Here are some frequently asked questions. Click on the question for the answer. If you can't find what you are looking for, please get in touch with us anytime.
What is timebanking?
Timebanking is a way of spending one hour of time helping someone out and earning one time credit in return. This can be spent on receiving an hour of someone else's time or where available things like theatre or cinema tickets.
Does it cost anything to join?
Currently there is no joining fee for the membership, however in the future for sustainability this may change. Members will be given sufficient notice should this happen.
Do I have to earn credit before I can get help?
No, you can ask for help straight away. As long as you intend to earn some credits we are happy for you to have spent more hours than you have earned.
Will timebanking affect my benefits?
For income-related benefits, it's not a problem. The Department of Work and Pensions feel that timebanking is different to volunteering and therefore the rules are different. If you're on incapacity benefit, get in touch so that we can find out more about your situation.
Before you start swapping hours we will seek two references, these can be from anyone from your doctor to your brother. You will also be asked to sign our Code of Conduct and Terms which will explain what we will expect from you once you have joined the timebank. We will meet each member before they begin timebanking and give you our handbook on joining. If you are in regular contact with vulnerable people we will seek a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in line with DBS regulations. Members will also covered by our public liability insurance.
Can organisations get involved?
Yes! Organisations can give and receive in the same way that individuals can. They can swap under-used resources, professional skills, spare tickets or training places, meeting room space and lots more! Ask us for a leaflet for more ideas.
What happens if I can't spend my time credits?
You can donate credits back to the time bank 'pot'. These credits can be made available to individuals and organisations. You can also donate credits to another member that you nominate.
Isn't this public services on the cheap?
Absolutely not. There will never be enough resources to meet everyone's needs through the public sector. Time banks can't do everything any more than the government can. What time banks can do is to help fill the gaps that were perhaps traditionally filled by extended family and neighbours. An important bonus is that they help us realise that we all have skills that are valued by others. This not only creates a closer sense of neighbourliness but also increases each individual's sense of self worth.