By Sarah Canty
A WEST Cork man plans to set up a time bank in Mizen so locals can trade products and skills without money.
Jasper Hampton of Clonakilty has set up the Ballydehob Favour Exchange website based on the popular ‘timebanking’ movement that has grown across the UK and Ireland in recent years.
‘It’s been a huge success over in the UK with 30,000 members and 3,500 organisations who are also joined up spread across around 300 different timebanks,’ explains Hampton.
The website, or timebank, is a database that keeps track of members’ skills and the hours they have donated to other members’ projects. There is no need to directly swap with one person. Work given to one person earns time credit to receive work from another. Everyone’s time is equal and no money is involved. Any practical work, professional service or skill can be exchanged.
Hampton says the software for Ballydehob is set up and ready to go. All people need to do to get started is to sign up via the website and start posting offers and requests. A weekly email will go out to members listing any new offers and/or requests that have been posted to the site.
There will be an information evening organised in Ballydehob in the coming weeks for those interested in learning more where Hampton, as a member of the thriving Clonakilty Favour Exchange established in 2012, will explain how the website works and the benefits that the system can bring to a community. The Clonakilty exchange currently has 80 active members with 30 inactive.
Hampton became a member of the Favour Exchange after moving to the town from Bantry three years ago. ‘I didn’t know anyone at all and could have felt quite isolated living in a rural location as a single full-time Dad who doesn’t get out much. Through the Clonakilty Favour Exchange it was like there was an inbuilt community of people . . . I received much-needed support and got to know people which was really helpful.’
To keep up with the progress of the new Ballydehob Favour Exchange, see Ballydehob Favour Exchange on Facebook.