Read on to find out what members think of the Time Bank, why they joined and what difference it's made to their lives. You can also read more about our members' timebanking experiences on the Members' Blog page.
You can read our new guidelines for skills exchanges here.
Sarah is an active member of Rushey Green Time Bank and is grateful for the help that it has granted her. She describes the Time Bank as 'a pedestal in her life'. In a society that older people often feel isolated and undervalued, the Time Bank gives people an opportunity to contribute and truly feel part of their community. As money does not matter in the Time Bank, it is inclusive to all.
Rushey Green Time Bank gave her the confidence and the platform to help others and look after them which is a passion of hers. Additionally, another important factor in Rushey Green Time Bank is that it encourages people to develop their knowledge and skills through its skills exchange and member-led workshops. This helps people like her to deepen their knowledge and experience in how to help others. In future, Sarah would love to adapt what the Time Bank has done for the community of Lewisham to take it to her country of origin, particularly to engage and support women as she believes that timebanking is a valuable tool that should be utilised worldwide.
“[TimeBanking] is good, it has helped me so much, they really give people a chance here.”
Susan is an active member and trustee of Rushey Green Time Bank. She joined the Time Bank approximately 5 years ago. She recalls meeting Philippe, the CEO of the Time Bank at Rushey Green Assembly who was looking for volunteers for a festival that he was organising. She joined the festival planning team and upon its launch she found that it was a great way to get to know the borough intimately, making new contacts and meeting new people. It was a 'totally new experience’. Her experience with this festival and the Time Bank in particular has been life-changing as it has led to the founding of her own business and consequently, has built her confidence. She now does more campaigning in her borough around other issues that she cares about. Additionally, as much of her experiences with other charities and events were devoid of ‘communication’ Susan felt that ‘[the Time Bank] was just better as it has an organic community feel which makes it so special and unique.' She hopes others will experience this magic also.
The Time Bank "has an organic community feel which makes it so special and unique."
Jonny joined the Time Bank wanting to share his language skills to help others looking to improve their English. He was drawn to timebanking because of its flexibility and the lack of pressure to commit to a rigid regime that many volunteer roles demand, making it easier to get involved with. He finds the Time Bank particularly effective at bringing people together. It is founded upon the principle of community which is what he believes is why people feel so welcome within Rushey Green Time Bank. The Time Bank has inspired him as he has been able to help his colleagues and friends more as his network has grown in correlation with his involvement in the Time Bank. Jonny loves the concept as it is one that is not selfish but selfless and he would love for the Time Bank to be known more widely.
“Time Bank is so special because no matter what people might charge for their skills in the real world, at the Time Bank everyone's time has exactly the same value and that makes it feel special.”
Lillian joined Rushey Green Time Bank in 2015. One of our favourite memories was attending the Bellingham Arts & Crafts group. She made a necklace and earring set from beads using a hook, a task which is taxing and requires a steady hand and mind, even more challenging for Lillian who is partially sighted. It was difficult but as a fellow member helped her patiently, she eventually managed to do it independently. When she finished creating the set it was a beautiful memory as she had given it her all and the end product looked ‘so pretty she couldn’t believe [she] had created them’. This experience gave her the drive and determination to come back and do more things. It was a catalyst in her growth as an individual. With the consistent encouragement from the Time Bank, she has been welcomed and her confidence has grown, which in turn has enabled her to use her new skills with her family and other areas of her life. She hopes that more people will be able to encounter Rushey Green Time Bank and experience the joy it has brought her.
"It made me very happy to attend the sessions as I was made very welcome and I felt confident in myself to do and make more stuff and believe in myself and trust myself that I am able to conquer anything if I put my mind to it’.