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Do something (Norwich) Note-worthy

Published on Thursday, 24th January 2019

A new currency will be coming to Norwich this spring, and if you're a maker or artist – budding or established – your work could feature on it.

Norwich Notes – the city's first local paper-based community currency – will be launched in March to give a boost to organisations using volunteers to make a difference in their communities. 

The currency has been developed by Norwich City Council, working with a range of partners and will support organisations and groups to be better resourced to offer great volunteer opportunities in key neighbourhoods within the city.

Perhaps even more importantly, Norwich Notes have been developed as a way to say 'thank you' to people prepared to take new steps into volunteering in their community.

The basic principle of this new community currency is that for every one hour spent, volunteers will receive one Norwich Note, which can then be spent on doing an activity of their choice for an hour – options will range from an hour of table tennis through to attending a lunchtime concert.

Two sessions will be held at Norfolk Makers’ Festival, hosted at The Forum next month, where all are welcome to come and try their hand at two art techniques – monoprinting and graphic drawing – to produce a design that could end up appearing on a Norwich Note.

These workshops will take place on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 February in the main atrium at The Forum, from 10am-4pm. No booking is required so bring your own ideas or simply drop in for some inspiration and get involved.  

The final Norwich Note designs will be unveiled at a special public event on Friday 22 February, also as part of the festival, ahead of the currency launch in March. 

More about Norwich Notes

In November 2017, Norwich City Council was one of 32 successful bids to Sport England and awarded £150,000 of lottery money to fund a three year project called Active Hours. 

The aim of our Active Hours project is to improve the wellbeing of residents through physical activities. These physical activities will include traditional sport and things like outdoor conservation work or health walks. We are currently working with local organisations and community groups to increase the local offer of physical activities, and the volunteering opportunities that exist to support these.

A key tool for growing the volunteer resource to support these physical activities is the introduction of a community currency – Norwich Notes. 

Volunteers will be able to earn Norwich Notes by taking new steps in volunteering for a partner organisation to support physical activities to take place in their community. 

Supporting a physical activity can range from directly delivering a session, through to designing or delivering posters, serving refreshments to participants or completing desk-based tasks. 

We are currently signing up a range of partners where volunteers can ‘spend’ their Norwich Notes on time-based activities  – whether these are an hour at a gym, attending a concert, taking a course or receiving a service for an hour.  

The project target is to recruit a network of 20 partner organisations working to create volunteer opportunities for 300 new volunteers and 50 volunteer mentors. 

If you are an organisation or community group interested in working with us to develop more physical activities in the community or can offer activities that our volunteers can spend their Norwich Notes on, we’d like to hear from you. Why not email us at community@norwich.gov.uk?

Councillor Beth Jones, cabinet member for safer, stronger neighbourhoods said:

“We’re looking forward to seeing Norwich Notes acknowledge the value of time given to our community organisations and for this project to bring new people into regular volunteering. 

Supporting greater diversity in the volunteers that support physical activities is an important step. More people living active lives will lead to stronger healthier communities.”

For more information visit the Norwich Notes web page.

#norwichnotes