Timebank Portsea group seeks volunteers

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A GROUP that helps people help each other has called for more volunteers to get involved.

Timebank Portsea wants volunteers to co-ordinate the service and more members who are willing to help others in exchange for services provided to them.

l-r Volunteers Vikki Merton, Anne-Marie Skilling and Clare Rance

l-r Volunteers Vikki Merton, Anne-Marie Skilling and Clare Rance

The group’s secretary Anne-Marie Skilling said the service was based on the old-fashioned idea of bartering.

Ms Skilling said: ‘We have about 60 members who have signed up and say what services they are able to offer.

‘So somebody might say that they are able to wash cars or teach sewing.

‘Then for every hour they spend doing that they get one time credit, which can then be used for something they want done for them.

‘If there’s somebody who is good at doing needlework or embroidery, she might be able to teach somebody how to do it and then she might want somebody to go out and do her shopping for her because she doesn’t get out much.’

Ms Skilling said the scheme had the added benefit of helping lonely people in the community feel more connected.

She said: ‘This is very much a community effort where everybody helps everybody else.

‘It also helps people who feel a bit isolated to meet new people.

‘They might think “Well, I know how I can do something but nobody would want my help any more”, but they just need to be shown the right direction.

‘And it can save people money on things that are expensive like DIY and decorators.’

Ms Skilling said the exchanged were organised by four volunteers called time brokers.

‘We want to grow and change the name of it to Timebank Portsmouth, but we need to get a strong team of brokers to get things really going.’

Ms Skilling said the service was used by people of all ages.

She said: ‘There’s no specific age group – if you take a look at our books you’ll see we’ve got people from those in their 20s through to 60 and 70-year-olds.’

Timebank Portsea is based at the Cathedral Innovation Centre in St Thomas Street, Old Portsmouth.

Anyone interested in becoming a member or a time broker can visit solenttimebank.net/portsea, e-mail timebankportsuk@gmail.com or call 0793 887 9976.