Timebanking building community one hour at a time
What is timebanking?
Timebanking is a system encouraging communities to exchange skills and resources without the use of money. Timebanking uses time as the currency where 1 hour equals one time-credit. So people earn and spend time-credits exchanging skills and resources, where a person gives an hour of time and then can get an hour from another person. These exchanges are recorded in the timebank.
Timebanks generally offer membership to individuals, community groups and different types of organisations. Everybody’s time is equally valued. Timebanking can be scaled and adapted to suit many interests and groups.
Benefits of timebanking
Timebanking helps builds well-being in communities through the connections developed while making exchanges.
- helps build new friendships, confidence and skills, and often draws in people who can be hard to reach.
- is a way to reward things which we value, like helping others or volunteering in the community
- is a way for people get support from their community
- recognises we all have things to offer which helps create healthly communities
Timebanking in Auckland
Currently there are two timebanks in Auckland. One is in Sandringham and operates out of Gribblehirst hub and the second in Māngere and operates out of ME Family Services. MEFS is a community focused centre supporting schools, community groups and locals in a range of ways. .
Join an Auckland Timebank
Timebank Auckland is taking on members. First you join a local timebank and then participate in both local and Aucklandwide timebanking experiences. Its lots of fun. There are currently two Timebanks in Auckland one based in Sandringham and one in Māngere.
Videos about timebanking
Quick video about how a timebank works.
Dane County Timebank is doing impressive things for it’s community including having a youth justice system.
Tedx Talk about timebanking
The Raglan timebank created a movie sharing why they love it.
Timebanking is now recognised as an effective way to engage people and build resilience in communities. The father Edgar Chan aged 82 is being interviewed by Forbes Magazine.
The UK Timebanking CEO Sarah Bird Tedx Talk is wanting to introduce time banking to the NHS.
The Colchester Timebank: Called by one member a “Virtuous circle” where simple tasks get done for members who find these tasks difficult. This Timebank is focused on expanding to younger members.
What is Timebanking: A quick explanation.
Media coverage of the Vermont Timebank. This Timebank has been going for nearly 20 years. One member had her first facial using Timebank credits.
Dane County Timebank operates a restortive Justice Timebank for young people.
Frequently asked questions
Why would I join a Timebank?
When you are a Timebank member you can
- Get support for a project
- Connect with people while sharing skills, talents and knowledge
- Meet new people outside your usual circles of friends or colleagues
- Become a part of a mutually supportive network of people
- Learn new skills
What is a Timebank?
A Timebank is a reciprocity-based work trading system in which hours are the currency. With time banking, a person with one skill set can bank and trade hours of work for equal hours of work in another skill set instead of paying or being paid for services.
Why is everybody's time valued the same?
Because we all have the same 24 hours in the day and a better world is created when we stop comparing ourselves to each other. We are all of equal value!
How many time banks in New Zealand
There are about 30 time banks in New Zealand.
What if I don’t have much time to give?
Timebanking is flexible and you only offer your time when you want to offer it. Unlike formal volunteering you do not need to commit to regular hours or days. If you are able to offer an odd hour now and again that is fine. Timebanking is reciprocal, if you give an hour you get an hour back to ask for something you want or need – so the more you put in the more you get out. Timebanking works around you not the other way around – you tell us when you are available.
I like the idea of time banking but I don't have many skills. How can I join?
There are lots of different things you can do. From pet sitting to driving people to hospital. come and have a conversation and learn how you will be valued within a time bank no matter what you can do.
I want to join a timebank but there isn't one in my area?
Unfortunately there are not time banks in all regions. You can of course start one and you will be supported by timebanking.nz and it promises to be a rewarding labour of love!
What if I don't want anything back?
We encourage all Timebank members to ask for something back otherwise it might prevent someone else from giving their time and skills. Timebanking works best when people are giving and receiving. If, however you don’t want anything back you can donate your credit hours to another member, community group or a family member.
Isn’t it just the same as volunteering?
Not entirely. It is kind of reciprocal informal volunteering, where each person has hours spent helping is not just recorded but these hours become a way to ask for help in the future. This changes the nature of the exchange as the recipient of the service can then help another person or group in the future. Timebanking can create a more empowering model than the more usual way we volunteer.
Following the core values of timebanking helps create kinder, more connected and resilient communities
Most timebanks follow the book “No More Throw Away People – The Co-production Imperative” by Edgar Cahn. His book describes how a system of exchanging time, where everyone’s time is equal, fulfills our social needs in a way not currently met by our monetary system.
People are assets. Engage and work with the skills currently available.
Redefine work. Work involves being engaged in physical or mental activity in order to be helpful or achieve a result. Societal structures currently only call paid work, "work". This omits essential unpaid work.
Reciprocity. Helping that works as a two-way street empowers everyone involved – the receiver as well as the giver. Paying it forward ensures that, together, we help each other build the world we all will live in.
Social capital. It is our relationships within society that makes it function effectively.
Respect. Respect where a person is currently at, not where you think they should be at.
From Dane County Timebank, Madison Wisconson:
Research by Henwood Trust examining how to help troubled youth
https://www.lawfoundation.org.nz/?p=8735 and the research document http://iwichairs.maori.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/RESEARCH-Rangatahi-Maori-and-Youth-Justice-Oranga-Rangatahi.pdf
From New Zealand
Emma McGuirk did her phd on timebanking and much of her writing is found here .
A research report collates all the work the Lyttelton time bank did to help after the earthquakes.
After the Christchurch Earthquake Lyttelton Timebank well positioned to help in an emergency
Timebanking Youth Court: A story in the US https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2016/10/24/time-bank-youth-court-could-divert-teens-in-trouble-near-cherokee
Hexitime A UK timebank designed to let people share skills and knowledge at work
Would you like to join a Timebanking workshop ?
There are lots of types of timebanks and the focus of any timebank reflects the members interests. For example some have an environmental focus or a family focus. In the workshop we will share about how timebanks connects communities and help get things done!