Timebanking is catching on around New Zealand and around Christchurch. What is it? Well it is a kind of barter system but it is one that helps people get to know their community and the skills available within it. As such it is also a way to build community.
In timebanking, you register and then you can then advertise your services – and these might include anything from cleaning, gardening, woodworking, handyman skills, fixing electronic stuff, sewing, mending clothes, cooking, helping others with their computer, babysitting, driving someone somewhere, or anything you can think of! You can also advertise for someone with skills.
The beauty of a timebank is you might garden for Bob but then you might not need Bob’s skills in return. Instead, you can use the skills of Felicity who might build you a bookshelf. Bob might then deliver leaflets for a community group (yes community groups can join the time bank too!) and Felicity might get someone to help her with her computer. This broad marketplace makes easy to swap skills across the community.
People can accrue time or they can gift some of their time to a community group of their choice or to the community chest. The community chest might be used to help out people who need assistance but who may not be well enough (for example) to pay back the time.
At the Halswell community Project, we are starting to think about starting up a timebank. We see it as a long term project and are interested in talking and meeting with anyone who thinks this might be a good idea and who might be prepared to start trying this out in Halswell. We’d like to start small and try things out so we can iron out the kinks before we build into something big.
What do you think about this? Is it of interest? Comment below or get in touch with us through our website at www.halswellcommunity.net.nz.