North Edinburgh Time Bank will be launched in song by the Time Bank’s very own choir at North Edinburgh Arts Centre this Thursday evening – and everyone’s invited!
Time banking is a scheme where people earn time credits for every hour they spend helping someone in their community. People sign up and offer whatever skill, knowledge and experience they have – from doing DIY to teaching guitar – and in return they get help for what they need from other members. The North Edinburgh Time Bank has been up and running since May 2012 and has 13 members to date.
Julie Smith, the time bank broker who co-ordinates the project explained: “It’s a simple idea which people really get into. We don’t all have cash, but we all do have time – and what we do with that time can be extremely valuable to others and our communities. Time Banking uses time as a means of exchange instead of money. So, for every hour you spend say, helping someone move house, you get the equivalent in time credits. Which you can then exchange for a favour from someone else – or donate to someone else who might need a hand. Timebanking says, look, we all need someone to do wee things for us at different times in our lives. And we all want to be useful and help other folk out. This scheme lets people be useful and puts them in touch with folk who can help them when needed.”
One of the first people to join was local mum Karma Lennon, who said: “It’s not always easy to get to know folk, especially if you’re new in the area. A time bank is a way of folk getting to know their neighbours – of trusting the people around you. I got help with my garden – we discovered a hawthorn tree growing in it which I didn’t know was there!”
Jan Moore is another timebank member, and also the volunteer administrative worker with North Edinburgh Time Bank. She says: “It’s really easy to feel useless because you’re not in a job that pays well, or you’re looking after people, or you’ve been ill yourself. You can feel you’ve got nothing to offer. Time Bank is brilliant because it clearly says everyone has something to offer. If you can offer company to someone for an hour, help someone fill in a form – be a good listener – we are all valuable to our communities. And we’ve formed a timebank choir to get the message out there in song – so come along to the launch and hear our anthem!”
How can you resist?
Thursday October 11
6pm – 8pm
North Edinburgh Arts Centre, 15a Pennywell Court Edinburgh
And as the great Sir Cliff Richard himself may just have sung: ‘Congratulations!’