Have a skill? Now it’s easier to share it with the whole community

Kiama MP Gareth Ward, who attended the launch of Timebanking at Kiama Council on Tuesday, said he was “constantly amazed by the skills people in Kiama have”.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward, who attended the launch of Timebanking at Kiama Council on Tuesday, said he was “constantly amazed by the skills people in Kiama have”.

Many of us have asked a neighbour to feed our cat when we are on holiday, and in return, you might collect their mail while they are away.

To make that simple exchange even easier and extend the opportunity to share skills, knowledge and interests across the community, Kiama Council has launched Timebanking.

Timebanking operates by members earning ‘time credits’ when they provide a service to another Timebank member, such as volunteering to cook, walk their dog or teaching them something new.

They ‘bank’ these time credits and then redeem them later on a service they or their family need, such as help with the shopping, driving to appointments, gardening, tutoring, swimming lessons, or some handy work around the home. 

Kiama Council community and cultural development officer Louise Croker said Timebanking was about creating social networks rather than just the one-on-one trade between two people.

“Timebanking uses time as a currency, so if I do an hour of volunteer work for someone, I get an hour of time credit,” she said.

“The more volunteering time you do, the more each hour is worth a credit.

It doesn’t matter who I am, it doesn’t matter what skills I have, it doesn’t matter if I have a degree or not, my hour of time is worth exactly the same as somebody else’s.

Louise Croker

People are able to trade any skill they have from lawn mowing to carpentry, babysitting to accounting.

“The wonderful thing about Timebanking is that my hour of time is equal to your hour of time,” Mrs Croker said.

“It doesn’t matter who I am, it doesn’t matter what skills I have, it doesn’t matter if I have a degree or not, my hour of time is worth exactly the same as somebody else’s.”

Wyong based Transition to Work participants Daniel recently helped out a fellow Timebanker by washing their car. 

Daniel assists in the Timebanking team with other services like weeding, gardening or simply spending time chatting with older members of the community. 

“I love the fact that when I help people, they will then help others and hopefully then everyone will be doing it,” Daniel said.

Daniel assists in the Timebanking team with other services like weeding, gardening or simply spending time chatting with older members of the community.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said he was “constantly amazed by the skills people in Kiama have”.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Kiama Council has taken on this initiative,” he said.

“The great thing about this program is that if you have that skill set and you want to keep active in that particular area, as a lot of people do post-retirement, you now have an opportunity to use those years of experience to give back, and it doesn’t need to be through traditional volunteering models.”

To find out more about Timebanking in Kiama visit www.https://timebanking.com.au/home/Kiama 

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