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.