Published: Tue, 5 Aug 2014
Members of the Newry Housing Community Network recently went to Holywood on a fact finding trip about a bank with a difference.
They met up with Redburn Loughview Community Forum to find how their Timebank scheme worked. The group from Newry wanted to know more about how they could share skills, save pennies and build relationships within their community something which the residents of Redburn and Loughview estates in Holywood have successfully achieved through Timebank.
Redburn Loughview started its Timebank initiative in March 2012 with the support of a number of statutory agencies including the Housing Executive and since then there have been 1,253 plus exchanges totalling 297,200 hours on the two Co Down estates. Those travelling from Newry were keen to find out more about how Timebank could work for them and the Housing Executive was delighted to organise the meeting.
The Newry group was impressed by everything they heard and saw. The thriving community garden made a marked impact as it has been created with the support of those participating in Timebank. No money changed hands during its development; people give of their time and skills to help out in the certain knowledge that when they need help they can call on other Timebank members for their support and skills.
Clare Carson from Newry HCN was delighted with the visit and commented:
“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the idea of Timebank was mentioned at a meeting earlier this year. The visit to Redburn Loughview was very enlightening and it’s wonderful how such a simple concept can work wonders. I feel sure this idea could prove very workable in Newry; we’re certainly all enthused after the visit.
“I’d like to thank everyone in Redburn Loughview who came along to share their story with us and the Housing Executive for helping to put the two groups together.”
Louise Green the Project Worker for Redburn Loughview Community Forum who is an enthusiastic advocate for Timebank relished the opportunity to explain the concept said:
“I was pleased to help host today’s visit. Many residents of Redburn Loughview have joined the Timebank group and benefitted from it on a practical level but I’ve also seen how it’s proved a great opportunity for some to make new friends and build a stronger community spirit.
“I wish the Newry group well and look forward to hearing how they progress with Timebank.”
In the 1980s Edgar S Cahn, a former speech writer for Robert F Kennedy, came up with the concept of timebanking in which a community practices service exchange. As a result people in 40 nations across six continents are depositing their time and swapping their skills, including 26,000 in the UK.