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.
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