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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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‘Potential merits of Government support for Timebanking’

Deidre Brock, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, talks about initiatives and fresh ideas in an article published in advance of a Westminster hall debate on Tuesday the 27th February.

Here is the link to the lovely piece of writing:

https://www.leithermagazine.com/leither156/deidre

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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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London-wide time bank set to launch

A new London-wide time bank is hoping to make it easier for people across the city to help each other. Timesight London has been started by Timebanking UK (TBUK) with support from Vision Foundation, with the aim of forging connections between visually impaired and non-visually impaired Londoners. The project has earned the endorsement of TBUK’s patron, Lord Low of Dalston, a former chair of the RNIB and a passionate advocate for removing barriers to access; you can hear Lord Low explaining the concept of timebanking in this clip.

Timebanking is distinct from traditional volunteering because it doesn’t label people as ‘those who help’ and ‘those who need help’ – in a time bank, every member can both give and receive time. That means that people who have been isolated, out of work, or suffering from ill health can rediscover their own skills and talents and develop a renewed sense of self-worth. It also makes it easy for people with differing abilities to find ways to keep their skills sharp – even at times of reduced employment.

Timesight London has been started up to facilitate an active and symbiotic relationship between people who might otherwise never meet. The time bank is fully accessible for people with visual impairments, with software designed for text-to-speech applications, and support on hand to help people create and fulfil requests.

“Like all time banks, Timesight London starts with its members,” explains John, TBUK project leader for Timesight London. “The time bank makes it easy for visually impaired members to request some one-off support negotiating post-Covid changes to a tube station, for example – and it also enables them to share their own skills and to support other members.

 “One of our most active members is Ian, an IT expert who’s registered blind, who has been earning timebanking hours by showing other members how to use specialist software. Over 30 people are already signed up to the time bank. Exchanges can take place in person or in groups, or online, and the TBUK team are on hand to walk people through the process and ensure they feel comfortable and safe.”

The time bank uses TBUK’s specialist software Time Online 2, which acts as a ‘shopfront’ for members’ offers and requests and makes it easy for people to arrange exchanges. Timebanking UK host a FREE session to demonstrate the software on Friday 14 January 2022 at 2pm – you can register here. If you’d like to reap the benefits of being part of a time bank or know someone who would, why not join Timesight London? Email john@timebanking.org to find out more.

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TBUK news

It is with great sadness that Timebanking UK announces the death of Bethan, youngest daughter of our CEO Sarah, at age 21. Bethan had fought a long battle with the very rare ‘grey zone’ lymphoma, defying expectations to live many months longer than doctors predicted.

 

Our thoughts are with Sarah, Bethan’s sister Hannah, and all her family and friends.

 

Please send any cards to TBUK’s office, and if you would like to contribute to a memorial fund for Bethan, please visit https://www.collectionpot.com/pot/651850/

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