What is Timebanking?
Timebanking is a worldwide organisation that at its core is a way of sharing our time and skills with our neighbours to help strengthen our communities by connecting people/communities to prevent loneliness and any other kind of hardship. Timebanking works on a credit system - so for every hour you give to the timebank (perhaps mowing the lawn of another member) you get 1 credit. Then you are able to spend that credit on something that you request from the membership as a whole. Whether we can find someone to fulfil your request will depend on what skills we have in our group, but we do our best to find someone who can help you.
We also run community events for which you can earn credits, like washing up at one of our regular coffee mornings or manning a stall at a fundraising event. We have such a generous community that are willing to help at the drop of a hat, but we actually struggle sometimes to get people to make requests, so we are always encouraging people to ask for help/support as soon as they need it!
Our Timebank covers the civil parish of Houghton & Wyton which makes it a local community-driven entity. We are not-for-profit and our Coordinator Rose is employed by our Parish Council for 15 hours a week. All other funding we seek through donations and sponsorship, and we try to make our events as affordable as possible so as many people can participate as possible.
What are the benefits of becoming a member?
- You can make requests of our large membership base for support.
- You can earn credits for supporting others.
- You can spend credits on other people's time and skills; boosting their wellbeing.
- You can help us understand the needs of our community so that we can support the membership as a whole through tailored events.
- You can serve on our Steering Committee.
If you would like to become a member, you can download the forms here (Membership Form, and GDPR Consent) which you can fill out and return to us via email at: houghtonwytontimebank @ gmail.com, or to our postal address: St. Mary's Centre, Chapel Lane, Houghton PE28 2AY. We ask our members to provide the details of two referees who would be willing to vouch for their character as a way of safeguarding our members when they are undertaking individual exchanges of time.
We really encourage people to become members because even if you don't need support right now (or feel that you have anything to offer - which we would strongly disagree with), there could be a day round the corner when you need a lift somewhere or someone to feed your cat last-minute(!) and then you'd be set up to get the support you need fast.
At the moment, requests for support generally come through via email, and we put out an anonymous request to our membership (both on email and in our facebook group) and then we can connect the requester up with a suitable member to help them. We do have an online platform through TimebankingUK which all our members are set up on so we can keep a record of your credits for you. Once you are signed up, we encourage digitally-confident members to get themselves acquainted with the platform because it is available 24hrs a day, whereas I work 2 days/week. This also affords me more time to spend supporting members who are unable to use the platform for whatever reason.
All of your data is stored in line with UK GDPR policy.
What if I Don't Want to Become a Member?
That's fine too! Our group events are open to everyone, regardless of membership status. You just won't be able to make individual requests of our membership. Non-members can still sign-up to receive our Monday Email which tells you everything that's going on that week.
What Can I Offer & Request?
Here are some ideas and examples of things people offer and request:
- give a lift to an appointment
- collect a prescription
- offer one-to-one digital assistance
- house/phone calls to housebound members
- give advice
- volunteer at Our Shop
- walk a dog
- feed a member's cat
- small DIY jobs
- teach someone how to make your favourite recipe
- water the plants
- take someone shopping
- attend a coffee morning
- prepare refreshments for a timebank event
- take part in our regular litter-picks
- make a cake
- help write Christmas cards
- read to someone
To learn more about the wider world of time banking, click here.
We also organise and participte in community wide events. Over the years we have run some of the following community events with members of all ages getting involved:
- Warm Room
- Puppet Shows
- Summer Family Get-Togethers
- Biscuit-decorating classes
- Scam Awareness Talks
- Nordic Walking taster session
- Flood Awareness talk
- Digital Inclusion project
- Seaside Afternoon as part of Feast Week 2022
- The Great British Spring Clean
- Afternoon Tea with local history exhibition
- National volunteers week thank you BBQ
- Safety awareness day
- Twice monthly coffee mornings
- Pram Walks
What can you do with your time credits?
You can ‘spend’ your time credits when you need help from someone else in the community. You can give them to another person who needs some help. Houghton & Wyton Timebank volunteers are also eligible to redeem their time credits through Tempo Time Credits, which offers a great range of educational and entertainment activities throughout England.
Who can join the Timebank?
Anyone! Age, ability, lack of finance or limited mobility are not barriers to participating in the time bank. See the contact information below and give us a shout to find out how you can be involved.
Who Runs our Time Bank?
Our Time Bank is run by Rose Williams who is employed by your Parish Council to oversee the running of activities, exchanges and events. Rose is a relatively new addition to the Houghton & Wyton area; moving here in 2021 with her partner and child to be closer to family in the area. She actually hails from Wales though; growing up on the edge of a small town overlooking the beautiful Welsh countryside.
Our Time Bank also has a steering committee comprised of Clare Anderson, Paul Boothman, Lois Dale, Elaine Matthews, Annalee Neighbour and Sassy Skinner, who bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to the table; enriching our Time Bank immeasurably.
Alongside Rose, our members make our Time Bank tick, helping to staff events and offer support to other members. The members are the heart of any time bank; their interests, skills and needs shaping the aims and activities on offer.
Contact: Rose Williams, Houghton & Wyton Timebank Coordinator
Address: St Mary's Centre, Chapel Lane, Houghton, PE28 2AY
Tel: 07484 524180
Hours: 15hrs/week, mainly working Mondays and Thursdays.
We are excited for the future and welcome your ideas and feedback on how the Time Bank could improve or areas we could develop. If you have an idea, please share it with us. Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on our Facebook page.