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TIMEBANKING UK AT THE FOREFRONT OF SOCIAL CHANGE:

GOVERNMENT AGREES THAT TIMEBANKING HOLDS MERIT FOR UK COMMUNITIES.

Tuesday 27th February 2024 saw Deidre Brock Member of Parliament for Edinburgh North and Leith, in Westminster Hall to pose the following:

“I beg to move, that this House has considered the potential merits of Government support for timebanking.”

As a Trustee of Leith Time Bank, Ms. Brock has personal experience of the power in timebanking to transform the lives of individuals and strengthen communities. Ms. Brock was joined at Westminster Hall by Sarah Bird, CEO of Timebanking UK (TBUK), the national charity leading and advocating for timebanking in the UK.

Success Stories and Impact: Ms. Brock illustrated the transformative impact of timebanking on individuals and communities. Members reported increased social connections, improved mental health, and enhanced community belonging as key outcomes of their participation. By fostering cross-generational interactions and breaking down social barriers, timebanking initiatives have become lifelines for many individuals.



Ms. Brock went on to emphasise the critical role of timebanking in combating social isolation and building community resilience. Citing statistics revealing a decline in social trust and increasing rates of loneliness, Brock underscored the need for initiatives like timebanking to bridge social divides and promote inclusive communities. Drawing on the expertise of TBUK she advocated for a three-year national programme to expand timebanking networks, enhance public awareness, and provide training for social care professionals.

The members discussed the invaluable contributions of TBUK, committed as it is to co-producing empowerment and social cohesion alongside community, organisations and corporate partners. TBUK, was invited to contribute to the substance of the debate, highlighting the organisation’s pivotal role over two decades in fostering inclusive communities across the UK. TBUK provides essential resources, including training, support, and software solutions, to time banks nationwide.

TBUK has civic engagement at its core, equipping local communities with the tools and knowledge needed to establish and sustain the timebanking networks that deliver impact at a hyper-local level. By amplifying the voices of local time banks and facilitating collaboration among stakeholders, TBUK continues to drive positive change at both the grassroots and policy levels.


“It is inspiring to see the positive impact that timebanking brings being recognised and endorsed as a cornerstone of positive social change, community engagement and well-being”.

Dr. Stefan Fafinski DL, Chair of the Board, Timebanking UK


Government Response and Future Directions: Rt. Hon. Stuart Andrew MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, welcomed Brock’s advocacy and expressed a willingness to explore further collaboration with Timebanking UK. As the Minister for Loneliness, Andrew acknowledged the importance of volunteering and community engagement in addressing social isolation. He recognised timebanking as a valuable tool for fostering social connections and emphasised the need for innovative approaches to community building.


“It is truly striking to see how time banking can help to foster those social connections and help local communities and economies to thrive.”


Rt. Hon. Stuart Andrew MP


Timebanking UK remains committed to representing and advocating for the UK timebanking movement – empowering communities, fostering social connections, and creating a more equitable society for all. By championing the principles of reciprocity, inclusion, and mutual support, TBUK stands as a testament to the power of collective action and grassroots innovation in addressing pressing social challenges. Top of Form

The debate culminated in a vote of support for timebanking initiatives, marking a significant milestone in the movement’s journey. With a clear mandate from Parliament, efforts to expand timebanking networks are poised to receive increased momentum and resources. Moving forward, continued collaboration between policymakers, community organisations, and volunteers will be crucial in harnessing the power of timebanking to create more connected and inclusive societies.

Timebanking UK extends an invitation to all communities, non-profit organisations, and businesses that would like to be part of this drive toward greater civic engagement.

For all enquiries please contact rebecca@timebanking.org

 

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Westminster Hall debate on the potential merits of Government support for Timebanking

Timebanking UK Announcement

We’re thrilled to announce that Deidre Brock MP has secured a Westminster Hall debate on the potential merits of Government support for Timebanking. The debate, titled “Potential merits of Government support for Timebanking,” is scheduled for Tuesday, 27th February, from 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM in Westminster Hall.

