A time bank is a new and exciting way for people to come together to help others and help themselves at the same time. Participants 'deposit' their time in the bank by giving practical help and support to others and are able to 'withdraw' their time when they need something done themselves.
Giving and Receiving Time
Time banks measure and value all the different kinds of help and skills we can offer each other. In a time bank, everyone becomes both a giver and a receiver.
Everyone's time is valued equally : One hour = 1 time credit
Participants can spend their time credits on the skills and support of other participants when they need a helping hand.
People help each other out with everything from making phone calls to sharing meals and giving lifts to the shops - anything that brings them together:
Help when you need it ~ DIY ~ help with the kids ~ trips out ~ exercise ~ making friends ~ shopping ~ new grandparents ~ talking on the phone ~ having a break ~ gaining new skills ~ crafts ~ going to the park ~ cooking ~ getting to know your neighbours.
Why have a time bank?
Market economics values what is scarce - not the real work of society which is caring, loving, being a citizen, a neighbour and a human being.’"Dr Edgar Cahn, founder of international time banking movement".
There is a market economy in which money drives transactions. Then there is a non-market economy that it not considered as an economic system at all: our network of support in the form of family, friends, neighbours and community. A time bank is a way to strengthen a non market economy.
The market economy depends on the healthy functioning of the non-market economy - we all need support from family and friends. We take it for granted that the non-market economy will always be there. As such, we can undervalue what it provides.
We notice when things go wrong with the non-market economy. Social isolation, run-down estates, crime, poor health, no feeling of community: these are just a few of the symptoms of an area in malaise, with poor social connections and few support networks.
You can look at an area in decline like a body with a weakened immune system. The protection holding that body together - family, friends, neighbours, community - are falling apart. It is losing its connections. The body needs to be fit and healthy to function and to grow.
What we need to do is to strengthen the area’s immune system, by drawing people together and by developing mutual friendships and support.
A time bank is a way to achieve that, to strengthen communities.
A time bank can help to:
• Bring people together in a spirit of equality
• Value and record contributions to community life
• Build an individual’s confidence and skills
• Build organisational capacity
• Build community networks and knowledge
• Get things done that wouldn’t get done otherwise (by funding in time credits)
• Encourage community participation
Who gets involved in a time bank?
Anyone and everyone!
A time bank is open to people of all ages, abilities, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In fact, a time bank benefits from great diversity in its participants so that there is a wide variety of skills exchanged.
If you would like to find out more about Time Banking, please visit http://www.timebanks.co.uk.
Or you can visit the following website regarding Time Banking in Ireland, http://www.timebankingireland.ie/