Time banking is based on the fundamental principle that we are all assets and that every person has the capacity to be a contributor. It is a reciprocal service exchange that uses units of time as currency. It is simply about spending an hour doing something for somebody in your community. Members have equal status and no matter what type and skill of service they provide, an hour is an hour. Providing practical help, or teaching a skill, is just as valuable as befriending somebody who is housebound. Please check our website to see examples.
As participants start to help each other and get to know their neighbours, they build a sense of trust and start to feel that they are part of the neighbourhood and are thus no longer isolated. It creates a strong sense of belonging, safety and support. This is crucial for older people and anybody else who may feel isolated and perhaps is struggling for reasons of illness, loss of job, bereavement, or even being totally overwhelmed when becoming a parent and you are on your own.
Rushey Green Time Bank is based in a busy health centre in South London.
Rushey Green Time Bank has received four awards: the Let's do it award from the South London press and Barclays bank; the London Health Commission award for Outstanding achievements in partnership with the NHS - activities that bring communities together to work with NHS staff to improve health and well-being; the City of London Sustainable City Award for Access to goods and services for disadvantaged communities; and the Founders Award from Dr Edgar Cahn for pioneers in enlisting the community to co produce health and well being.