05.Apr.2006

Time Together Refugee Mentoring Scheme Invites Applications for Tenders in the North West, North East and East of England Regions

TimeBank, the national volunteering charity, is expanding its Time Together refugee mentoring project and invites applications for tender from interested organisations in the North West, North East and East of England regions.

We are looking for local partners with the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to help us deliver the project, which is being jointly funded by the Home Office and Invest to Save.

Andy Burnham, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office, said:
"We want to ensure those granted refugee status are able to integrate into British life and make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live. Mentoring schemes like Time Together play a significant part in helping refugees achieve their full potential."

Since its launch in 2002, Time Together has recruited and matched over 1,000 refugees with volunteer mentors whilst more than 2,000 people have registered their interest in volunteering on the scheme. Mentors (UK citizens) spend five hours a month for one year supporting, guiding and encouraging their mentees as they seek to achieve their goals – in integration, education and employment.

The project aims to:
· speed up the integration of refugees into UK society enabling refugees to realise their full potential and make more effective use of public services. 
· enhance refugees’ employment and integration prospects by placing them in volunteering opportunities where they can contribute their skills to the host community
· promote positive images of refugees in the media, helping to break down barriers between cultures and promote community cohesion

Time Together project manager Sarah Arnold said: “Time Together is delivered via an innovative social franchising method that develops cross-sector partnerships, ensuring effective local delivery and long-term sustainability. TimeBank will enter into delivery contracts with local organisations, which will be contracted for a specific time period and financed to deliver Time Together locally.

“Delivery partners will be provided with an operational toolkit, marketing and publicity resources and access to web based technology - support worth more than £10,000. A core team with three year’s experience of running the scheme will assist with set up and offer ongoing support to partners.”

Tenders from other regions will be accepted but organisations need to carefully consider the guidance notes before applying. An application form and guidance is available online at http://www.timetogether.org.uk/expansion.php

ENDS

For more information, case studies and the independent evaluation please visit the website http://www.timetogether.org.uk/

Press contact: Lou Clifton 0207 785 6388 / 07977 219629 l.clifton@timebank.org.uk

Notes for editors:

The Invest to Save Budget (ISB) is a joint Treasury/Cabinet Office initiative with an aim to create sustainable improvements in the capacity to deliver public services in a more joined up manner. A key principle of the ISB programme is that investment is provided in return for reform.  TimeBank’s Time Together initiative is joint funded by the Home Office and HM Treasury’s Invest to Save budget. The Invest to Save Budget (ISB) is a joint Treasury/Cabinet Office initiative with an aim to create sustainable improvements in the capacity to deliver public services in a more joined up manner. A key principle of the ISB programme is that investment is provided in return for reform. http://www.isb.gov.uk/hmt.isb.application.2/index.asp

1.Time Together was launched in 2002 and currently operates in the following cities: London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Cardiff and Bristol. Volunteers give five hours a month to mentor a refugee. The scheme aims to help refugees integrate in their new community, create ambassadors for refugees in UK communities and promote more positive images of refugees in the media. For more information log onto www.timetogether.org.uk or call 0845 601 4008
2.
TimeBank is a national campaign inspiring and connecting people to share and give time www.timebank.org.uk

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