St Neots Timebank volunteers and Longsands Academy students have teamed up for taster event to celebrate world culture

Members of the St Neots Timebank at a recent event.

Members of the St Neots Timebank at a recent event. - Credit: Archant

Members of the St Neots Timebank have teamed up with students from Longsands Academy to organise an international taster event.

The Timebank, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month, will join the sixth form pupils, who are part of the school’s Student Voice group, at the Taster Day at St Mary’s Church Rooms, in St Neots, on March 10.

Visitors to the event, from 12.30pm till 3.30pm, will be able to sample a variety of foods and learn more about cultures from around the world.

The St Neots Timebank was set up by Georgina Corely and now has 173 members, with a variety of skills, who offer about 1,000 hours each year to help other people in the community. Members carry out tasks and can earn ‘time’ which can then be spent on asking a volunteer to do something they need. They can also accept Spice Credits, which ‘pay’ them with activity vouchers.

The St Neots group is one of only three to have been awarded a Timebanking UK Charter Mark’and in 2015 it was voted Charity of the Year in the St Neots Town Council Community Awards.

“The TimeBank works with many community care organisations and linking up with the Student Voice illustrates how the concept of volunteering with the TimeBank is relevant and appeals to all age groups,” explained Mrs Corely.

“The aims are to link people to help each other, to help those who may be too stressed or too busy to keep up with jobs at home, getting them back to a more manageable level. Importantly, help is available for those people who can’t manage on their own (young and old) helping people to feel less isolated in the community,” she added.

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The Timebank also has a New Friends group where people learn about TimeBanking or can go along to meet other people and chat over refreshments and this is held on the third Friday of the month, from 2pm till 4pm, at the Priory Centre. A Sing for Fun group also meets on the third Monday of the month at the Tesco Community Room, from 7pm till 9pm. A monthly coffee morning is also held at St Mary’s Church Rooms on the first Saturday of the month, from 11.30pm to 1.30pm.

“Having been the coordinator of the timebank for the whole of the five years – I would like to say this job has given me the most job satisfaction and many stories of appreciation recorded for the help we’ve arranged, I can certainly say that timebanking changes people’s lives,” said Mrs Corely.

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