I'm really pleased that I was able to approve the press release today for the launch of three pilot time banks that the council is investing in. These will hopefully benefit a wide range of people through being able to volunteer time - it's a great way of giving and getting back.
Good neighbours and a sense of community spirit consistently come up as something that is important to residents whether in formal surveys or just chatting to people on the doorstep. Being connected to and supporting our own neighbourhoods is something that we can all contribute to and time-banking recognises that everyone's time has a value. I hope these pilot schemes will be very successful in bringing people together to make for even better neighbours.
Press release below:
A NEW ‘Time Bank’ scheme is set to be launched by Reading Borough Council in April, giving people the opportunity to share their skills and make new friends in their local community.
The Council has funded Circles Network - a charity that works to support people at risk of social isolation to participate in their community - to run three pilot Time Bank projects in the Southcote, Katesgrove and Whitley Wood areas of Reading which will benefit both young and old.
Time Banking is a way for people to share skills with others in their community and be rewarded for it – in time. For every hour of time a person gives providing a service for another participant, they will receive one time credit, which can then be exchanged when they need something.
There are already over 100 time banks across England and members can earn credits through exchanges such as gardening, car washing, cooking a meal, shopping, other neighbourly tasks or even just by having a coffee with someone.
A ‘Time Broker’, whose role it will be to promote the Time Banks, encourage people to join and help them to identify what they could offer to others, is shortly due to be appointed.
All the exchanges will be arranged through the Broker, and Time Bank members will be given the support they need to get the most out of the scheme. To safeguard all members, two references, and enhanced CRB checks will be carried out with those exchanging.
Angela Butcher of Circles Network, who will coordinate the overall project, said, "It’s a great opportunity to be working in Reading and setting up three Time Banks in the town. I have been speaking to many organisations in the town that support people and they have shown great enthusiasm in helping get the Time Banks off the ground in Reading".
If residents would like to know more they can contact Angela Butcher of Circles Network on e-mail at: time.banking@circlesnetwork.