Everybody has something they can do really well – how about you?
Mavis is amazing at knitting dolls, one even holds a mobile phone! Katrina gives excellent French lessons, Pippa shines at life coaching and Gary works wonders with logos. We all have skills we love using but at the HOurBank they match these skills with other people who need them. They call this ‘time banking’: members receive credits for helping others, which can then be used to ‘buy’ someone else’s time.
For example, HOurBank member Linda was having trouble with her computer. They put her in touch with Paul, who went to see what he could do. After an hour the computer was working good as new.
“It was good to help in the area that I’m skilled in,” said Paul.
Organisations also have things they do really well and skills they need. Members can earn time helping with events or occasional work, with the organisations offering skills or resources in return. Recently HOurBank were given tickets for a local showing of the opera Dido & Aeneas which members were able to ‘buy’ with their time credits. One member said, “The opera was brilliant: we were transported from palace, to cave, to wooded grove. Innovative and entertaining.”
Edgar Cahn, the founder of time banking, claims that society is glued together by work not paid with money. For example caring for each other, the environment and fighting social injustice. Time banking is about valuing this vital work.
Everybody has something they can do really well. What about you?
Since 1999 HOurBank has been your local time bank in Southwark (one of sixty in London) – they are always looking for new members to join them. To find out more contact Naomi at hourbank [at] pecan.org.uk, 020 7732 0007, www.pecan.org.uk or www.timebanking.org.uk