News and Events

October 2014

With the fastest growing population of older people in Scotland and a poorly performing labour market, many residents in Dumfries and Galloway face isolation, lack of lifestyle choices and low self-esteem. The 26th of September marked the launch of time banking in the region – a programme that aims to tackle these social problems and is already working successfully to enable people to live more independently, promote health and well-being and provide new connections and opportunities for both individuals and communities. Furthermore, membership to the Time Bank has led to training opportunities and the creation of new jobs. At the Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries on Friday, Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway, together with Life Care Trust, held a well-attended networking event to spread the word about the time bank concept and celebrate its achievement since it was set up earlier this year. Funded by Putting You First, and co-ordinated from Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway, Time banking works by sharing skills which are, in turn, rewarded in time credits. Sharon Ogilvie, Regional Time Banking Co-ordinator and Project Development Officer, explained:

Sharon-Ogilvie

Sharon Ogilvie

“Time banking is all about time and not about money. The currency we all have equal access to is time: people are assets and all have value. In return, everyone is valued. Everyone has a talent of some kind and, through the Time Bank, can utilise their unique abilities by providing a service to another person and accrue credits. Every hour a person donates equates to one time credit in their bank which can be spent, saved or donated. For example, one person might help to decorate someone’s house and, in turn, may have their shopping delivered to them by another person. In the time bank, everyone is equal, irrespective of income or status; the programme is open to individuals as well as organisations; and everyone benefits.”

Penny-Nowell

Penny Nowell

Penny Nowell, Joint Planning and Commissioning Manager Adult Mental Health, added:

“Time banking is not a new concept. It has been running very successfully in 40 different countries including UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Tunisia and Brazil as well as in communities across the UK. It is making a distinct difference to people’s lives. The concept has now taken off across Dumfries and Galloway and is growing in strength. At present we have 131 members across the region who have so far shared 1,800 hours and these figures continue to rise. The benefits of time banking to individuals has been inspiring. The programme is helping to build stronger communities by crossing the generations and resurrecting old-fashioned values of caring and sharing within neighbourhoods. We are also delighted when we hear the testimonials of members who believed they were completely valueless to society and who now feel more socially included and confident after joining the Time Bank.”

Friday’s conference was attended by organisations and individuals interested in the Time Bank programme who wanted to know more. One of those delegates was MSP Elaine Murray who is keen to support the roll-out of the programme in the region.She said: “I may call for a debate in Parliament to promote the benefits of time banking. Any concept that encourages people to help each other is a good one. Time banking offers people a role in society that they otherwise would not have. People are finding out for themselves that they are useful to their communities. Time banking provides a huge potential to change people’s sense of self-value and provide them a sense of belonging, confidence and pride.” To find out more about time banking or to get involved, visit: http://timebankdg.org.uk

The full article can be found here