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What is Timebanking

Timebanking is a way of spending one hour of time helping someone out by, for example, mowing someone’s lawn, or doing their shopping. For every hour spent, you earn an hour in return. This can be spent on receiving an hour of someone else’s time or, where available, things like theatre or cinema tickets.  You could learn something new or share a skill you have like cooking or playing a musical instrument. 

No money is exchanged. If, however, your request does require money such as a lift in a car you would be expected to offer reasonable petrol money to the driver.

Everyone’s time is valued equally; one hour of sharing skills or helping others is recognised by giving that person one hour as a time credit – a community loyalty point.

Timebanking is not the same as volunteering. It is less formal with people being able to give and receive time doing things they enjoy, when they want to. It is a 2-way process of giving time and receiving time.

 Why is it there?

Life has changed and our friends and family do not always live nearby. It is not so easy to ask neighbours for help these days, particularly if we do not know if we can ever pay them back.

Timebanking is a rewarding and enjoyable way to bring people together once again to share their skills. Just like in a babysitting circle, people get the help they need and help each other out by taking turns to be responsible for some of the care and practical support that we all need from time to time – the only difference is that with timebanking, people of all ages and all abilities can join in and exchange a whole range of skills.

We believe that every person in society is of value no matter what their age or ability.  Everyone has knowledge and experience and every person has the ability to help someone in their community

 Who can do it? Let’s answer this question by asking six more!

  1. Would we would have an unstoppable force with which to solve most of our social problems if people pooled their knowledge, skills and energy?
  2. Is asking for a favour from others is easier when you know you will have a chance to pay them back?
  3. Is it OK to give time back to people when they co-operate and do things for each other?
  4. Do you feel safer and more secure with people around you can trust?
  5. Do you want to widen your circle of friends and acquaintances, increasing the opportunities you have so as to improve the quality of your life?
  6. Do you want to keep the planet in a good enough state to be of use to future generations?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to most of these questions, timebanking is for you!

 Where, and when can it be done?

The short answer is anywhere, and anytime! It depends on the offers and the requests, and it may be that some are not feasible for a range of reasons, but timebanking works best within a local community, where improving the lives of those within it is a common goal.

This area of the site will help you understand what timebanking is, why it is an important means of exchange, and what some of the key economic and social benefits can be.

There is also a resources section with videos about timebanking, some research findings about the impact of timebanking, and our latest publications available for download.


Download copies of our latest publications

Get involved

Find out how you can join in with the timebanking movement


Is timebanking right for you? Attend one of our training days!


View videos, publications, research and guidance about timebanking


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Time 4 Research

Link through to the independent Time 4 Research network