The concept of time-banking is linked to that of social prescribing, which in turn is one of the new approaches to reducing mental distress and improving wellbeing.
“It can be dizzying to navigate through the variety of local organisations, projects and schemes that might work for people. One organisation you might come across or that can help is a locally-based time bank.
What is a time bank?
Anyone can join a time bank, whether they’re in or out of work, disabled or able-bodied, old or young. Timebanking is a way of sharing time and skills without money; members can earn credits by baking cakes, playing cards, chatting, sharing gardening expertise, teaching people how to do origami – there are as many options as there are individuals!
A social prescribing project
Alison and Kemi run Paxton Green Time Bank, which was formed by a GP who wanted to use social prescribing to cut the rate of visits to the medical practice because patients were feeling isolated and low. There are two Link Workers operating within the CCG, working with the time bank and other local partners.
Kemi explains, ‘We’re a health and wellbeing time bank and our demographic is predominately vulnerable individuals.
‘Not all our members have access to the internet; some don’t engage with any technology and have no interest in doing so.
‘We use our resources to ensure all our members can engage in timebanking. It’s really important that the coordinator communicates with all our members, and we have skills that help new members engage in timebanking, which helps people build relationships in their community.’ …”
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