Time Union, Coventry, is a citywide time bank open to all 18+ with a connection to Coventry.
It aims to act as a community catalyst from which people can:
CULTIVATE their time, assets, & resources.
CONNECT with one another & with the city.
CHANGE, for the better, the ways in which people approach interpersonal relationships.
What’s a timebank then?
An ethos, not a service – Time Union members are community activists, committing to exchange their assets and recognise those of others. Members are expected to be self-galvanising, to take responsibility for themselves & the ways in which they choose to use Time Union.
Assets based, not needs based – We all have something to share that another person will find valuable. Time Union encourages celebration of these assets – don’t let them be hidden! By sharing our assets we build them, ourselves & our communities.
A flattened Hierarchy – all offers and requests are viewed as equally important, each person is different & will appreciate different things. So whatever the offer, One Hour In always equals One Hour Out.
Who is involved?
Time Union is open to everyone 18+ who have a connection with Coventry.
It is managed by The Pod, a Coventry City Council service that is part funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group. Gemma Musgreaves, the Time Broker, is employed by the Pod & takes the lead on running Time Union as part of her role.
The Pod are passionate about inclusion and connectivity and believe they should be pro-active in creating platforms that nurture collaboration. Time banking fits in with the ethos and aims of the Pod, with the added benefit of enhancing the city at large.
How does it work?
People become members of Time Union by filling out a short application form, meeting with Gemma, the Time Broker, and providing two personal referees. Ideas about what people may offer or request can be discussed in the meeting.
Once references are cleared, Gemma will welcome the new member to Time Union & let them know options about where to start. When they have decided, Gemma will contact the other member and arrange an initial meeting. This can be facilitated if required.
Member’s accounts are credited or debited accordingly. The person making the Offer gains 1 Credit for every hour shared (or 0.5 for 30 minutes, 2 credits for 2 hours, etc.) & the person receiving the Offer ‘spends’ 1 Credit for every hour received. As Time Union encourages people to meet in a neutral safe place before an exchange to build a rapport, initial meetings credit each member with +0.5 Credits.
This process continues, with Gemma contacting members when there is a match, or members contacting Gemma to offer or request something that they have seen on the list. Sometimes members choose to exchange contact details and set up exchanges directly, in these cases they need to let Gemma know what has been arranged, otherwise it cannot be covered as Time Union activity.
Members can spend Credits when they are in the minus; it still means the time bank is being used effectively! Members with credits to spare can donate them to other Time Union members, to Time Union itself, or to potential members who may want to get involved.
Members are expected to provide feedback after exchanges to help keep us in the loop, celebrate successes & highlight concerns & improvements where necessary.
Where does it happen?
Exchanges take place largely on a one-to-one basis and can be arranged wherever is suitable and convenient for each person. Some exchanges may take place in a member’s home; Time Union encourages people to meet in a neutral space & get to know other members before arranging an exchange within the home.
The Pod has a public café where meetings can take place. Those also interested in sharing their talents through community cooking, gardening, or leading skill sharing workshops, can earn credits by taking part in Food Union activities. Members can also earn credits by offering a hand directly to Time Union, i.e. through promotion at events, making zines, etc.
Time Union, Coventry launched on 6 December 2014.
You can get involved anytime – get in touch with Gemma, the Time Broker, or fill out an application form at www.coventry.gov.uk/timeunion/
Exchanges are arranged between individuals, so happen at whatever time is convenient for those involved. Members can be involved in an exchange every day or every few months.
Gemma Musgreaves – Time Broker
Call or text: 07739624561
Twitter @TimeUnionCov Facebook/TimeUnionCoventry