Southern Housing Group launches first timebank in Portsmouth
Southern Housing Group has officially launched its first timebank for local residents in Portsea. Working in partnership with Timebanking UK, the launch of the ‘The Portsea Timebank’ is the first of its kind in Portsmouth and one of three that the Group is planning to open in the area over the coming months.
The launch event was held at the John Pound Centre on Queen Street on Thursday 7 June. Local residents and organisations were invited along to find out more about the time bank and to sign up as members.
Local Portsea and Southern Housing Group resident, Vanessa Williams, was one of the first to sign up to the timebank and said, "I have joined The Portsea Timebank as I think it is a great way to bring communities together. I look forward to meeting people, learning new things and to giving back."
What is a timebank?
A timebank in its basic form, rewards local people for helping others. For every hour a person spends helping someone, they get an hour of time in return in the form of a ‘time voucher’. They can ‘spend’ this time voucher asking for help themselves; ironing, gardening, reading to children, dog walking, shopping, DIY – the list is endless.
The timebank is open to all members of the community and everyone’s time is valued equally.
Kim Jakubiszyn, Senior Community Regeneration Officer at Southern Housing Group, explains why the Group is launching timebanks, “We are always looking at how we can best support our residents. We see timebanking as a great way to build local social networks of people who give and receive support from each other, enabling people from different backgrounds, who may not otherwise meet, to come together and form connections and friendships.
“It enables our residents to build on their skills, develop work experience and give something back to their local community. By working in partnership with other local organisations we are able to expand the time bank further still, offering even greater opportunities to residents.”
Speaking at the launch, Sarah Bird, Project Manager from Timebanking UK, said, “We are so pleased to be working with Southern Housing Group and to launch the first timebank in Portsmouth. Given the current economic climate we have seen a huge rise in the use of timebanking across the UK in recent years as people look to trade skills and time within a timebank setting. No money exchanges hands. The currency is time. The added bonus is the sense of community spirit that develops as people work together.”
Local organisations currently signed up to work with ‘The Portsea Timebank’ include Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth Mind, Personal Choice, Portsmouth Volunteer Centre, The You Trust, Portsea Venture Playground, Mill House, and the John Pound Centre.
Southern Housing Group is providing funding for three timebanks in Portsmouth and one on the Isle of Wight. Timebanking UK will work alongside community groups, residents and local organisations to train and support them as the timebank develops. Each timebank will involve local people in its activities and projects with full support from Southern Housing Group and Timebanking UK, with the long term aim being that members can take ownership of the timebank by either being involved in the decision making or with direct roles to help run the timebank.
Residents or organisations looking to get involved with ‘The Portsea Timebank’ can contact Vicki Redmond on 0118 931 7246 or email firstname.lastname@example.org