Time-banks are a way of bringing people and communities together.
Time-bank members give their time, skill or knowledge to others, and in return receive something they need or want.
No money changes hands – and with it people meet people and form new bonds.
If you have ever doubted the power of a Time-bank take a look at this story: It’s the story of Mary and Carla.
Mary got in touch with her local Time-bank to ask if they could arrange a visitor to spend time with her mother Sue. Sue has dementia, she forgets what has been said, and so she repeats questions and statements frequently. She has mobility problems and spends much of her time sitting in her chair, and rarely leaves the house.
She has carers to help with washing and dressing. Her husband and her daughter care for her the rest of the time but she was getting lonely when her daughter and husband were working and she wanted someone to talk to.
Carla has been visiting Sue for an hour once every 2 weeks since October for a chat. Sue is very happy to see Carla and welcomes her in her native Arabic and says ‘you are the light of my eyes’. Mary is pleased that her mother is having company and variety in her routine. Sue remembers Carla’s name and that she is Hungarian. They talk about Sue’s children and grandchildren, music and how she used to teach, important therapy for someone who lives with dementia.
Working with the Time-bank in order to help people who genuinely need support, is one of the most enjoyable things I can imagine spending my free time with. Visiting Sue for just a bit of chit chat lights up her day and that lights up mine. I’m fortunate to have a community that is engaged with such a compassionate volunteer base.
Cambridgeshire has a vibrant Time-banking network. For more information on Time-banking, how it works and what’s involved click here:
Time-banks rely on the goodwill of people, organisations and communities to work. Click here to find out how you can help.