KNO founder Steven Kelly has joined the Board of Trustee for hOur Timebank in Ireland. The community Timebank provides a mechanism for promoting and coordinating community self-help, promoting community self-reliance within a region. Often basic needs can be met that would otherwise result in severe deprivation and stress levels. We move beyond simple barter and neighborly assistance by building a skill bank that anyone can join and/or request assistance as needed. This can result in a better quality of life (without the need for cash) and stronger connections among citizens. It further strengthens many community’s historic volunteerism and self-reliance.
People provide services to each other voluntarily, by giving their “time”. Although this is always the neighborly thing to do, our approach goes beyond just help and simple barter. The “time bank” hub allows members to give and receive “time”, therein every person’s time is equally valued. No money is exchanged; all services are recognised. This allows for a broader exchange of services than might be available from nearby neighbors (always an important source for help). Building an online community timebank “bulletin board” allows for a wider selection of service offers to meet developing requests. This is not to displace our community small businesses, but rather to supplement with services that can be provided in a few hours by a skilled volunteer member. Types of tasks are quite diverse to include help with gardening or DIY repairs, training in crafts, software, or cooking; help with lifting or transport. Possibilities are endless.