Working longer is one of the major topics currently prevalent in Europe. However, many people in retirement contribute to society through social roles that go beyond paid employment. From an “active aging” perspective it is also necessary to valorise these roles beyond paid employment. Volunteering, for instance, is an important way to remain active in later life, and at the same time contributing to society and advantaging from the opportunities offered by it. Another challenge in Europe is ageing in place. In addition to professional care services and facilities, tools and initiatives are needed to develop, support and valorise informal care engagement amongst citizens. In response to these realities, innovative projects have arisen to develop volunteer schemes in community care, such as community currency systems. This study aims to examine the impact of volunteering in the community and the individual himself through a community currency system called NeighbourhoodPension.
NeighbourhoodPension is the first time banking project in Brussels, which started in 2013. During one year the group of volunteers has been interviewed four times by means of focus groups. The study reveals that NeighbourhoodPension is a successful form of an alternative transaction based system for mutual aid and assistance that fosters social inclusion, community self-help, and enhances civic engagement amongst (older) citizens, not only for the people receiving help, but also for the volunteers involved. This time banking project has been most successful in allowing volunteers to act on behalf of the values that they cherish, to give back to their community, help those in need and raise their self-esteem and wellbeing.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 15 sep 2016


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