The Timebank : How it works
As a member of the Timebank, you are not a volunteer in the traditional sense. You are part of a community. The concept of earning and spending credits is important because it offers others the chance to make a difference and feel needed.
So rather than people feeling that they are taking and never giving, they have the opportunity to give back and feel good about it. By giving and receiving you are effectively giving twice. Without this exchange, the Timebank cannot work as it just becomes one way volunteering in the traditional sense.
You are of course welcome to donate your credits to another Timebank member or group who would benefit from them. Or you may wish to 'bank' some of the credits you earn by helping others and save them for when you really need them.
However, you should also spend some of your credits on the services on offer from other participants. Unlike a normal bank account, with the Timebank, you do not necessarily have to be in a credit situation before you 'spend'.
What do you need help with?
Arranging an exchange
This section takes you through the procedure for arranging an exchange and out-lines what you need to do whether you are receiving or providing a service. It also includes some useful advice should things not run according to plan.
Follow this simple procedure to arrange an exchange.
- Go to torbaytogether.org.uk
- Enter your email and password
- Go to timebank
- Search the available offers or requests of time. You can limit the search on the right hand side if you wish.
- Click on the ones that interest you
- Click exchange if you want to accept the offer or request
- Add a short message and then add request exchange
(Hint: You may want to assess the job beforehand if unsure – agree this with your Community Builder and the other member. This will also count towards your time credits).
At this point, you and the other member can discuss privately details such as availability, whether the exchange is right for both of you, and if so, when the exchange will take place. Check whether there are any special needs involved or if there is any other information you should know about the exchange or each other.
If you have any concerns at any time please contact your Community Builder who will be happy to help you arrange and complete exchanges.
(If the exchange is made offline and through your Community Builder, you will be given the name and telephone number of the Timebank member and told the day and time the exchange will take place. Similarly, the other Timebank member will be given the same details and any other relevant information).
The requester will click the completed button and the time credits will automatically be taken from the requester and given to the person who has completed the exchange.
You can see your total time credits next to your name.
Alternatively, or if you are not online, you can record hours on paper. On completion of an exchange, both members will need to check and sign a completed exchange form. This is to confirm that you were both happy with the service received. The Timebank member who provided the service must then return the form to their Community Builder who will record the hours online for you.
You may be carrying out more than one exchange a month – if so, it is best to send these forms in one batch towards the end of each month. If for any reason you are not satisfied or there was a problem you would like to discuss, please contact your Builder immediately.
Additionally, if you are not a computer user, a timesheet can be provided so that you may, if you choose to, keep a personal record of your exchanges.
Click on your name to get to the profile page.
Click on Timebank on top bar
- click on make an offer or make a request
- Step 1 offer or request details: fill in all questions.
- click save and continue
- Step 2 customise: this gives more detail to your offer/request but you can skip if you like.
- Click save and continue at bottom of the page.
- Step 3 Submit: add a contact number and read terms and conditions and tick box.
- Click make offer/request live
From your profile you can click on History on the top bar.
This will tell you the total you have earned and your current balance.
You will also see your current balance next to your name on the left hand side.
You can also see all the people you have made exchanges with.
From Profile click Timebank on the top bar.
You will see all offers and requests.
Where it says show everything click the arrow and you can select your offers and requests only.
Edit details will allow you to change any details of the offer or request.
Manage will take you to a screen where you can see a list of everyone that would like to exchange with you. Here you can either accept or decline. Once the exchange has been made, this is the place where you can mark the exchange as complete.
Then click edit offer/request. this will take you to the original form and you can alter any part of it.
Using the Inbox
You can send a message to anyone you are connected to.
Connect to people
Click on community on left hand side.
You will see a list of individuals and groups.
Click connect with any people you want to connect with.
They will have to accept your connection request before you become connected and the button will say connection pending until they do.
To find out more about the groups click opportunities and see how you can become involved with the group.
The time receiver is expected to pay for petrol used and reasonable costs of running the car during the exchange. This should be agreed by the time giver and receiver before the exchange takes place (the current recommended amount is 45p/mile). If you have any concerns, please contact your Community Builder.
The time receiver is expected to pay for any expenses used in the exchange. This is where the time giver has incurred expenses in completing the exchange. For example:
The cost of ingredients and expense in baking a cake.
The cost of paint when decorating a room.
Wool, when knitting something.
Please keep all receipts for proof of purchase. It would be sensible to agree these up front and note them down on the exchange form. Any problems please call your Community Builder.
What to do if …….
Even the best organised schemes don’t always run according to plan so here’s what to do if…..
· Whether you are a time giver or receiver, give as much notice as possible.
· Contact your Community Builder who will contact the other participant
· If the time receiver would like the assignment to be carried out on another date, the Community Builder will try to organise this using the existing service giver.
· If this is not possible every effort will be made to find another available time giver to carry out the exchange on the required date.
· If an emergency should arise which forces you to cancel an exchange at short notice, contact your Community Builder as soon as possible. If it is out of office hours or you can’t get hold of the Builder, contact the time receiver direct.
• If it is urgent or you consider it necessary, don’t hesitate – dial 999 and call the relevant emergency service. If you have any doubts, do this – it is far better to be on the side of safety.
• If it is not urgent, and you have the telephone number of the service receiver’s GP or next of kin, call whoever is most appropriate.
For any more questions about using Torbay Timebank, please get in touch with your Community Builder. You can find a list of all Community Builders here.