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A timebank is a way of exchanging abilities, skills, talents and experiences within a community. Based on a foundation of reciprocity, members exchange services. This promotes an active and connected community. By both giving and receiving, we appreciate the value of every member and also experience the value of our own contributions. Instead of separating our community into those who need and those who provide, we recognise that we all have needs as well as gifts to share. Members earn time credits by doing services for other members. One hour equals one time credit. An online website account keeps track of your time credits which you can then exchange for services offered by other members of the timebank. You do not have to trade with the same person who has traded with you. You can trade with whoever you like and can always refuse a trade if you don’t feel comfortable or are too busy. Time credits aren’t meant to replace standard dollars. They are designed to counterbalance the market economy where almost everything is measured in money terms. The timebank assumes that everyone is an asset to the community and has skills that are valued equally. Through facilitating the exchange of services, timebanks build relationships of trust and reciprocity.
The advantages of a timebank
Get to know the people who live around you: our neighbourhoods Support and care for one another Promote equality and social justice Re-value skills currently undervalued in our society Learn new skills and share skills with others Regenerate and build community
Community Chest is a pool of donated time credits to be used by those members who
are unable to earn time credits due to illness or disability. Time credits can also be donated by timebank members who do not wish to accumulate extra time credits to their own account.
Our website is www.kapititimebank.org.nz We have a public Facebook page at facebook.com/kapititimebank
We are all assets - Every human being can be a builder and a contributor. In the timebank everyone’s time is valued equally. Redefine work - The kind of work that builds society needs to be honoured, recorded and rewarded – building strong families, revitalising neighbourhoods and community, making democracy work, advancing social justice, rebuilding social values, making the planet more sustainable. Reciprocity - Timebanks are based on giving and receiving. We often ask, can I help you and very rarely ask can you help me? Timebanks focus on helping each other. Networks are stronger than individuals. Social capital – We are valuing labour that the market doesn’t value. Such as caring for elderly, child-minding, doing errands, being good company! Respect - Respecting people and the role they play in our community.
JOINING THE TIMEBANK - The first step to joining the timebank is to meet with the coordinator who will go through the orientation process. Together you will discuss the logistics of timebanking and the safety systems in place. SAFETY REGULATIONS - We ask that you treat a timebank exchange as you would answer an ad out of the newspaper. Common sense and putting your safety first is paramount. If there is any time you feel uncomfortable you can opt out of a trade and you can notify the coordinator and/or committee. The committee members are listed on the homepage and the coordinator can be reached at email@example.com
There is a suggested $10 membership fee per person/family joining. This helps us with hard dollar costs and in hosting our website. You can pay by cash to the coordinator or online payment at Kiwibank. Account Number: 38-9011-0811571-00. (Please put your timebank username in the ‘reference’ field.)
How does timebanking work?
Once a member we encourage you to request a service as soon as possible. If everyone waits to be asked, no exchanges will happen. Similarly, if everyone tries to maintain a positive time credit balance, the level of timebank activity will be low - for the time bank to function some of us will have positive balances and others negative balances.
Making an exchange:
STEP ONE: Offer or request a service. It helps to put your phone number in the offer or request and add some times best for you for service to be done. Our offers and/or requests will go out in the fortnightly newsletter. If you have any problems with accessing a computer or the website please contact the coordinator. STEP TWO: Co-ordinate the exchanges and answer any emails sent to you through the website. Respond to offers and requests by contacting the members directly: - Arrange a date and time for the trade, discuss any materials or costs necessary for the trade and make sure you exchange names and numbers (if you haven’t already). STEP THREE: Complete the trade and log your hours online under “record an exchange”. It is usually the responsibility of the receiver of the service to log the hours after the exchange. We ask that you log exchanges within a week of the exchange. We encourage you to do this independently online, however if you do not have online access you can contact the coordinator.
Earning Time Credits
One hour of service equals one time credit. For fractions of hours you round up to the nearest quarter hour. (For example- 1 hour and 27 minutes of service equals 1.5 time credits. There is a one hour minimum for a trade.
Working in teams or groups
Some members will prefer to work in teams or pairs. Member profiles will simply note “This member wants to work in a team or pair.” We can assist you to identify a team or partner if you prefer. This is already happening with a gardening group on the timebank.
Problem Resolution Procedure
Whenever possible, the provider and receiver should try to work out an agreement among them if a problem arises during a service exchange. However, if this is not possible, you can contact the coordinator or a committee member.
Frequently Asked Questions
What services can I buy with, and what can I do to earn time credits?
The possibilities are endless! From walking a neighbour's dog, oiling a squeaky door, raking leaves, stuffing envelopes, braiding hair, cooking meals, giving music lessons, running errands to lending professional advice, everyone in a timebank has a valuable skill to share.
What if I don't have time?
Many of the services people exchange in a timebank are the types of things they are already doing every day. For example, those of us who have children are already cooking for them, driving them to activities, and helping them with their schoolwork—among other things. Cooking an extra portion of food for someone down the street who is housebound or picking up your neighbour's kids on the way to soccer practice doesn’t add work to your day.
Can we join as a couple or as a family or community group or school?
Yes you can. The choice is yours. You can join as a couple, family, school or organisation.
What if I trade with more than one person at a time?
If you do a trade that involves multiple people each member who attends will pay 1 time credit and you will receive credits for any preparation time and the 1 hour spent teaching. The excess credits earned go into the Community Chest. For example, if you organize a dance class for 10 members that takes 2 hours preparation and 1 hour teaching, you will receive 3 time credits and the extra 7 will go into the Community Chest.
Can goods / tools be traded?
Wouldn't it be great to have a Community Tool Box? You can with timebanking. For any trades associated with loaning goods and tools you can claim one hour, regardless of the time the tool is loaned out for. If there are any expenses involved in the loaning of goods or tools these should be agreed between the members before the trade takes place.
What do I do when I leave the timebank?
Before you leave the timebank or the area, we ask that your timebank balance is back to zero. We encourage our members to feel comfortable about a small negative balance - we like to think of this as your small commitment to the health of the community as whole. Such commitments encourage positive activity within our community and are a good thing. However a commitment is best when it is left fulfilled, and we ask that you have your balance back to zero before you leave.
How can you help timebank?
Be active traders! As the Timebank increases its memberships, there is an increase in the pool of skills available to its members. Please tell organisations you are involved with, your friends, family and colleagues about the Kapiti Timebank as it supports the overall membership growing and an abundance of services being more widely available to the community. If you would like to help the timebank in other ways, feel free to contact the coordinator.
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