AN innovative project to help forge closer links between military and civilian communities is to be launched in Tidworth.

National charity Spice Innovations Ltd has received grant funding of more than £32,000 from the Armed Forces Community Covenant, to deliver the Time Credits Network to connect military and non–military families in the town.

The Time Credits Network will thank volunteers involved in projects which bring together neighbours from military and civilian, with “time credits”, which they can exchange for local activities such as use of the leisure centre or cinema.

The grant comes from the Ministry of Defence’s covenant fund, which supports activities that integrate the armed forces community into local life and encourages the armed forces community to help and support the wider community through events, joint projects and doing more together.

Jonathon Seed, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, said: “Time Credits is already a successful scheme in other parts of Wiltshire and I’m delighted it’s going to be launched in Tidworth where it can help forge stronger links between the two communities.

“In the Salisbury Plain area we are looking forward to welcoming more service personnel and their families over the coming years and this is another excellent way to engage local people and create opportunities to work together.”

Rosie Farrer of Spice said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Wiltshire Council and the Community Covenant to support community activity with military and civilian families in Tidworth."

"Time credits are a great way to recognise volunteers for the time, skills and value and support they give to communities. By giving their time so generously, local people are becoming more involved with their local community, and developing new skills in the process.

“This could be by volunteering in a local community group, gardening on the local estate or helping with an after school group or delivering a service such as the local library.

“Spice will be working with local people and community groups to design and develop the scheme in the coming months so that Time Credits really work for the local community and meet their needs."

Applications can now be made for the next round of community covenant grants. The closing date is August 22.