Time­bank de­posits to lure vol­un­teers


Time­bank­ing and tack­ling en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives is a com­mu­nity part­ner­ship wait­ing to hap­pen.

A grow­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional trend, time­bank­ing is an ex­change sys­tem where time, not money, is the cur­rency.

It has the po­ten­tial to as­sist the re­cruit­ment of vol­un­teers for en­vi­ron­men­tal and com­mu­nity projects when or­gan­i­sa­tions can some­times strug­gle to get peo­ple in­volved.

The for­mula is one hour = one credit, re­gard­less of the skill in­volved. When some­one of­fers an hour of their time, it earns them one hour of time credit that can be used to ‘buy’ an hour of time from an­other time­bank mem­ber.

If a time­bank mem­ber com­pletes one hour of na­tive plant­ing or pest con­trol, they earn an hour of time credit that could for in­stance be used to have a com­puter fixed, or for gui­tar lessons.

Time­bank­ing is a shift away from the com­mon un­der­stand­ing of char­ity work and vol­un­teer­ing. Both par­ties are viewed equally based on five core val­ues: as­sets (where ev­ery­one has some­thing to give), re­defin­ing work, rec­i­proc­ity, com­mu­nity and re­spect.

An ex­am­ple of the maxim ‘Think glob­ally, act lo­cally’, this ties in with sus­tain­abil­ity, pro­mot­ing shar­ing, and re­duc­ing de­mands on re­sources. .

The con­cept can be summed up in the words of Edgar Cahn, founder of mod­ern time­bank­ing: ‘We have what we need if we use what we have’.

An ex­am­ple of how this works took place in Chor­ley, UK. In 2015, a ‘Big Plant’ was set up to en­cour- age res­i­dents to get in­volved in look­ing after their lo­cal area.

Par­tic­i­pants made up new planters us­ing lo­cal ob­jects such as gum­boots and chim­ney pots. All res­i­dents were given time cred­its for their work for ex­change with other time­bankers in their com­mu­nity.

Time­Bank Manawatu is still in the early stages of set-up and is look­ing for like-minded peo­ple, com­mu­nity groups and busi­nesses to join. Con­tact An­drea McCrostie-Horne through ENM for more in­for­ma­tion.


Ac­tiv­i­ties such as com­mu­nity fruit har­vest­ing could earn vol­un­teers time­bank cred­its.

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