Welcome to Selwyn Timebank
Timebanking in a nutshell…
Timebanks trade in ‘time’ credits rather than money. Timebank members can request help for a specific job and then pay for that help with time credits. Timebanks do not need direct trades to work because time credits earned are put in a timebank account to be spent when needed.
Working bees to get big jobs done are a great way of harnessing the energy of a timebank and provide an opportunity for people to meet. Organisations and schools can also be Timebank members and can pay their volunteers with credits.
Find out more about timebanking here
Why a timebank?
Timebanks recognize that all members of a community have skills to contribute, and that the overall community is strengthened when neighbours help one another.
In fast-growing communities, such as many of the towns in the Selwyn district, newcomers may not easily meet other residents. For established residents traditional networks may break down as grown up children settle elsewhere and neighbours commute into town to work. The Selwyn timebank provides a new way of forming networks and meeting other people in the community.
In Lyttelton after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes the timebank played an essential communication and resource role and became an essential part of the local civil defence.
A brief history of timebanking
Timebanking was invented in the USA in the early 1980s by Edgar S Cahn. The first Timebank in Aotearoa was the Lyttelton Timebank, established in 2005. Timebanks are popular in the UK, USA and throughout Europe. They are gaining popularity in Aotearoa and currently there are around 30 Timebanks in New Zealand, from Kaitaia to Gore.
The five core values:
Timebanks operate to facilitate exchanges that honour five core values:-
We are all assets – every human being has something to contribute;
Redefining work – rewarding the real work in our society by creating a currency which pays people for helping each other and creating better places to live;
Reciprocity – giving and receiving are basic human needs which help to build relationships and trust with others;
Social Networks – building people’s social capital is very improtant, belonging to a social network gives our lives more meaning;
Respect – encouraging people to respect others in their community.
Isn’t timebanking like volunteering?
Not entirely. It’s more like a pay it forward system, although a person’s time spent helping others is recorded, and it becomes a way for them to ask for some help in the future. The person who received the help can then also ‘spend’ their time by helping someone else later on. It’s a more balanced way of volunteering and helping in the community.
What can I offer?
What you can offer is limited only to your imagination.
Sometimes people find it difficult to work out what skills to offer as a Timebank member. You can offer any skill except what you do for your taxable income. We often don’t realise how valuable our other skills are. That means things that we are good at, things we enjoy, hobbies or talents. Be creative!
Sometimes people feel they have no spare time. But if we do the things we like, for instance sewing or cooking, and get another member to do the things we don’t enjoy so much, for example gardening, we find the time we do have is spent more enjoyably and we are also helping others in our community.
Some of the skills being traded by Timebank members:
Cooking, sewing, gardening, child minding, dog walking, odd jobs, card making, knitting, painting, working bees, wood stacking, computer help, pruning, music lessons, marketing advice, basic accounting help, listening, spread sheeting, puppetry, preserving, nurse aiding, rides for shopping and appointments, home help, photography, meditation, felting, needlework lessons, graphic design, cleaning, help during illness, window washing, craft work, building, use of trailer, parenting help and resources, computer tutoring, motherhood support, Japanese, proof reading, bicycle maintenance, yoga, soap making, ESOL tutoring, companionship, art lessons and much more!
How do time credits work?
One hour = one hour. You spend one hour of your time doing something you enjoy doing for someone else, and you gain one time credit. You can then spend this on having something done for you. Time credits do not expire. They are completely transferable to any other member or organisation on the Selwyn Timebank.
Time can also be put through in increments – quarter (15 minutes), half (30 minutes) or three quarters (45 minutes).
You can agree the amount of time to put through with the person you are trading with. It’s always good to do this before the exchange is done.
Can produce/goods/tools/resources be traded?
Absolutely! It’s always good to mutually agree on your exchange, taking into consideration current food/living costs and how long you might loan a tool/resource. Talk to your timebank coordinator to get an idea of what you could do with a credit exchange.
But what if I don’t have any time credits? Or I have negative time credits?
Timebanking is not about balancing the books. It is about trading skills in the community and reciprocity. You can still trade if you do not have any time credits. In fact, for the system to work properly, most traders will move in and out of debit at some point. It’s OK to be in the negative – see it as a promise to give in the future.
What about tax?
In other countries timebank activities are tax exempt. In Aotearoa New Zealand the current advice from the IRD is that timebankers should not trade the service they earn their main income from. For example, if you earn your main income as a chef you may not want to offer cooking as your service. However, you could offer cooking classes as this is not what you earn your income from. If you are a retired piano tuner you could offer piano tuning as a service because you no longer earn your income from this.
Can members be compensated for expenses?
Yes, Timebanking is all about sharing time and this is what you are banking i.e. TIME. Sometimes there may be a monetary cost involved.
