Developing Your Vision
So you would like to set up a Time Bank in your street; in your neighbourhood; in your area. There is no one model for Time Banks. A group of neighbours or friends can set up a small Time Bank based from someone’s kitchen table, with time credits being recorded in a notebook. In Edinburgh, the driving force behind most Time Banks have been groups of local voluntary organisations who see a Time Banks as a tool for building social capital; communities of strength, support and trust. These organisations a steering group or action group to develop a Time Bank, members of the group have shared skills, expertise and resources. You can find contact details for Time Banks in Edinburgh on our website. You might also like to have an initial chat with the Time Banking Development Worker, based at the Volunteer Centre Edinburgh Tel: 0131 2250630
Here are some questions to ask yourselves: -
- Why do we want a Time Bank?
- Who do we think will join our Time Bank?
- What kind of skills/help do we think our Time Bank could offer?
- How will we make it successful?
- Where will we base it?
- How will we resource/fund our Time Bank?
- Who will be our Time Broker?
- How will we let people know about our Time Bank?
Getting round the table and answering these questions will help develop a plan or vision for setting up your Time Bank. Now you have your vision it’s time to test it. Co-design will be really important. Who do you need to help you develop your ideas further? Who is already sitting at the table and who should be in the empty chairs? The more help you can get at this stage the better and if you can manage to get others excited now you will be much more likely to get them involved later when you need some help to run, manage and maintain the Time Bank.
What else is going on in your area? Are there other Time Banks you can visit. Read about other Time Banks in Edinburgh for details. Who else is interested in your area?
We think a great way to begin to get active is through asset mapping. By using the group you have brought together to help you with your thinking you can build an asset map for your area. An asset map is a great way of identifying and understanding the resources you have within your community. An individual has abilities and capacities and organizations too have many resources that you might be able to access. The mapping will not only help you to see what you have but will start the process of building connections, relationships and networks between people and people, people and organizations and organizations and organizations. Asset mapping starts with what you have, helps you to build the capacity and problem solving skills within your community and potentially leads to a stronger local sense of determination. Asset mapping at this stage will be a great way of getting other people and organizations excited by your ideas.
So now you have a team and they have come together to achieve a common purpose and agree to a vision, you know what resources you have in your area and will already have an idea of how to start sharing them………Now it is time to get going with the actual exchanges. It is during this stage that you can begin to think about whether you might need a specified coordinator for the Time Bank – a ‘broker’ – or not. Typically the broker role is important if your Time Bank will be working with vulnerable people. If so the Time Broker can perform an important role by organising or supervising exchanges.
Timebanking UK has software that can help you organise and keep track of exchanges, advice and guidance on insurance, and funding. But there is no prescription on what works – the energy and vitality of those involved is the key to building momentum.
When an individual has contacted their local Time Bank, the Timebroker should aim to get back to them within seven days to arrange a time to meet up. At this meeting the Time Broker will:
- tell them more about Time Banks
- answer any questions
- help complete the registration form (see example form) which gives an indication of skills the new member can offer and what they might like other people to do for them.
- get the contact details of two referees who they can contact -one of these should be someone who knows them well personally (not a family member) and the other someone who knows you in a professional capacity. For example employer, doctor, volunteer manager.
- Supply the member with the Members’ Handbook if available (simple handbook)
Once we’ve followed up the references, they can start exchanging jobs.