We have launched a national timebanking platform in partnership with Timebanking UK. It’s free to use and for anyone living in the UK.

The aim behind this platform is to facilitate the exchange of offers and requests between people in communities - helping people who are self-isolating to access support and stay connected during this time of crisis.

This unique commnity response platform has been co-created by our two organisations inside 72 hours. It's been a huge effort whilst we balance the many competing pressures of work and life during the crisis.

Sarah Bird, CEO, Timebanking UK:

Since 2002, Timebanking UK has helped thousands of people in communities help one another. We are all worried; whether it’s for ourselves, our familes, friends or neighbourhoods. We are addressing this crisis by working with our partners Made Open to bring a mechanism whereby you, in your streets and neighbourhoods, can help one another in an effective and safe way - keeping face to face contact to a minimum.

Robert:

We decided over the weekend to see if we could find ways to support elderly and vulnerable people by combining our efforts. We know that communities have been mobilising with Facebook and WhatsApp groups, which we think is terrific. Our intention is not to compete with these efforts but to complement them by allowing offers and requests to be posted onto a national platform which works at a local level.

We also know that the best response is a local response. We'd much rather signpost people to their local platforms, supported by local partners (e.g. Bristol, Torbay, Monmouthshire), but we simply felt that our platform could be used to support everyone in the UK. Better to have a national platform with limited support than no platform at all.

Running alongside our platform, Timebanking UK have issued a national call-out for "street coordinators" who can perform duties to connect others. The aim of this role is to post offers / requests on behalf of other people and check that users of the platform are who they say they are. Members of the platform can also apply to become "digital champions" - helping people to use this platform and stay connected.

In normal circumstances, the cooperative nature of timebanking ensures that all members must give an hour to get one back. Given the rapid nature of this pandemic, however, we have asked that people focus more simply on giving and receiving help, and logging their actions afterwards.

We are mindful that our software costs could become unsustainable if we experience high demand for this platform. Here is a link to a Crowdfunder page.


About us (for journalists):

We are two community-focused organisations whose experience puts us in a unique position to help.

  • Timebanking UK help people to help one another in communities (running errands, collecting prescriptions, picking up some shopping etc). They are renowned for providing best practice on how to help and support each other safely.
  • Made Open are a B-Corp Certified (service) design and technology company that has developed a unique social networking platform to support online timebanking and various other ways to share resources.

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