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Woolmer Forest Timebank’s Unique Twist on Volunteering

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As National Volunteers’ Week draws to a close, Woolmer Forest Timebank is celebrating the unique twist on volunteering that Timebanking is bringing to Whitehill & Bordon. Timebank members help each other out and earn time credits in return. These can
be “spent” on themselves or donated to a community pot to help others. Timebanking enables people to give as well as to receive. “You need me” becomes “We need each other”.

For example Sandra does some shopping for Dennis and earns an hour’s time credit. She uses it to ask Ling to explain how to download apps on her Smart phone. The possibilities are endless. All the offers and requests available are promoted on the Timebank website, at Timebank meetings and in regular newsletters. In addition, there is a Timebank Co-ordinator who helps members recognise the skills they have,
find the support they need and follow procedures to keep everyone safe.

During the Covid-19 crisis Timebanking has really come into its own with members supporting each other with shopping, telephone calls and other practical help whilst in isolation. The Timebank has also started regular Zoom meetings to bring people together when so many are on their own at home. Using Timebank members’ skills, themed sessions have been organised – ranging from “Finding out About Drone
Photography” to taking part in a taster “Chair Pilates” session. All events have been opened up to anyone living in the Whitehill & Bordon area to reach as many people as possible. Event organisers earn time credits for running the sessions. Every weekend a Sunday Social takes place on Zoom offering friendship and a chat for all.

Members of the Timebank can help new attendees to use Zoom if it is new to them. New resident Jacqui Bruton said:

The meetings the Timebank has arranged during the Covid-19 crisis are so appreciated. As a newcomer to the area I was just beginning to find places to go and starting to make new friends and then suddenly found I had to self-isolate. How lucky was I to have discovered Timebank! I look forward to all the online chats. Living alone, they make my day!”

Woolmer Forest Timebank believes that the real wealth of a community is its people, said Claire Coxwell, Manager of Woolmer Forest Timebank. “Everyone is valuable and has something to offer. Our work strengthens the community as it builds social and practical support networks. Everyone’s time is valued equally – an hour for an hour.

You can find out more about Woolmer Forest Timebank at their website https://tol2.timebanking.org/woolmerforest or by contacting our Timebank Co-ordinator on 07723 531922 or at timebank@cfirst.org.uk.


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