Guest blogger Sam Cowan: why I am in love with the Timebank and a quick zip through this weeks Timebank induction

cartoon sam cowan what i like most about the timebank is how it reinforces that we all have something to learn and something to give

Sam Cowan speaks in cartoons!

I have a confession to make. It’s official. I am in love with the Timebank. And the more I give to it and receive from it the deeper, richer and better it gets. That’s why I’m so happy that we were able to host a Redbridge Timebank induction evening on Tues, July 28, so that everyone in the community can form a relationship with this wonderful entity and, by extension, with each other.

milling icebreaker

Speaking about what riches we have in life that do not cost money

From the buzz and energy in the room last night, my hunch is that some great connections were being made. It was exciting to witness in a small group of five how one person’s offer was someone else’s need.

“I’d really love people to come and tell my kids great stories.”

“Oh – I’m a retired teacher and I love reading stories to kids.”

(Potential match).

“Hmm.. not sure what I can do.. Oh – I can drive people places, help lift heavy things and do some basic jobs around the house.”

“You would have been very useful when I was shopping the other day!”

Please never underestimate what you can give. A listening ear, walking a dog or helping mow someone’s lawn can be just as valuable to someone as your professional skills.

I am on the lookout for someone who loves blowdrying hair (for those occasions when I need to look a bit glam) as well as someone from the Asian community who can take me on a cultural/ culinary tour of Ilford Lane and give me the inside scoop on their favourite restaurants, the ins and outs of the community and all the interesting foodstuffs and fabrics for sale. Let me know if that’s you!

For those who were unable to attend the induction, there will be “Timebank surgeries” over the summer if help is needed with registering and using the software. These will be on the next two Mondays 12-2 and next Tuesday (4th August) 7-9pm.

groups round tables

In small groups working out what we have to offer

Let me zip you through what happened (you can either relive your evening or, (for those who weren’t there, be a fly on the wall). The induction was a mixture of the social and the practical. We learnt about what the Timebank is, how it works, how we can all benefit from it and were shown, step by step, how to use the website.

There was a pot-luck smorgasbord of delights to enjoy during break (thank you everyone for your food contributions) and in a café environment we brainstormed and shared about what services we would like to offer to others on the Timebank.  Offerings went the full range from hula hooping classes to bike repairs to having an organist play at your wedding.

We had a fragrant end – gifting one another with bouquets of fresh herbs picked from Ruth’s allotment in celebration of the gift economy (thank you Ruth for your stellar facilitating).

The Timebank also had a gift for all the attendees: 2 hours each to use as we please. The deal is that we all have to post at least one offer and one request by August 17th , and spend our 2-hour gift by Sep 19th (there will be a skills swap event on this date). The more offers and requests that there are on the Timebank website to dive into, the better asset that our smiley sunTimebank becomes. We are the ones who make it and shape it.

Time magazine listed the sharing economy as one of the 10 ideas that is set to change the world. Click here to be part of the change with us!

Sam Cowan

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