CounterCoin – an innovative volunteer reward scheme – is to host a large scale event in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
CounterCoin is attempting to redefine the relationship between business and the community and will hold “The CounterCoin Challenge” on 21 November 2018. Corporate sponsors are actively being sought for the event, which will take place in 7 towns – Fenton, Stoke, Longton, Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
CounterCoin is a groundbreaking way of incentivising, recognising and rewarding acts that have a positive social impact within a community. Volunteers are rewarded at the rate of 5 CounterCoin for each hour they contribute and this can then be exchanged at participating businesses, perhaps for perishable goods, or to use up spare capacity, or sometimes simply in exchange for a price discount on goods for sale. It is totally at the discretion of a business to determine how many CounterCoin they accept for goods or services.
Brian Leyland, Director of Hometown Plus Limited, the founder of CounterCoin, said: “These rewards are provided at little or no cost to a participating business and by reducing waste and eliminating spare capacity we are all working together to promote a more sustainable and more inclusive local economy. The challenge facing us now is to persuade the business community to become more supportive”.
CounterCoin is issued by charities and social enterprises who are encouraged to develop roles for the volunteers which consist of qualifying activities – broadly those which contribute to community and/or are of benefit to society.
Brian adds: “We are targeting those volunteers who may feel alienated from or disillusioned with present day society. By valuing the work they do we are trying to increase their sense of self worth and self confidence, helping them to re-engage with society and where appropriate providing a pathway to employment. We want to give people a renewed purpose in life as well as a sense of identity and belonging.”
Mike Riddell, also a Director of Hometown Plus, said: “The Stoke-on-Trent area was the ideal location for us to launch CounterCoin – the disenchantment of the local population with the post industrial world in which they live, led to it being dubbed the “Brexit Capital” of the country by the media. It is also one of the poorest regions in the UK. But it doesn’t have to be this way – we want to convince the business community, and indeed everyone, that if we pull together we really can create a society which works for all of us. We’ve already had some fantastic support from many local organisations in getting as far as we have on very little funding – this is just the beginning!”
On 21 November, the plan is for CounterCoin to hold workshops in Longton, Fenton, Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Corporate sponsors are actively being sought for both the overall event and the individual locations. The workshops will see volunteers taking part in “The CounterCoin Challenge” – a fun competition to see which town can make the most clay coins. Each coin made will bear the stamp of the town in which it is made and members of the public are also invited to join in on the day.
Mike said: “We are hoping for a good turnout to the event which will target the whole of the Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme areas. This is just the beginning of our journey and we would now love to get some support from the business community – please help us to help you!”
It has already been confirmed that the YMCA in Hanley, social enterprise café Cultural Squatters in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire University in Stoke, Fenton Manor Leisure Centre, Tunstall Market, Longton Indoor Market and The Co-Operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent will be hosting workshops on 21 November. Workshops are expected to start at 10:00m and run until 5pm. (The Co-Operative Academy will start at 4:30pm – 6:30pm.)
Any businesses who are interested in sponsoring any of the events or acting as a redeemer of CounterCoin are asked to contact Mike Riddell by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers who would like to get involved are also asked to get in touch or simply turn up at one of the venues on the day – everyone is welcome!
THE WINNER OF THE COUNTERCOIN CHALLENGE 2018 was Burslem at the Co Op Academy where 837 clay CounterCoin were made. ** More news will be coming soon to BabaBaboon**
Head to www.countercoin.network for information.
**BabaBaboon has been working with HomeTown Plus Ltd (The Founder of CounterCoin) for PR and Communication purposes**