The St Ives Time Bank, launched in October 2013, is going from strength to strength and now has 6 organisational members (including the Corn Exchange, 5th St Ives Scout Group and Westfield Junior School) and over 30 individual members. Our members offer skills and knowledge as diverse as ironing, marketing advice, removals, dog walking, piano playing, therapeutic companion gardening, sewing, and lots more. We also have a health walking group that members gain credits for when they join in.
We have regular requests for help; some at the moment include a family to befriend a 13 year old with a learning disability, a lady to accompany a member on walks to increase her level of fitness, basic DIY help and companionship for members of various ages. Momentum is building and we are growing at a very healthy pace. Luminus recently awarded us our first grant of £250, which we are very grateful for, and we are constantly on the search for further funding.
Timebanking is simply a means of voluntary exchange, bringing individuals, communities and organisations together, where the only currency is time. Unlike traditional volunteering, you bank time credits when you help someone and claim your time back when you need something in return. Everyone’s time is equal, irrespective of whatever you need or can offer.
Zoë Weaver, the coordinator, has so far been interviewed on HCR104fm and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, done talks at the St Ives Children’s Centre, RAF Wyton and St Ivo School and can sometimes be found at the Corn Exchange on Wednesdays in an attempt to spread the word.