Timebanking is a system where a network of people agree to exchange skills and resources, using time as the currency. When a member gives one hour of service to another member they receive one time-credit which is stored in the timebank. Members spend time-credits on skills and resources which are offered by other members.
Every Timebank is unique and is shaped by the aspirations and decisions of those involved. Member can be individuals, community groups or different types of organisations.
Benefits of timebanking
Timebanks are generally community-led networks that enable people, groups, businesses and organisations to exchange their time, skills and resources. Timebanks have been shown to strengthen community resilience by creating trusted connections within a community. This happens when people:
- get to know their community and make friends.
- become part of a connected and supportive community.
- share talents and offer skills.
- get to know their neighbours.
- participate in local activities.
- gain confidence through being valued for the skills they currently have.
The timebanking network
There are about 30 timebanks in New Zealand, from Kaitaia to Dunedin, which are part of a world-wide network.
Most timebanks follow the principles outlined in the book No More Throw Away People, The Co-production Imperative by Edgar Cahn. Timebanks values skills that are often taken for granted - especially non-market economy skills such as parenting, basic home help and caring, friendliness and the ability to listen.