs during the summer of 2008, and of ‘The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times’, published in October 2011. He publishes the blog www.transitionculture.org, recently voted ‘the 4th best green blog in the UK’(!). He was the winner of the 2008 Schumacher Award, is an Ashoka Fellow and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, served 3 years as a Trustee of the Soil Association, and was named by the Independent as one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists. He is the winner of the 2009 Observer Ethical Award for the Grassroots Campaigner category, and in December 2009 was voted the Energy Saving Trust/Guardian’s ‘Green Community Hero’. He lectures and writes widely on peak oil and Transition, holds an MSc in Social Research and recently completed a PhD at the University of Plymouth entitled ‘Localisation and resilience at the local level: the case of Transition Town Totnes’. He lives in Devon and in any spare time he has, grows food for his family.