How do we make time pay in Eastbourne?

By Andrew Durling | September 04 2020

How do we make time pay in Eastbourne?

Blog Category: General updateBlog Tags: Community Business and Sharing Economy

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    What time we have is precious. So when we use some of that precious time to help others – our friends, relatives, neighbours, or vulnerable others in our community – then that time is of immeasurable value. Especially now, during this global pandemic and economic recession. Especially here, in Eastbourne, where there has been an enormous amount of time given by local volunteers, local council workers, local health workers and countless others to help local people in need cope with the crisis, usually going the extra mile and well beyond the call of duty. That has shown the strength and depth of community spirit and local resilience, things that are never measured by conventional economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product.

     

    But what if this mostly unpaid outpouring of caring and sharing could help underpin Eastbourne’s economic recovery from COVID-19? What if each hour of time we offer to help others through our skills, knowledge and labour was recognised with a ‘time credit’ which we could then exchange for an hour of whatever others were offering by way of help? In a time when cash is now often hard to come by for many, earning and spending time credits via a Time Bank would enable local people to help each other by sharing their combined talents and resources with each other. A Time Bank is simply an exchange which records whatever time credits are earned and spent, and each member of a Time Bank would be able to choose where to earn or spend their time credits, or even choose who to donate their time credits to.

     

    Eastbourne has never had a community time bank, despite timebanking having been around as a tried and tested concept for several decades already, with nearly 300 time banks successfully operating already in the UK. Until now. A few weeks ago the Eastbourne Time Bank went live. At the moment it is purely an online platform, for obvious reasons during a pandemic, and it can be found at: https://tol2.timebanking.org/eastbourne. You can join the time bank for free and you will be rewarded with 5 time credits just for joining. You can then start making offers and requests for help on the time bank platform and start making exchanges with fellow members. All offers, requests, and exchanges are monitored by the time bank co-ordinators to ensure their appropriateness of offers, and that safeguarding policies are followed throughout. No personal details appear in the public listings of offers and requests.

     

    Thanks to generous support from Eastbourne Friends of the Earth’s innovation fund, Eastbourne Time Bank is a fully paid-up member of Timebanking UK, a national charity which is the only membership organisation in the UK that provides advice, support and resources to help implement and grow community time banks. Local organisations – whether they be charities, businesses, local government agencies, community groups, etc – are also welcome to join Eastbourne Time Bank, and can even have their own private or public groups within the time bank platform if they wish. If you wish to not only join the time bank but to help develop it from its present humble beginnings, please contact Eastbourne Time Bank at: bournecoin@gmail.com.

     

    Timebanking is a form of mutual support that can complement the excellent work already done by volunteers throughout Eastbourne and contribute towards the sharing economy that can help the town not only recover from the pandemic but also build stronger and more resilient community networks in the process. Fancy some of that?

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WRITTEN BY

Andrew Durling