A TIMEBANK charity is looking to strengthen community self-reliance within West Cork and beyond after the restrictions of Covid-19 are lifted.
The hOur Timebank sees people provide services to each other voluntarily, by giving and receiving time. No money is exchanged; all services are recognised and everyone’s time is the same.
According to Steven Kelly, hOur Timebank trustee and treasurer the concept is not to displace community businesses, but rather to supplement with services that can be provided in a few hours by a skilled volunteer member.
‘The ongoing crisis during the suppression of the Covid-19 illness will have longer term impact. Once the immediate “peak” has passed, we will still need time to re-build our small businesses and trades. Support for the re-opening of shops and other business will be critical. At the same time, many of us will be out of work or have less hours as it will take time to regain momentum. Some of us will have depleted our savings during this time. We may not have ready cash for small jobs or assistance. Tasks around the household will have been put off,’ he said.
Types of tasks are quite diverse to include help with gardening or DIY repairs, training in crafts, software, or cooking; help with lifting or transport. Possibilities are endless.
Steven added: ‘Everyone in West Cork (and beyond) is eligible to join the network. There is no fee. No credit card details are requested. hOur Timebanks provides an alternative way to meet every day social and household care needs through the mutual exchange of time, skills and opportunities. Members can be as active or relaxed as they wish.’
An easy-to-use online website (or community hub) displays a bulletin board to highlight each member’s array of skills as a list of offers Likewise, members can add specific requests for assistance to be addressed to the wider community. These are displayed on the online bulletin board and shared periodically by email and social media. Participants ‘deposit’ time in the time bank by spending a few hours delivering a requested service or doing other useful activities in their community. They are then able to withdraw these ‘time credits’ from the time bank when they need help themselves. Everyone’s time is valued equally and everyone both gives to and benefits from the scheme. No matter what type of work is done, every person, every service, is equally valued.
Steven is encouraging people to consider joining the network at https://www.hour-timebank.ie/. For more information email [email protected]