I’ve been thinking a lot about timebanking recently and the impact it can have on the lives of people and on communities. I think three things that really stand out about the timebanking model that set it apart from other models of volunteering and service delivery are that it is egalitarian, hyper-local, and bottom-up. Egalitarian in the sense that everyone’s time is worth the same amount; usually one hour of anyone’s time is equal to one “Time Credit”. Hyper local in the sense that it operates at the level of very local communities – people volunteering their time to support their neighbours – which is something most traditional organisations and agencies struggle to develop. And bottom-up in the sense that it is driven by the members themselves; they understand the assets in their own communities and how they can be best put to use in order to address local need.
Here in Lewisham we are lucky to have a dedicated team working at Rushey Green Time Bank (RGTB) who have also set up a number of local hubs in the borough. We have already been working closely with RGTB to facilitate some person-to-person time exchanges which have benefited some of our service users and we anticipate this model of volunteering being an effective mode of support for people across the borough for a long time to come.
Of course, every timebank grows to be more effective and useful as more people get involved, and there is always room for more members, so maybe you could join in? Remember, for every hour you volunteer, you can get an hour back from another time bank member. Maybe you need some help in the garden? Or someone to show you how to use your new computer? The timebank could be just what you need…
You can contact Rushey Green Time Bank on 020 7138 1772 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post by Henry