Time Banking has potential, when well-led and run, to add to community cohesion.
Some key factors to perhaps include:
Whilst wealth creation and distribution may be a newish concept to some, the evidence of benefactors wishing to give something back to the community has been around since the days of Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Today, "philanthropy" is gaining in momentum and popularity. It is also true that we all need gainful employment to feel really valued, whatever our abilities. So wealth creation should be a part of every community. The big question is about wealth distribution: what do wealthy folk do with their money ? Can we encourage them to spend some on local community cohesion ? Whilst we may recognise the value and many benefits of time banking, there are always bills to pay needing real money.
Some good news about "philanthropy" is that corporates too are beginning to recognise the need for social responsibility. Some lawyers and to a lesser extent accountants are recognising value in "pro bono" work. We just need to get plumbers and builders to recognise the value in training apprentices, learning team leadership skills and advertising their personal "spending or consumption" projects - holidays, golf, tennis etc. Then, in time, we may find answers to some common difficulties encountered by time banks.
GN21 aims over the next few months to refine the above list, and find and grow a team for elements we feel we can support. Together, our aim is to help Time Banking start and flourish for the benefit of GN21 members, and hopefully other TimeBanking communities.
Please continue to contribute your stories and feedback. Complaints are also welcome, as every organisation needs to aim for continuous improvement.