Timber Wharf Time Bank is a skills exchange network based in Hackney, East London. It is a way for local people to help each other, build relationships and be recognised for the help that they give.
For every hour’s help a member gives another (e.g. Spanish lesson, guttering mending, web design) they receive one time credit which they can then spend on receiving help from another member (leg waxing, bike fixing, horrible internet connection problem solving). There are also organisations who have joined our special organisation time bank, Hackney Shares. They put in their own resources in return for help or resources from other members. This means we are able to offer theatre, cinema tickets and other useful and fun stuff as part of the time bank.
All credits are logged through our site on a database.
Here’s an example
- Josie helps Matt design some leaflets for 2 hours
- Matt helps Josh clear his loft out for 1 hour
- Josh helps Josie weed her garden for 1 hour
- Josie has 1 credit left in the bank and spends it on a 1 hour dance class.
No money changes hands at any point – and it doesn’t affect anyone receiving benefits.
Most importantly, in the time bank an hour is worth an hour, no matter what the skill on offer. So if you give legal advice for one hour, that’s one time credit. If you help someone with their shopping for an hour, that’s also one time credit. 1 hour = 1 hour.
All this is great. It’s good to get stuff done. But it’s actually the secondary benefits that we’re most interested in. Time banking helps people make small, meaningful relationships in their communities, builds confidence and provides a way for people to learn new skills. Ultimately, it’s a way to build stronger communities, making them better for us all to live in. High hopes eh? Well, there’s nothing wrong with that.
We’re now able to share skills with lots of other time banks in London. So if, for example, you live in Hackney but work in Camden, you can earn your credits in Hackney running a bread baking class and spend them on a yoga classes in Camden.