Our CEO, Sarah Bird is thrilled to have this opportunity on behalf of the national timebanking community Timebanking UK represents and advocates for. The work done by community members across the country, as part of the timebanking movement  so often plugs the gaps left behind by statutory services. Deidre Brock MP’s commitment to promoting timebanking as a solution to modern community challenges is commendable as it recognises this quiet, consistent and compassionate work.

This is a golden opportunity to shed light on the transformative impact of tim ebanking in fostering community bonds, tackling social isolation, and supporting vulnerable demographics. We encourage all interested parties to attend the debate in person at Westminster Hall or follow the live proceedings via Parliamentlive.tv.

Details: 📅 Date: Tuesday, 27th February 🕓 Time: 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM 📍 Location: Westminster Hall, UK Parliament

How to Attend: 👥 Members of the public can attend debates at Westminster Hall. Find more information on attending debates here.

📺 Can’t make it in person? You can still follow the live proceedings via Parliamentlive.tv – Commons.

NOTE TO TIMEBANKING MEMBERS & SUPPORTERS: Please contact your local MP and encourage them to attend. Visit Who is my MP? for contact details.

The potential benefits to grassroot communities, of parliamentary backing for the timebanking method are numerous and far-reaching

Social Cohesion: Timebanking fosters stronger bonds within communities by encouraging reciprocal exchanges of skills and services.

Government support would amplify this effect by legitimising and promoting timebanking initiatives, thereby strengthening social cohesion and trust among citizens.

Inclusivity and Empowerment: Grassroots timebanking empowers individuals from diverse backgrounds to contribute to their communities based on their unique skills and talents.

Government endorsement would further promote inclusivity by ensuring that all members of society, regardless of socioeconomic status, have access to and benefit from timebanking opportunities.

Community Resilience: By facilitating the exchange of services and resources among community members, timebanking enhances local resilience in the face of challenges such as economic downturns or natural disasters.

Government backing would provide additional resources and support networks to bolster community resilience efforts.

Health and Well-being: Engaging in meaningful exchanges through timebanking improves individuals’ mental and physical well-being by fostering a sense of purpose, belonging, and connection to others.

Government recognition of the health benefits of timebanking would lead to the integration of such initiatives into public health strategies and social care programmes.

Economic Sustainability: Timebanking offers a cost-effective way to address community needs without relying solely on monetary transactions. By leveraging the skills and resources already present within communities, timebanking contributes to economic sustainability at the local level.

Government endorsement would further incentivise participation in timebanking, thereby promoting economic resilience and resource efficiency.

For updates and further information, follow us on Twitter @TimebankingUK.

Together, let’s build stronger, more connected communities through Timebanking!

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CEO Sarah Bird interview discussed community benefits of timebanking

Our CEO, Sarah Bird, was recently interviewed by Kasia Westwood of 3SC about the benefits and impact timebanking has on communities.


https://loom.ly/vjspWAc

Timebanking is a currency in which an hour of help given earns an hour in return for the support each contributor needs.

It is being used to great effect across the country from cul-de-sacs, blocks of flats, businesses that care, and supported living centres to youth offender institutions.

Timebanking can be applied wherever people want to help people. If you’re looking for ways to make an authentic contribution that will positively impact a community that matters to you — Timebanking UK is here to help you achieve that goal.

Connect with and contact Rebecca@timebanking.org to get started.


 

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International Timebanking Day(s)

 

International Timebank Days

To mark Edgar’s Cahn’s (counsel and speech writer to Robert F. Kennedy, and the creator of TimeBanking) birthday on 23 March, our friends and partners at Timebanks.Org are hosting the Fifth International Timebanking Day, with events spread across Thursday 23rd and Sunday 26th March 2023. Bringing a spotlight to the experience of time bank members from around the globe and from every walk of life. 

To find out more and to take part, click here.

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Could Timebanking help prevent climate crisis?

