Timebanking - the Bedfordshire Good Neighbour scheme that lets you give and receive a helping hand

It’s called Timebanking and it might be just what you’re looking for this Christmas . . .
Close up top view of people putting their hands together.Close up top view of people putting their hands together.
Close up top view of people putting their hands together.

If you’re looking for a way to give back to the community, Timebanking could be the answer.

It's a community initiative, open to all – an opportunity to build relationships with local people, exchange skills and help those less fortunate than yourself.

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All you have to offer is your time. No money is exchanged and you can dip in and out as you want – with the added bonus of social get-togethers if you’d like to make some new friends.

You don’t have to sign up to a regular commitment and if you help someone by spending an hour walking their dog, mowing their lawn, teaching them something - or simply sitting and chatting - you don’t have to receive help in return unless you want to.

It’s being run by the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity. Spokesperson Bex McBrearty said: “It’s such a lovely thing to do, especially in the current economic crisis when so many people are struggling financially.

"They might not be able to afford a gardener - but that’s a service one of our Timebanking members may be able to provide.

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"If someone says ‘I’ve got nothing to offer’ they’re never turned away. Because there’s always something they can do.”

Bex, who’s worked for charities and in community engagement for many years, added: “Could you give an hour of your time to help someone? Sharing time with your neighbours helps you feel creative, confident and connected.

"For each hour you give, you gain an hour of free help with anything you need. It’s a great way to share your skills, make friends and feel supported by your community.

"There’s no pressure to sign up, but why not come along for a taster? Come to one of our social get-togethers to see what we’re all about.”

These are on:

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Monday – Chiltern Vale Timebank, 1pm-3pm at the Cedar Room in Houghton Hall Park, Houghton Regis

Thursday – Leighton Linslade Timebank, 12.30pm-2pm at Pages Park Pavilion, Leighton Buzzard

Friday – Ampthill and Flitwick Timebank (fortnightly), 10.30am-12pm at the Rufus Centre, Flitwick

And occasionally on a Tuesday and/or Thursday – Ivel Valley Timebank, 10.30am-1.30pm at Kings Corner in Kings Reach, Biggleswade

Call 07392 722296 or email [email protected]

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