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My Norwich

New community currency that values volunteers unveiled

Published on Thursday, 28th February 2019

The final note designs of the new community currency set to reward our city’s new volunteers were unveiled at The Forum on 22 February.

Norwich Notes – the city’s first local paper based community currency – developed to grow the number of people giving their time to community organisations, is set to be launched in March.

The public turned out in force to create artwork for the notes at the Norfolk Makers’ Festival last week (Thursday 14 and 15 February) and six fantastic designs have been selected to feature on the five Norwich Notes which hit the printing presses next week.

The five new notes and artists

Click here to see the notes.

The red note – with Norwich Castle on the front, features a sunflower by Rachael Barrett on the back.

The sunflower is a motif that has a proud history in the city, including featuring in the original pagoda and existing gates of Chapelfield Gardens, as well as Heigham Park.

The blue note – Norwich Cathedral graces the front of this note with an illustration of Quay Side by Alexandra Booth on the back.

The purple note – The Halls stand on the front of this note with a bee by Donna Trett on the back.

The green note – With The Forum on the front, a depiction by Ann-Marie Steward of the 17th Century Samson that was originally installed in Tombland, stands on the reverse.

The orange note – The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts stands on the front of this note and a garden and figure by sisters Alice and Amy King feature on the back.

Councillor Beth Jones, cabinet member for safer, stronger neighbourhoods said “We are so grateful to The Forum and Norfolk Makers’ Festival for letting us hold these sessions.

We were blown away by the enthusiasm of the makers who got involved, proving once again that Norwich is a ‘creative’ city.

It’s exciting that we’re another step closer to launching Norwich Notes, which we’re confident will give a positive boost to the volunteering community in the city.”

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 Active Hours is to improve the wellbeing of residents through physical activities with the project initially working in four key neighbourhoods of Lakenham, Heartsease, West Earlham and Mile Cross.

The key tools for growing the volunteer resource to support these physical activities  will be training and the introduction of a community currency – Norwich Notes.

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.

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  – some of the spend offers already signed up include lunchtime concert tickets for Britten Sinfonia, gym access at The Norman Centre, Foot Golf at Eaton park and even an hour of car rental from Norfolk Car Club.

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.

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