Timebanking is a means of exchange whereby people and organisations use time as a currency. Participants build up ‘time credits’ by offering services to others; they ‘withdraw’ equivalent services against the time they have been credited. Evidence shows that ‘time banks’ are extremely effective at generating interaction and exchange between individuals.
A UEL team aimed to build networks of reciprocity between students at the University and a Stratford time bank, run by Nu Social Health Organisation. The project helped students from various parts of the University gain experience across different fields of interest, building and strengthening their connection with, and support for, the local area.
The project also included a feasibility study on setting up a new time bank at UEL, with a view to facilitating an exchange of services between students, staff and local businesses.
“We are pioneers in unchartered territory as we set up the first university-based time bank in the UK, said Dr Marcello Bertotti, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Health and Human Development.
“Students and staff learned about marketing, using new software packages, developing content and liaising and encouraging others within the University to become more involved and get to know more about the local community and work of organisations in Stratford,” he said.