Introducing the time bank

Setting up a time bank has been on my New Year’s resolutions list for at least 5 years!  Before that it was a LETS scheme (a local exchange trading system).  I am very happy having a key role in setting up and establishing a thriving Redbridge time bank.

Sophia Hubs Seven Kings is grateful for the support of ECHO and the funding recently awarded by Area 5 and 7 Committees.

We are working to incubate and develop new social enterprises and businesses in Seven Kings and surrounding areas and we see the time bank as an important element of this work.  It will build up community networks and demonstrate the extensive skills and resources that we have in this area.  Residents will expand their contacts through giving and receiving services and skills: each hour given is worth the same whatever is being offered.

Our new entrepreneurs can offer their time/service/skill on a free basis to get experience to build up their experience and a customer base.  The exciting news is that as well as enabling people to get services for nothing, evidence shows that time banks can also lead on to paid contracts as customers prefer to use people they know.

This time bank will need a lot of support to make it work.   We will need a diverse team of volunteer ‘brokers’ who will make contact with residents and find all those hidden talents they can contribute and what sort of things they would like from others.  The Redbridge Volunteer bureau has put out a request for volunteers and we already have firm offers from local people.  The great thing is that these volunteer hours will go in to the time bank and the brokers can ‘spend’ their hours on something else.

We are nearly there with our website and the time bank database – maybe another few weeks.  In the meantime take a look at the Economy of Hours website (ECHO) who have been giving very practical help and support.  This is a business to business time bank (B2B). Two other London time banks using an ECHO database for their person to person time banks (P2P) are are Timberbank wharf and Sutton Shares.

Please do get in touch if you want to join us in building community spirit and local enterprise.

Ros Southern

 

 

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