Timebank visit to Barkingside 21 coffee morning

stephanie mugo outsideGuest blog by Stephanie Mugo,  Timebank broker and volunteer

On 24.11.14 we were invited to the Barkingside 21 coffee morning to talk about the Timebank.  And a lot of interesting things happened.

We looked at how the Timebank of today may help to bring back to the best qualities of a unified community the way it used to be a few decades ago. People mentioned how community used to be much stronger back then when we all knew our neighbours and felt safe in relying on their help and support.  And how the exchange of services from the Timebank used to happen naturally and was completely informal, which is exactly what the Timebank is trying to achieve!

As usual people tend to feel ‘how can I help the Timebank? I have no skill to share, only time…’.  This is where the treasure for a strong and healthy community lies.  Time sharing is as important as skill sharing and this is why our currency is 1 hour.  A lot of people need time, to do things that anyone can do e.g. the Flirt cafe (where we are going to hold our community skills swap on 5th December) is going to need people to distribute flyers. One of the best offers I have seen on the Timebank is ‘time to help with events’

Another point raised was how we trade across the whole of Redbridge and that some people felt that Redbridge is such a wide area with separate smaller communities and so how will we be able to create one big community.  But this is actually more of a strength I think, as simply, depending on people’s ability to travel across Redbridge, we are a platform that enables people to discover the potential in one community (e.g. Ilford) to another (e.g. Barkingside).

The more people join us, the more services will be available and the more people will inter-connect from everywhere across Redbridge and further.  Someone wisely commented that the Tiembebank is based on needs and people.

It was really interesting hearing the comments and thanks for inviting us.

Stephanie Mugo


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