The Guildford Time Bank is a new community initiative that’s all about people giving their time to help each other.
Time-banking is a way that people can share their skills and make friends. Time is exchanged and not money and everyone’s time is equal – an hour for an hour.
Someone may offer to mow someone’s lawn, or undertake a spot of home decorating or maintenance and by doing so earn credits by way of hours. In turn, someone else may offer their time to them, perhaps offering computer skills or teaching them to play a musical instrument.
A group of volunteers have come together and are setting up the Guildford Time Bank and further volunteers are more than welcome to join them.
Nationally, the idea has been in operation for some time and there is an umbrella organisation called Timebanking UK that offers help and support to new groups such as the Guildford one.
Its regional representative for this area has been liaising with interested parties including Surrey County Council, the Diocese of Guildford and Guildford Borough Council who are keen to see the project get off the ground.
Voluntary Action South West Surrey is one of those organisations and its staff member Ian Ross has recruited the initial volunteers, giving them important advice and support so that they can operate and grow the project themselves.
Ian said: “It is a Guildford borough-wide project and will be led by the community. I have been helping and training the volunteers who will be running the Guildford Time Bank.
“It is ideal for those who are retired or work part-time and are looking to get involved with their local community.”
And simply signing up as a Time Bank member (if you do not want to be one of the volunteers helping to run it) is ideal for people who are working and who can offer an hour here or an hour there rather than a larger chunk of their time each week.
The Guildford Time Bank works on an on-line system that is easy to use and where those who sign up to give their time and services list what they have to offer. People make contact with each other via email and arrange their services accordingly. They can also check how many hours of credit they have built up.
Ian adds: “I have been showing our volunteers how this system works and there is a members’ handbook covering all you need to know. We have also been talking about how they will promote time-banking to the wider community. They will soon be out and about at local events and places recruiting Time Bank members.
“But don’t worry if you have time and skills to offer but are not on the internet. The admin team will be able to arrange your time-banking sessions for you and will give you all the support you need.”
There is also a Facebook page. Go to: https://m.facebook.com/GuildfordTB/