Innovative Timebanking program takes off
Timebanking allows people to earn and exchange time credits that are registered through a website – it is as simple as give an hour, receive an hour.
For example, a person who can mow lawns but cannot play the piano can receive piano lessons from a teacher in exchange for mowing their lawn.
The program follows the success of an Australian-first trial last year where 4,300 volunteers registered to participate in a regional trial across the Hunter, Central Coast, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie by exchanging more than 10,300 hours of service.
A trial participant, Kate, who suffers from an illness and lives by herself earned 10 hours of credits by offering travel advice and tour details to other Timebank members.
In return she has received support from other volunteers who assisted her with gardening, cleaning and home maintenance.
The program will roll out to Albury/Wodonga, Auburn, Bega, Blue Mountains, Burwood, Cumberland/Prospect, Eastern Beaches, Sydney, Fairfield, Foster/Tuncurry, Hawkesbury, Hurstville, Kempsey, Kiama, Lower North Shore, Macarthur, Nepean/Penrith, Northern Beaches, Rockdale, Ryde, Shellharbour, South Eastern Sydney, Sutherland, Sydney, Tamworth/North West, The Hills, Northern Rivers, Wagga Wagga, Walcha, West Wyalong, and Wollongong.
Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello also recommended that organisations get involved with Timebanking.
“It makes sense for organisations with strong community affiliations and local volunteer networks to have access to Timebanking,” Mr Dominello said.
“These host organisations will support recruitment of volunteers and help broker support for those people who need it from local volunteers offering assistance.”