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Virtual Ticket Bank Sheffield company aims to tackle social exclusion during COVID-19 outbreak

Ticket Bank have pledged to continue their work during the COVID-19 outbreak and are in the process of redesigning their model of delivery.

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The Ticket Bank provides an online platform for the distribution of spare and unsold event tickets. Before the imposed social distancing, they helped people in need across society to attend events in the UK with no cost to the individual. Their network includes over 500 registered organisations who have a total of more than 100,000 service users.

Following the postponement of all events involving physical gatherings of people as a result of COVID-19, they have partnered with Tickets for Good to develop a Virtual Ticket Bank. This new concept aims to continue supporting charities and their service users who now have an even greater risk of isolation.

Any new charities or social groups wishing to register, for free, and allow their service users to benefit from the Virtual Ticket Bank service can do so here: https://theticketbank.org/register.

The Virtual Ticket bank also needs immediate donations from anyone providing a digital paid-for service such as ticketed events, online courses, meditation apps or anything else that can help people to connect to each other, improve their skills, participate in the arts and generally maintain their mental wellbeing. Please visit https://theticketbank.org or email steve@ticketbank.org directly to offer some support.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ticket Bank had grown rapidly as a platform, enabling thousands of people to attend events that would normally be out of reach due to financial or social reasons. This included supporting people to attend the Tramlines Festival in 2019.

A recent study commissioned by Ticket Bank and conducted by LifePsychol Ltd showed a connection between event attendance and mental wellbeing. This research connects with a global shift in measuring the success of a nation by looking at wellbeing instead of GDP, as shown in New Zealand and Iceland. The full study by LifePsychol can be viewed here.

Knowing their service was of vital importance, Ticket Bank pledged to continue their work during the COVID-19 outbreak and is in the process of redesigning their model of delivery. The first step was to adapt the existing Ticket Bank platform to enable access to virtual content, including uplifting entertainment, online social activities and wellness support. Regular email newsletters will be sent out to all charity partner user accounts, currently numbering 550+ across the UK, with filtered links to free content. The platform will also feature a live content calendar and notifications can be sent to beneficiaries via email.

The Virtual Ticket Bank will help to improve social inclusion by enabling communities to come together, attend virtual events and participate in online activities. The aim is to help reduce loneliness, build resilience and improve positive mental wellbeing.

Ticket Bank founder and CEO Steve Rimmer said, "Despite the events industry facing some really tough times right now, we wanted to use our network and platform to help respond to the needs of our charity partners and their service users.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be launching our Virtual Ticket Bank service and hope that we can help create meaningful connections and reduce loneliness in the process."

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