Stevenage Time Bank launches
- Credit: Archant
A COMMUNITY project offering people the chance to share their skills to help out others has been officially launched in Stevenage.
North Herts CVS Time Bank officially opened its Stevenage arm last Saturday, with a free event at North Hertfordshire College.
It gave people the chance to learn how the time bank operates and how it will benefit the community.
Deputy director Hannah Gray said: “I’ve always wanted to volunteer to help a local charity or voluntary group but with working full time, doing up my house and a busy social life, I’ve struggled to see where I could fit this into my busy schedule.
“When I heard about the time bank, I knew this was the answer as it offered me a way to give my time to help others in a more flexible way – giving my hours when I can fit them in.”
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People give up their team to help those in need and then ‘bank’ their hours which can later be exchanged for support, help, or learning a new skill.
Clare Swarbrick, who chairs the Royston Time Bank, also spoke to attendees.
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She said: “Even with a busy job and children to look after, I’ve managed to get involved with local projects and really seen the benefit to my community.
“The skills and time that you can share and receive through the time bank are so wonderfully varied. It can be anything from helping someone to learn French or play guitar to gardening, simple DIY, assisting someone with their weekly shop or even changing a light bulb.
“It’s all about supporting those in our local neighbourhoods, exchanging skills and creating stronger, safer communities.”
After hearing from Hannah and Clare, people took part in a speed skills share, where they partnered with each other to work out what skills they had.
Many signed up to become members of the time bank as a result.
It impressed Stevenage mayor John Lloyd, who attended the launch.
“The most fantastic thing is that you’re asking people to give the gift of time, which is the one thing they can give for free,” he said.
The Stevenage Time Bank is also looking to recruit members to be part of its garden team, which helps people who are unable to look after their own garden due to health reasons.
If you are interested in this or any other aspect of the time bank, visit www.nhcvs.org.uk/timebank or call 01462 689405.