Our Stories

St Neots: tackling isolation and homelessness

Members of the St Neots timebanking  at work clearing weeds from a patio.

St Neots is a thriving Cambridgeshire time bank with an active membership who love to take on new challenges. In March 2020, St Neots celebrated their eighth birthday – and they have helped people in all kinds of ways since they started in 2012.

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Isle of Wight: everyone has something to offer

Sally from West Wight Time Bank picking potatoes grown in the time bank’s community garden.

Sally is the coordinator of West Wight Time Bank, the UK’s most southerly time bank – and the only one on an island. She tells us how timebanking can help everyone find skills they can offer to others.

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Join the team at Timebanking UK as projects and comms officer

Timebanking UK are recruiting a new role ‘Projects and Communications Officer’ which will be remote working four days a week at £26k per annum pro rata. The closing date is 11th November and interviews scheduled for 23rd/24th November.

To apply, please send your CV and a letter of application to JOHN@TIMEBANKING.ORG,
cc SARAH@TIMEBANKING.ORG 

Closing date for applications: Friday 11th November.

Interviews: Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th November 2022.


Job Title: Projects and Communications Officer

Description: Part-time 4 days a week

Location: Remote

Salary: Salary £26k per annum pro rata

Responsible to: New Partnerships and Business Lead

Timebanking UK are a national charity providing advice, training and resources that enables time banks to flourish, engage and involve local people across the UK and beyond. Timebanking is where people help one another in communities using time as the currency creating mutual social and practical support networks to make people feel safer, happier and healthier.

Job Role:

This is an exciting role within the organisation to help coordinate a variety of projects and improve the communication across our time bank network, stakeholders and supporters, helping us to reach a wider audience. You will act as a conduit between Timebanking UK, our projects’ partners and our member time banks. The projects involve working with the staff team and time banks to achieve specific targets and collating succinct information into effective reports.

You will also have a key role in fundraising, writing funding bids to Trusts and finding new funding opportunities, with support from the staff team. Experience with writing tenders will be an advantage in this role.  

Proving the impact of our organisation and that of timebanking is extremely important, so experience in the generation of reports and using social return of investment would be particularly valuable.

Since we are a small charity, employees are expected to be flexible, adaptable and contribute where they can to our success. Timebanking UK has a small staff team and friendly company culture and we all work closely together to support the growth of timebanking.

Main Responsibilities 

  • Coordination and monitoring a variety of projects and reporting to funders 
  • Exploring funding opportunities and writing funding applications
  • Communicating with our member time banks
  • Supporting the team in proving the impact of Timebanking UK and in turn the value and impact of timebanking for people and communities (including SROI)

 

Skills Specification

Essential
  • Project delivery and monitoring experience
  • Effective report writing
  • Communication experience using a variety of methods with people at all levels
  • Experience of fundraising, writing funding bids and understanding the necessity of unrestricted funding and managing budgets
  • Excel, Word and MS Office applications experience
Desirable
  • Compiling newsletters (copy and design)
  • Experience with website content management systems
  • Knowledge of the charitable sector, systems and challenges

 

Person Specification

Essential
  • Self-driven, motivational person capable of working alone whilst being a team member
  • Ability to manage multiple initiatives and prioritise and co-ordinate under pressure
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Desire to learn new systems/skills and technology
Desirable
  • Experience of establishing and developing innovative programmes that deliver positive outcomes for people and communities

To apply, please send your CV and a letter of application to John@timebanking.org,
cc Sarah@timebanking.org 

Closing date for applications: Friday 11th November.

Interviews: Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th November 2022.

 

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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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Time to speak up

Timebanking UK has been working with partners across the country to give a voice to people who have been hit hard by the pandemic, whether because of mental health issues, low income, unemployment or other challenges. The European Social Fund (ESF) has funded training and support to help TBUK work with Creative Lives, Richmond Fellowship, Coventry and Warwickshire Cooperative Development Agency and the BBC on a series of projects… and they’re seeking participants for the latest training programme, Sound Ideas to Share.

Sound Ideas to Share will equip those who take part with the skills they need to find employment in the creative or broadcasting area, and will include a set of training sessions from BBC Radio Merseyside’s Ngunan Adamu. The sessions are fun and interactive, and people will learn how to write a compelling trailer and intro, how to find and brief guests, and how to record, upload and promote their podcasts. They also have the chance to find out about timebanking and share their skills with others through a time bank.

Last year, TBUK worked with Richmond Fellowship’s Vicki Pritchard, who runs Our Time time bank in Liverpool, and producer John Offord, along with a group of enthusiastic trainee podcasters, to produce It’s About Time, a series of podcasts exploring their own lived experience of mental health issues. One of the participants, Aaron Mckenna, a member of Mencap Liverpool and Sefton, has gone on to make further podcasts.

Earlier in 2020, another crew of amateur broadcasters, this time in Coventry and Warwickshire, got together to create three more broadcasts, as part of the Sound Ideas stable of podcasts, again working with John Offord (see below). The team were joined at the celebration to mark their success by Mick Spicer, who runs Time 4 Warwickshire.

A group of people are standing together. Some are kneeling. Some of the people are holding certificates. They are smiling.

