The principle that you get out what you put in is being put into practice as a Time Bank looks to recruit members.
The Ampthill-based organisation says timebanking is a way of swapping your skills with other members by ‘banking’ the time you spend helping them, and ‘withdrawing’ time at a later date when others help you.
Ampthill and Flitwick Timebank chairman Mark Smith explains the concept is different from volunteering in that members get something in return for their good deed.
He said: “Timebanking is a means of exchange where time is the principle currency. Everyone’s skills are valued the same - if you put in an hour, you can receive an hour of another member’s time.”
He added: “We will start small, where individuals can swap their skills, but we hope to grow the idea and let it evolve, which could make it much broader.”
But in order for the Time Bank to get off the ground it needs to recruit a ‘critical mass’ of 80 members.
Initially, it is looking for people with skills such as basic DIY, bike mending, knitting and sewing, teaching. companionship, help with literacy and pet care.
Mr Smith said: “This area has about 20,000 people living in it but there are still issues surrounding isolation, particularly with older people.
“The timebank hopes to alleviate this, and encourage all residents to get involved with the community.”
For more information on signing up, and a full list of skills, go to www.ampthill.info/page74.htm or https://www.facebook.com/AmpthillAndFlitwickTimebank