Timebanking in Leicestershire, put an hour in, get an hour out.
Have some small jobs that need doing, but don’t want to spend money on them? Want to help other people? Got some spare time on your hands once in a while? Want to get to know your neighbours better, make real friends and help build community spirit?
Then the Timebank could be what you’re looking for.
Timebanking is aimed at all members of the community; it is a modern day bartering system that can help you get jobs done without money. "Timebanks" work by people offering their skills in return for time credits, which they can spend when they need help with something.
For example, you may mow somebody's lawn and in return you could get a yoga session. You could offer to meet someone for a cup of coffee and a chat and in return have someone teach you how to play guitar. For every hour that you put in you receive one time credit (one hour = one credit) that you then spend on getting things done for yourself. The skill or asset that you offer to other people can literally be anything so you may want to offer your driveway for someone to wash their car on or you may know how to play bowls or very simply you could offer a listening ear for an hour.
Organisations and community groups are also members so if you’re looking for work or to improve your CV Timebanking gives you the chance to do a transaction for a business, which ultimately could help you in your job search. You’re making links with both your community and with organisations”
The transactions are arranged by the Timebroker who keeps a record of all the transactions, much like a bank account. The Timebroker also meets with every member to explain the project and asks them ‘what can you offer? And what do you want?’ Offers and Wants are then put on a website www.timebankleicestershire.co.uk for people to see and respond to or if people don’t use the internet the broker will assist, with matching people up.
Timebank members often report that it has changed their lives as it gives you an instant chance to make new friends and reduce isolation as well. Not just that but it allows you to showcase what you can do which can build confidence. It’s great for both young and older people alike, because everyone has something to offer whether that’s just talking and befriending or showing someone how to make a cake, it can be anything”
Mrs Croson who is a member said “Timebanking is not really volunteering as you can dip in and out of it when you need it, so it’s really flexible. You earn everything that you get done for yourself so it’s not charity either. You could do one hour a week or one hour a year. Obviously it replaces money to some degree so you can get things done that normally cost money, all for an hour of your time.