If you know someone in the Liverpool area who might benefit from learning a set of new skills – as well as making new friends and gaining self-confidence – please call Vicki Pritchard on 07901 517336.

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Saints fans score a success

As football grounds welcome back supporters and students are set to return to universities, we thought we’d share a story from two former time bank members who fit those categories.

Neil and Miles, both Southampton FC fans, met as members of Southampton Timebank [currently on hold as a result of Covid]. Miles earned timebanking hours making befriending calls to Neil – and the two soon became fast friends. Miles, who’s since graduated, had been a Human Geography student at the town’s university. He explains, “I’ve loved living in Southampton; however, I’ve had to move back to my home town back in Bath, where I’ve been since lockdown started.”

Timebanking was new to both Neil and Miles when they first met. Neil recalls, “I heard about timebanking after watching this TedX talk by Sarah Bird, the CEO of Timebanking UK. I thought the concept of giving people your time, over money, was something I wanted to be a part of. I wanted to stay involved with Southampton Timebank while I was in lockdown in Bath, so thought being a phone buddy would be the best way to do this.”

For Neil, finding out about the time bank came as a result of acute need. He says, “A key worker for the council provided the time bank’s telephone number, as I needed food delivered during lockdown.

“I called Lynda from Southampton Timebank, who organised someone to deliver the food. After a few weeks, I found out the volunteer had broken her elbow and was in a wheelchair, but she still delivered my shopping. I thought to myself, it’s incredible how she went out of her way for me despite her own struggles.”

The time bank also connected Neil with Miles as a phone friend. Neil says, “As it’s just me in the flat, I really appreciated having a phone buddy as it could get lonely at times. Because of my type 2 diabetes, I had to shield, and living alone all day isn’t easy, particularly as you can’t go out and see friends.”

The two soon bonded over their love for Saints, though both of them came at it from unusual angles. Miles explains, “My favourite sport is rugby, but I am in fact a Saints supporter, as my grandad made sure of that!”

For Neil, meanwhile, his loyalties are torn in another direction. He says, “I’m also a West Germany and Bayern Munich supporter, as the first club I went to see. Even though I’m not German and we get beaten in Europe, I’m still sticking with my shirt. I must be the only Englishman who supports Germany!” 

“I really look forward to having my weekly catch up with Neil on a Sunday,” says Miles. “I don’t think either of us had ever been a phone buddy before, but we seemed to both share a passion for sport so we never run out of things to say!

“It’s amazing how easy it is to get to know someone even without ever seeing them or speaking to them in person. Neil always makes me laugh… and I rely on him to fill me in with all the news that’s gone on that week. He also keeps me up to date with what’s going on with the Saints footy…” 

Neil adds, “It’s good to have somebody, even if you don’t see them – you can’t always talk to friends during lockdown. It’s been great to carry on our weekly conversations beyond lockdown and get to know one another a lot more.”

Miles concludes, “One of the biggest things I’ve learned from lockdown and being a phone buddy is that we all have a lot more in common than we sometimes think. Although Neil tells me there’s a slight age difference between us, we actually have a lot in common and, when you speak over the phone, it’s great how you can focus on the commonalities, rather than the differences between us.”

If you are interested in becoming involved in timebanking, please email info@timebanking.org.

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Kickstart vacancies at TBUK

Timebanking UK has two part-time positions available as part of the Kickstart Scheme, which aims to support young people at risk of long-term unemployment into work.

To find out more about each of the roles, click on the links below.

To apply, please send a CV and cover letter to Sarah Bird at sarah@timebanking.org, stating which role you are interested in. All roles are for 25 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

Bid writing assistant
Project coordinator

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Woolmer Forest hits 6 million!

A time bank in Hampshire bank has made history by recording the 6 millionth timebanking hour.

After weeks of watching as the numbers got closer and closer to the magical six million mark, TBUK’s IT manager Ian Toplis announced that the time bank that tipped the balance was Woolmer Forest in Hampshire, which serves the area around Whitehill and Bordon.

Claire Coxwell, the time bank’s hard-working manager (pictured right), said, “How amazing that Woolmer Forest Timebank is the one out of all the time banks in the UK who achieved the six millionth timebanking hour!”

The six millionth hour was earned by time bank member Daphne, who’s been supporting another member, Sue, by phoning her regularly to talk to her through a difficult time.

TBUK’s CEO Sarah Bird said, “Claire, we’re so very proud of you, Daphne, and Sue for helping TBUK and our timebanking community reach this amazing milestone. It’s a huge achievement for you and your members, for all of our British time banks, and for the timebanking movement.”

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International Timebanking Day

Timebanking is a truly international phenomenon, with roots in Japan and the UK. The first ‘time banks’ appeared in the USA in the 1980s, thanks to Edgar Cahn, the ‘father of timebanking’.

To mark Edgar’s birthday on Tuesday 23 March, our friends and partners at Timebanks.Org are hosting the third International Timebanking Day, with events spread across Sunday and Tuesday that stretch from New Jersey to New Zealand and tap into the experience of time bank members of a range of ages and backgrounds.

To find out about the events that are going on and maybe take part, click here.

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