Time is money at Somersham’s timebank

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE village is getting a new kind of bank.

A VILLAGE is getting a new kind of bank.

The Somersham timebank will take deposits of people’s time and repay them in the same currency – helping to match villagers and their skills to the people who need help.

The parish council is leading the project, which it hopes will bring members of the community together, with help from Cambridgeshire County Council and funding from Skills for Care.

The bank is open for business with villagers giving practical help and support to others and withdrawing their time ‘deposits’ when they need help themselves.

People help each other out with everything from making phone calls to sharing meals and giving lifts to the shops.

Everyone’s time is valued equally, with one hour equalling one time credit.

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Sunny Singh, from the county council, has been helping Somersham parish clerk Penny Bryant to organise the project.

She said: “Somersham Parish Council has been the driving force behind the project.

“As part of the parish plan, councillors looked at ways of incorporating all members of the community into village life and decided on a timebank”

She said there was only one other timebank in the county, operating in the Abbey area of Cambridge, but similar successful schemes have been running across the UK for a number of years.

The funding from Skills for Care will allow the parish council to employ a timebank co-ordinator who will be responsible for organising events to recruit members, providing networking opportunities, initiating new projects and helping to secure further funding and sponsorship.