André Gorz, a French social scientist, coined the term “degrowth” in 1972. At an academic forum, he posed a revolutionary question: “Is the earth’s balance, for which no-growth—or even degrowth—of material production is a necessary condition, compatible with the survival of the capitalist system?” Back then, the idea of prioritizing human and environmental welfare over economic growth was so radical that Gorz was laughed out of the political sphere. 

The concept of degrowth as demonstrated in a timebank in Boston in the US.

The full story can be read here (external link).

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Fantastic news from Ukraine – new time bank set up!

 

Ukraine time bankThere’s recently been a fantastic development in the world of timebanking! Along with @TimeBanksOrg we’ve supported the @PAUCIFoundation to set up a time bank in Ukraine! Timebank Verkhovyna has launched in West Ukraine helping to involve people displaced from Eastern Ukraine where they can feel valued and engaged in the local community. I am personally very proud and moved with their mention of my help.

The full story can be read here (external link).

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A sad day for timebanking

Dr. Edgar Cahn

Sadly, the world has lost a wonderful pioneer and trailblazer to the Timebanking movement early Sunday morning.

Dr. Edgar Cahn, age 86, One of the founders of timebanking, author of Time Dollars and No More Throw-Away People, embodied the highest ideals of both mobilizing communities to come together to express their strengths and to restore mutual care. He created a new way to link untapped social capacity to unmet social needs and for communities to come together to help promote trust, reciprocity, and citizen engagement.
In the most beautiful way, Edgar moved people from his heart. He made each person feel that their problem is important and that he has all the time in the world for them.

Thank you, Edgar.

On behalf of the timebanking movement in the UK. Our deepest sympathies to not just his family but everyone that has been touched by him.

We have what we need – if we use what we have” – Edgar Cahn

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Uttlesford adjusts to the pandemic

Steve and Mark are friends, both working at Stansted Airport, and sharing a flat together. They found out about Time Bank Uttlesford through their Airport Community Team, which looks for ways in which the airport can help out in the community. Steve has been involved in quite a few gardening exchanges during the Covid 19 pandemic while being furloughed from his job at the airport. 

Time Bank Uttlesford’s broker Tessa says, “These gardening opportunities have been hugely beneficial to both parties involved; as people have been stuck at home, unable to work and with shops, pubs, and gyms all closed, these exchanges give valuable social, health and wellbeing opportunities to the Time Bank members taking part. Stansted Airport have been a member since September 2015 and have been involved in many group exchanges over the past years.”

The beneficiary in this case was Jacki, a member of Time Bank Uttlesford since January 2019. Jacki has been very active in the time bank, setting up a seated exercise class which has been a huge success for over a year now. During the pandemic, she had to move to holding an online Zoom class, helping participants to learn about Zoom in the process. She has also been helping out with shopping, prescription fulfilment, leading walks and ‘neighbourhood nattering’! It was time she used some of her time credits, so Steve and Mark working on her lawn edging was ideal. 

During the afternoon Steve had told her about one of his previous exchanges at a care home, of which Jacki wholeheartedly approved. 

“I think it is a very positive thing to do,” says Jacki. “It’s a great way to show others outside of timebanking what enjoyment one gets out of helping people. The fun those two chaps had at the care home – they really had a ball and were rewarded with tea, cake and very kind words. That’s what it’s all about!”

“Jacki was thrilled with the result and could not have been happier with such a great tea,” explains Tessa. “There was a lot of laughter and merriment and it was just wonderful to be able to be socialising, safely, during these testing and challenging times. The weather, as you see from the photo, was also smiling for us! All in all it was a really uplifting afternoon and we all came away feeling much more joyful and optimistic about everything.”

Time Bank Uttlesford has been very busy during the pandemic, as part of the Uttlesford Community Response Team, delivering prescriptions, shopping, telephone befriending and dog exercising for many beneficiaries. “We’ve been gradually exploring the Zoom world as well and, being part of the Essex Time Bank Network, are part of the Friday afternoon T@3 Zoom sessions,” says Tessa.

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