Livework adds Spice to communities

Livework adds Spice to communities

The Liveworker
  • The Liveworker
  • Service Designer

The need for greater self-sufficiency and resilience in our communities is a hot topic. Governments, aware of the limitation of public services, are looking for new approaches to complex social challenges. Time credit organisation Spice is a shining example of a new way of doing things that engages and empowers people to become more connected and active. Livework has helped Spice on their journey to becoming a national organisation that can replicate their great work across the country.

Credits earned in the community can be spent at local organisations for mutual benefit

Time credits are money with a difference. A credit is earned by giving an hour to your community and can be spent back in the community on activities or learning. For example a schoolchild who helps younger kids with their reading for an hour earns a credit that can be spent on an activity such as an hour swimming in a local pool. Spice connects the organisations involved for mutual benefit.

So good it must grow

Spice started life supporting communities in post-industrial South Wales with a need for more community activity. The Spice innovation to the concept of time credits was to bring local businesses into the exchange to offer people truly valuable spending opportunities with their time credits. As the Spice model gathered interest and support they needed help to develop a platform that would enable them to replicate and manage a rapidly growing membership.

Taking the experience online

Spice operated as a purely paper based organisation. Paper money, accounts and management. As they added more and more partner organisations across Wales and England an obvious option was to build a digital platform to enable online transactions and membership. The challenge was to ensure that technology did not undermine the valuable human interactions that make Spice special. Our service design approach ensure that a deep underrating of the current model and existing relationships was supported by the new digital tools.

Spice notes capture the essence of the organisation - enabling people to unlock a world of opportunities

Web, logo and new money

Working closely with Spice we realised that the new platform was a real opportunity for a new and more established Spice. We offered to do more to ensure that this development was clear, consistent and exciting. This meant revisiting the Spice brand and developing a new logo and identity to enable Spice to look and feel like the grown up and dynamic organisation that have become.

Onwards and upwards

Spice hit their 5-year anniversary in Nov 2013 – and marked this with a conference in London to launch the new platform and discuss how to best employ time credits with different groups and issues from education to health and social care. We hope that we have helped give them the platform to grow and have the impact that they are capable of.

More information: Spice website

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Anne van Lieren Blogger
Lead Service Designer

Anne van Lieren

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