Timebank South West is a Plymouth based charity with eight timebanking hubs across the city including Whitleigh, Ernesettle, Barne Barton, Honicknowle, Efford, Devonport, Stonehouse, and North Prospect.
Timebank South West has been in operation since 2011 focusing on bringing people and communities together to reduce social isolation and loneliness, enabling safe skill sharing and increasing participants sense of well-being through timebanking.
Timebanking is a reciprocal informal volunteering scheme where people help each other (like an extended family), so if someone helps a neighbour with their garden for an hour, they receive an hour back to ask for something they may want or need from any other timebanker.
People only offer what they want to offer, and they only do it when they want to do it. The only currency is time and all skills are equal, so if participants offer gardening, baking, walking a dog, companionship, I.T help, languages, crafting and so on, they all count the same, an hour for an hour. We organise safe skill swaps and hold weekly socials where people can get together and meet new people, in all our Timebank areas.
At the beginning of 2020 we were awarded National Lottery funding to set up a 12-month project called, ‘Plan It, Cook It, Share It’. The cooking project is based in Whitleigh and Barne Barton Timebanks.
The funding supports practical cooking sessions aimed at increasing participant’s skills and confidence to plan and cook healthy homemade meals on a budget that can be shared and handed down. The project uses mainly surplus food donations and basic larder ingredients to show what is possible with a bit of cooking acknowledge and experience. Every six weeks participants create a sociable evening meal to bring people in their community together to help reduce loneliness and social isolation. LiveWest housing association has provided match funding and in-kind support to help the sustainability of the project, offering free food hygiene training to participating residents who want to enhance their CVs.
It is hoped that the project will have a lasting positive impact on people’s health and well-being by taking part, increasing skills and confidence, and bringing people in the community together.
Plan It, Cook It, Share It (PICISI) is currently furloughed due to Covid-19 but it is hoped that as social distancing restrictions are relaxed the project will be able to re-start later this year.
Timebank works best when it’s in the heart of the community which is why we chose to base our office in Four Greens, a welcoming hub where people can pop-in for help and advice and find out how to get more involved in their community. We hold a weekly social every Wednesday, 10.00 – 12.30 at Four Greens which is open to all.
Contact us for further information about timebanking, getting involved, and our PICISI project.