One of our members was invited to share their Timebank story with their company. Now we can share it with you :)
I guess I’ve always been a person with a desire to help others wherever I can. My reward being the sense of satisfaction knowing that I have helped someone out. I was introduced to the Taranaki Time Bank via the gardening working bee group I was part of. The concept was instantly appealing.
Taranaki Time Bank is a network of people who offer skillsets to help each other out for no monetary gain. An hour of one person’s time is equal to another’s regardless of your skill set or your profession, etc. For every hour you give, or receive, a time credit is deposited or deducted from your Time Bank account. You do not have to have any credit in your Time Bank to request help – you just start using the network and it builds from that.
I’ve been part of the group for 4 years now and we currently have approximately 100 members and have a strategy to increase our membership. In particular we want to reach the elderly and disabled whom often think they have nothing to give. However these people have so much skill and knowledge and they can request assistance for help in any way they need it. Whether it be requiring assistance around the home (e.g. clean out gutterings), companionship or driving them to appointments, and so on. The assistance you can give and receive is as broad as the imagination can be. People do not have to have access to a computer to use the Time Bank either (particularly useful for the elderly) as members can also be guardian angels for those without electronic access.
I have also assisted outside of this group wherever I can with gardening & making meals for others in need. I’m also part of a larger global help exchange network called HelpX, where I have hosted tourists. I provide lodgings and food and they assist with any tasks I may have during their stay.
We have found the help network exchange has been particularly useful in regions affected by earthquakes. Disaster recovery is an area I feel the Time Bank as a network of people, could provide a great contribution.
Time Banking is the brainchild of Edgar Cahn, creator of Time Dollars and Time Banking, and author of No More Throw-Away People, the Co-Production Imperative.
Time Banking is a relatively new concept to New Zealand. Having vibrant, healthy, interconnected New Zealand communities is widely acknowledged as the life force of our country. Time Banking facilitates the sharing of skills between its members, both individuals and community groups. Time Banking creates and promotes well-being, helping communities flourish and thrive. Time Banking activity is measured by the time it takes to complete a piece of work. Everyone's time is considered equal.
Time Banking has many unique features that strengthen the fabric of society, building up the non-market economy by initiating shifts in our collective way of thinking. Lyttelton Time Bank (LTB) was New Zealand’s first Time Bank. Other Time Banks are now being set up. All communities could benefit from Time Banking. There is a lot of interest in the establishment of Time Banks from all around New Zealand.