A new project is being piloted in Leicestershire and adult social care, community and health organisations are being sought to sign up to this project to share their skills, assets and knowledge.
A new project is being piloted in Leicestershire and adult social care, community and health organisations are being sought to sign up to this project to share their skills, assets and knowledge. The project, known as a Timebank, is a way of organisations and individuals sharing the skills and assets that they have at their disposal, with no cost to either party.
What is Timebanking?
Timebanking is a means of exchange used to organise people and organisations around a purpose, where time is the principal currency. For every hour participants ‘deposit' in a Timebank, perhaps by giving practical help and support to others, they are able to 'withdraw' equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need. In each case the participant decides what they can offer. Everyone's time is equal, so one hour of a person's time is equal to one hour of another person's time, irrespective of whatever is exchanged. 1 Hour = 1 Time Credit
How does it work?
The Timebank initially is aimed at organisations that are operating in adult social care, health and community areas. An organisation will 'offer up' the assets and skills that it is willing to share i.e. space, work related skills, knowledge, training etc. Another organisation will take advantage of the 'offer' and the exchange occurs. The organisation that 'provides' the asset or skill receives 'one time credit' which equals 'one hour'. The organisation that receives it spends a 'Timecredit'. Organisations can also put forward to the Timebank the things that it requires. Again this could be anything, perhaps some advice, space, equipment. This request will be put out to the community of time bankers and hopefully someone will be able to assist, and in doing so gain a 'Timecredit' to spend on things that they may require in the future. These types of exchanges create a community where multiple transactions occur in many different settings.
What is the benefit?
By using a Timebank, organisations can access things that may have a cost in the normal economy, without spending money. They can further both their business aims and those of the people that are using services. They can also build up new relationships and partnerships that can go off into multiple directions.
Timebanking enables co-production. Co-production assumes that everybody has something to offer, including the things that lie in abundance such as caring, learning, imparting values, sharing, socialising, raising children, being a good neighbour, helping others -all contributions that can be made by every human being. In short there is capacity all around us and Timebanking enables us to utilise this by recognising that we all have something to offer.
If you would like to sign up for the 'Timebank' or would like to arrange a meeting to discuss the benefits further, contact James O'Flynn in Leicestershire County Council's, Market Development Team.
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