Are all members hours equal in value to each other?
Yes, whether you are an experienced practitioner or a recent graduate, your hour of time given is exactly equal to that of anyone’s else’s. Because of the networked nature of the Timebank, what goes around, comes around – and a recent graduate can get advice from an experienced practitioner, but that same practitioner might need help with moving equipment in their studio – how can you say which is more valuable?
Is the Timebank like a LETS scheme?
It’s like a LETS scheme in that it’s about skills sharing, but different in that all members hours of time given are equal to another’s, unlike in most LETS schemes where skills were valued differently. A recent graduate spending an hour invigilating or an experienced fund-raising spending an hour helping someone write a proposal, will gain the same 1 hour time-credit. There are other differences, the Timebank also actively builds social capital, bringing people together who wouldn’t otherwise have met.
How can I be sure of quality?
There is an expectation that all members will take the reciprocal nature of the Timebank seriously. As a Timebank member they are expected to do their utmost to provide the time/skills they are offering to the same level they’d expect to receive. However if you have very specific requirements, it might be that the Timebank isn’t the right way to go about getting something done for you. You might need to pay someone for the service.
Getting to know other Timebank members at meetings, and testing the water with small projects first, will probably ensure you get the right skills/level of quality you want.
What happens if a member doesn’t turn up for the transaction?
So far, this hasn’t happened in Leeds Creative Timebank, as members understand the reciprocal nature of taking part. If this did happen, tell the Timebroker, if a member repeatedly doesn’t uphold their end of the bargain, they might be asked to leave the Timebank.
Who provides the materials or petrol?
The member receiving the time/skill from another member, must always provide an materials and pay you for petrol if you’ve offered to drive them somewhere (at the recommended 40p per mile – suggested by HM Revenue and Customs).
Can projects occur outside of Leeds?
We have decided to keep Timebanking in Leeds Creative Timebank within the confines of Leeds. This is to deal with the issue of travel across the city to undertake the transaction. We think that if a member is giving one hour of their time to another member, it wouldn’t be fair for the giver to have to travel too far to do that transaction.
Why do we need a Timebroker, why not just use an online database?
The role of the Timebroker adds an extra dimension to this form of skills sharing, over time they develop a knowledge of members experience, skills and interests and can broker the best transactions to take place.
Also the Timebroker takes on other activities such as holding meetings, events and recruiting new members, developing the sense of community which is crucial to how the timebank works. Timebrokers get paid in Time-credits.