Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
It’s Time to get to know you
A SCHEME designed to tackle social isolation in Penhill will begin whirring into action over the coming weeks as residents looking to help each other begin to be paired off.
Time banking involves those signed up to the scheme depositing a unit of their own time in exchange for the time of others.
These units of time amount to skills or help with certain tasks, such as an hour of gardening, cooking or ironing, which can be offered with a guarantee the time will be paid back in kind.
Time banks have been in existence since 1998 in the UK, though this is the first scheme of its kind in Swindon.
It is being delivered through Voluntary Action Swindon and Volunteer Centre Swindon, who are backed with funding from Swindon Council.
The council opted for Penhill and Taw Hill as sites in the town for the scheme to be piloted.
Penhill was chosen because its social and economic deprivation according to Jane Butler, development manager at Voluntary Action Swindon.
The time banks were rolled out to residents on July 15 and 14 people have thus far signed up in Penhill.
Ms Butler said gardening, ironing, sewing, shopping and a coffee morning have been offered up as deposits.
“They are now going through the motions of matching people up and could well have their first time exchange in the region in the next week,” she said.
“The main aim is countering social isolation and building a community. It’s about making that low level of care happen that can be the difference between people integrating within their community or slipping into a government system they become dependent on.
“It’s all about improving the quality of life for people.”
There are a number of successful, long-running time banks in Gloucestershire, which Ms Butler and her colleagues have referred to for advice on what to expect with their own project and time scales on when they can expect the community to run it themselves.
Six months is the timescale she and her fellow volunteers are looking at before the scheme really builds momentum. They see the banks as a long-term project, and urged more people to come forward if they feel they have something to offer, whatever their age.
“We want people to keep coming forward and offering to do things,” she said.
“If you have already signed up, let us know what you can do to help others.”
There will be coffee mornings at John Moulton Hall in Penhill Drive on September 9 and 23, and October 7 and 21, if you wish to become a time banker or find out some more information on the scheme.
Alternatively, you can, contact Carol or Lou on 01793 420557 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or find Timebank Swindon on Facebook, www.facebook.com
Comments are closed on this article.