In the last ten years Timebank has grown from a fledgling organisation with just a handful of projects into an established much-loved citywide befriending and skill-exchange initiative with more than a hundred regular members. It’s the sort of place where magic happens: where individuals come along not quite knowing what to expect and find a warm welcome and the promise of being valued.
Linda surprised herself: it was when she was working in her previous job as a support worker that she thought Timebank would be good for her client. Five years later and it is Linda that’s still coming every week to the Devonport Timebank group. As she says, she has found that those skills she had in her previous jobs, are of great value at Timebank:
“I’ve given pedicures to people who needed a bit of help with their feet and I’ve been going round to help Benjamin, who doesn’t have much strength in his hands, and chopped his veg for him to that he can do his batch cooking.”
Meanwhile among the Devonport group, Sue has helped Linda on her allotment; Rachel has helped Jenny with her housework and Jenny has been giving the group crochet lessons. Daphne has been making ‘twiddle muffs’ for people with dementia and Rowena has been making many many memory bears: fifty at the last count. Her most recent beautiful bear was for Julia who ‘paid’ her by making her a colourful backpack.
Now working with the Wolseley Trust and Improving Lives, Timebank is launching its Age Positive sessions aimed at people over the age of 65. With Plympton already up and running, the next branch to launch will be in Plymstock next month neatly bringing the number of neighbourhood sessions up to eleven in its eleventh year. Happy birthday Timebank.
For more information on all the timebanks visit www.timebanksw.org