North Swindon Time Bank
North Swindon Time Bank was pilot project that was run by Volunteer Centre Swindon and Voluntary Action Swindon. The project was funded by the Swindon Borough Council. It ran for a period of two years from 2013 to 2015.
During this time 470 hours of time were swapped between Timebank members.
What was Time Bank?
Our exciting project was built on the principle of being a good neighbour. Someone gave a helping hand and then someone else returned the favour.
Time banking is a means of exchange used to organise people and organisations around a purpose, where time is the principal currency. For every hour participants ‘deposit’ in a time bank, perhaps by giving practical help and support to others, they are able to ‘withdraw’ equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need. In each case the participant decides what they can offer. Everyone’s time is equal, so one hour of my time is equal to one hour of your time, irrespective of whatever we choose to exchange. Because time banks are just systems of exchange, they can be used in an almost endless variety of settings.
By the end of the Time Bank project 470 hours were swapped. This was through activities such as teaching someone to cook or teaching how to crochet.
Anyone could join: individuals, groups and organisations swapped their time, skills and resources with other members. Membership was not affected by age, lack of finance or limited mobility. We believe everyone has something to offer and all skills are valued equally.
In addition, this is a highly effective community development tool, empowering individuals and groups to bring about change, make choices and take control of their own lives and neighbourhoods.
We had groups such as football, crafts and a book club as well as one off events that enabled the members to build friendships with each other that enabled swapping.