Transportation – you are providing transport, perhaps to the airport, a medical appointment or grocery shopping. There will be a fuel expense.
Baking / Cooking – you are baking / cooking for a member. There will be an ingredients expense.
Massage – you are giving someone a massage. There may be expenses involved in oils etc.
For trades where there are expenses involved we encourage you to discuss and agree these with the member you are trading with, PRIOR to the trade happening.
What if I trade with more than one person at a time?
I spent one hour teaching six people how to knit. Do I get six hours time credits?
No you don’t. You have only given one hour of your time, therefore you can only claim one hour. The remaining five hours go into the Community Treasure Chest, which is a ‘storage’ account used for members (individual and group) who may need more credits (at the discretion of the coordinator).
We like to encourage members to ‘teach’ skills to others, whether it be one to one, or in a small group. However 1 hour always equals 1 credit.
Neighbourhoods in Selwyn
We realise that the Selwyn District is large and has many unique communities within it. While this Timebank aims to serve the whole of the Selwyn District we acknowledge that most people would rather trade within their own community. As a Selwyn Timebank member you can search within your own neighbourhood (for example, Tai Tapu, Lincoln or Southbridge) or search across the whole district. There is also an events page for each active neighbourhood so that you can share relevant information within your community.
Lincoln Envirotown Trust
The Selwyn Timebank is a Lincoln Envirotown initiative. It is being supported by the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS). For more information about Lincoln Envirotown and what they do, go to www.lincolnenvirotown.org.nz
How safe is Selwyn Timebank?
New members are asked to provide a character reference who will be emailed by the Timebank coordinator to ensure member’s safety and well being. This reference cannot be a family member, but it could be a work colleague, friend, neighbour or similar. Police checks can also be carried out if required.
What if a member is hurt or injured during a trade?
As part of the on-line registration process members must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Timebanking. One of these conditions is that the Selwyn Timebank “shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by information contained on this web site or any other Time Bank resources“.
How do I go about advertising what I can offer and what I need help with? And who records the credits?
We use an online system called Time & Talents. It is so easy to use! Once you have become a member with us, you will get login details for this. There are great YouTube tutorials to follow that show you how to do all of these things.
Either the giver or the recipient can log the credits – perhaps discuss this first to agree on who will do this. The coordinator is also here to help you with the system.
Can I have a look at some examples of offers and requests?
Yes! Here are a few examples of what members have posted:
Computer & Electronics: I have skills in fixing various computer issues. Explain what you need help with and I’ll see how I can help. I will also teach you some basics for your future use.
Arts, Craft & Music: Photography offered for those who would like a family photo taken.
Education & Language: I am able to proof read short documents.
Clothing: I am happy to do small sewing repair jobs as I do this as a hobby.
Gardening: Some advice required on landscaping a new garden. Seeking help who has good knowledge and experience with this.
Cooking: I would love some homemade baking for my family as I don’t get time to do this.
House & Garden: I would like someone to help and teach me to prune fruit trees – 4 small and 2 larger trees. Equipment provided.
Transport: Our family needs to get to the airport, has anyone got a larger car and would be willing to drive us there? Happy to provide a petrol voucher as well as credits.
Who coordinates Selwyn Timebank?
The current coordinator is Fiona Murray and you can reach her at email@example.com
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Want to find out more?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details. Or phone 03 423 0456. The coordinator will then get in touch with you. You’ll be invited along to a one hour long orientation session where you will learn more about our timebank and how to go about trading.
Can we join as a couple or family?
Yes you can. The choice is yours. You can join as a couple or family. It might be that later on you decide to have separate member accounts. For example, sometimes families join up on one member account, but then the children decide that they want their own account. Time credits are transferable throughout the system, so it is also a simple process to transfer some of the hours through as well, if you wish.
Interested in joining?
Click on this link here and you can begin the application process with us today!
Want to join our Facebook page?
Yes! Please join our Facebook page today!
We had a wonderful time together at our End of Year Christmas Dinner. Twenty-five adults and three children enjoyed a huge meal, thanks to our members bringing along delicious food to share together. What a feast we had! Ham, roast lamb, pavlova – all the typical ‘Christmas’ food. Our venue, Broadfield Community Centre, was a perfect place with an atmosphere of historical character. One member created several stunning bouquets for our table centres. After our main course, we played a present game involving dice and a lot of taking and giving! There was a great deal of laughter coming from each table, as people tried to guess what had been wrapped up. The game ended with some people having numerous gifts and others having none – as a timebank, we care for one another, so presents were shared out and everyone went home with something new in their hands. What a great night we had celebrating Christmas early. All are welcome to come along to our social events!
Our last coffee get together for 2023 will be on Tuesday 5th December at 10:30 in West Melton. All are very welcome! For more details or to RSVP email email@example.com.