Timebank volunteers can spread community spirit online say Warwickshire council chiefs - The Leamington Observer

Timebank volunteers can spread community spirit online say Warwickshire council chiefs

Leamington Editorial 13th Mar, 2021   0

‘TIMEBANKING’ volunteers can still make a difference online says Warwickshire County Council.

So-called timebanks are a way for neighbours to exchange help or favours by offering up an hour of their time. For every hour given, the resident receives one hour back – or a time credit.

The co-ordinators of Time4Warwickshire, the council’s initiative which links residents with their local timebank, are spreading the message that people can still volunteer their time during lockdown by offering support on a video or phone call.

Examples of current timebankers’ online support include everything from virtual coffee mornings, to members doing walks on their own with a GoPro – or a head-mounted camera – and sharing the footage online with those shielding and unable to leave their homes. Other suggestions from the county council include online quiz, an exercise or yoga routine, digital photo editing or advice on using social media or apps which help people maintain social connections.

The county council is calling on communities to both create timebanks, and for residents to join those – six in the county so far – already up and running.

County councillor Heather Timms said: “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Warwickshire residents who have found themselves vulnerable and isolated without access to support from family, friends or neighbours, have been offered an incredible amount of help through the county’s voluntary groups and growing number of volunteers, in addition to direct help from Warwickshire County Council.

“With springtime finally here and so much hope around the corner, timebanking provides a brilliant opportunity to support your neighbours and help your community get better and stronger as we start to recover from the pandemic.

“Volunteers already make a huge contribution to our county and there are many ways in which we can support our friends, families, colleagues and communities, taking into account the ‘stay at home’ message, social distancing and shielding.

“Timebanking is a fantastic way of using your skills to help others, getting help for things you need and, most wonderfully of all, continuing to make a difference in your community.”

Other successful timebanking projects around the UK include online music and dance sessions, mock interviews, language learning, Lego challenge, poetry clubs, and online gaming.

Those interested in setting up a timebank can contact the Time4Warwickshire team’s Mike Spicer on 07825 938396 or search ‘Time4Warwickshire’ for information on Facebook.

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