I first came across Time Banks UK a couple of years ago. It builds on an idea I was aware of when I worked in the voluntary sector (now fashionably known as the Third Sector!) in the 1980s.
It's a way to encourage community building by getting people to offer their skills into a bank so that they can trade them for the skills of others. Thus, you could offer an hour's baby-sitting time in return for an hour of painting and decorating. I really like the idea.
From the website:
"Time Banks UK is the national umbrella charity linking and supporting time banks across the country by providing inspiration, guidance and practical help. Time banks link people locally to share their time and skills. Everyone's time is equal: one hour of your time earns you one time credit to spend when you need."
Their patron is Dame Anita Roddick who was the founder of Body Shop in the UK - she brings a lot of credibility.
The mission of the organisation is described as - building community, caring for the marginalised, bringing up healthy children, and fighting social injustice. Great aims.
[from the 'Things I found' archive]
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