For every hour given, you earn an hour in return.
In timebanking, you help someone for an hour (or thereabouts) – for example by mowing their lawn or doing their shopping.
For every hour of help you give, you earn an hour’s credit from your time bank. You can spend your time credit by receiving an hour of someone else’s time. For example, you could learn how to cook an apple pie, or get help with painting your fence.
To see how a time bank could work for you, follow Sheila’s journey.
Everyone’s time is valued equally.
No money is exchanged, although participants may agree to cover expenses such as petrol money. Everyone’s time is valued equally: one hour of sharing your skills or helping others earns you one time credit, whatever the skill or task.
Everyone’s skills are useful and everyone feels valued.
Timebanking works for everyone – individuals, organisations and society as a whole. People arrange to give time when it suits them, offering skills they enjoy using. It’s a two-way process of giving time and receiving time – and everybody has skills they can offer.
Timebanking – what’s so great about it?
Life has changed and our friends and family don’t always live nearby. It’s not always easy to ask someone for help, especially if that brings with it a feeling that we can never ‘pay them back’. Timebanking is a fun, unpressurised and informal way to enable people each other – and to bring out the best in everyone.
Timebanking UK’s case studies show that joining a time bank can change people’s lives. After taking part in exchanges, time bank members report that they learn new skills, meet new people, enjoy better self-esteem and self-confidence, and feel healthier. Time bank members realise their knowledge and skills are useful and interesting to others – and they feel more involved in their community, too.
One time bank reported the following statistics for people who had been members of the time bank for six months:
- 85% said they were meeting more people
- 80% felt more part of the community
- 74% has made new friends
- 74% experienced a lift in mood or reduced depression
- 69% felt they could ask for or receive more help
- 66% experienced reduced loneliness
- 60% said their quality of life, health and wellbeing had improved
Timebanking allows people to realise that they are useful and valued members of society. It makes us feel better, more connected – and just happier!