A new and innovative scheme where residents can trade their skills and knowledge has launched in Melton.
Time4Leicestershire is a free skills exchange initiative from Leicestershire County Council, where members can sign up to share their skills and knowledge and support others and can request skills they would like to learn in return.
‘Timebanking’ differs from volunteering as it allows people to swap skills at a time that suits them, with no minimum commitment needed. For every hour of time somebody gives, they receive an hour’s time credit to bank and give to another Timebank member in exchange for supporting them with another skill.
Exchanged skills can be anything from mowing a lawn, learning to cook or trying a new sport. People do not necessarily have to meet in person to benefit from the scheme either; they can also help each other online.
These can include helping someone with their CV or digitally editing photographs. A skill that one person takes for granted may be invaluable when passed on to someone else.
Timebanking initiatives such as this one benefit local communities and residents by providing a safe and positive environment in which to meet new people who can help out by sharing their skills or help to develop a person’s skills that may not have previously been available.
The County Council’s Public Health team have started the programme as part of the national Timebanking UK initiative, and residents are being encouraged to sign up to Time4Leicestershire to exchange skills with the hope of fostering a greater sense of community, reducing loneliness and isolation, learning new skills, increasing physical activity and improving emotional wellbeing for all.
Anyone taking part in the initiative will be responsible for their own exchanges and interactions. To ensure safety members who sign up will receive a welcome meeting and must also provide two references. Once all checks are complete, they are free to share their skills with other members.
Recent events have shown us just how important community spirit and local support is vital for the wellbeing of residents.
“This pilot scheme in Melton is a great way for local communities to strengthen that community spirit with the bonus of learning or trading their skills.
“Everyone has a skill that someone could make use of, and I encourage Melton residents to join the programme.
Person:Councillor Louise Richardson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing
To find out more about the Melton Timebank, and to register to get involved, visit the Time4Leicestershire website.