BASINGSTOKE Time Bank launched this year as part of Time 4 Hampshire, a project run by Timebanking UK with funding from Hampshire County Council.

There are a number of time banks throughout Hampshire, all working together to address social isolation and strengthen their communities through good neighbourliness.

The concept is simple, for every hour participants ‘deposit’ in a timebank, by giving practical help and support to others, they can ‘withdraw’ equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need. In each case the participant decides what they can offer.

Everyone’s time is equal, so one hour of my time is equal to one hour of your time, irrespective of whatever we choose to exchange. It does not require the same level of commitment as regular volunteering so is a flexible way for people to come together to enrich a community.

You may find yourself with a spare hour one week and log on to the Basingstoke Timebank website and see that someone requires assistance with dog-walking. When you accept the request, the broker is notified and the exchange earns you one time-credit. If the following month you need help tackling your garden, you can post a request for a volunteer to assist you. When someone responds the broker vets and sets up the exchange cashing in your time credit in exchange for assistance.

The whole project works on the principle of reciprocity and works for organisations as well as individuals - a charity or business may require volunteers to manage traffic or distribute leaflets for an event, in return perhaps donating cinema vouchers or free meeting room hire. This enables people to share skills, interests and experiences, building connections and strengthening communities, whilst improving the health and wellbeing of residents in the borough.

Timebanking has no required time commitment so is accessible and appealing to all, including people who may not access traditional volunteering. Timebanking also counts towards required jobseeking hours as part of Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance claims.

If this sounds like something you would like to be involved in then get in touch with our Timebank broker on 01256 423805 or e-mail