West Raven Time Bank

Cross Keys Homes are investing some time and money into creating a pilot Time Bank scheme in Peterborough where people have the opportunity to exchange their skills and services with other members of the community.

Broadcast at 08:53 on Monday 9th August 2010 in the Peterborough Breakfast Show hosted by Paul Stainton on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

PS: Now a new bank opens in Peterborough this morning. It’s not somewhere you can get a mortgage though. No no. It’s the West Raven Time Bank. You can’t get no cheques. You can’t get no cash out of the wall. Linda Browning is Time Bank Broker and Ruth Mingay is the Community Programme Manager at Cross Keys Housing Association. Morning.
BOTH: Morning.
PS: What’s Cross Keys got to do with it? It’s a bank.
RM: What we’re doing is as part of Cross Keys Homes Community Strategy, which is aimed at combatting social exclusion, we’re committed to being a community player and helping people to improve their lives ..
PS: Right.
RM: .. so as part of that strategy the idea of time banking is that people in the community, it’s building up communities, and giving them a chance to be able to exchange their time, and helping each other.
PS: Ok. So the concept, Linda, is that if I’ve got some time, I swap it for somebody else’s time?
LB: That’s exactly the idea. And what we’re looking for is any skill that you can offer to somebody else ..
PS: Not a lot.
LB: Whether it be walking a dog, picking up some post, or anything like that. There’ll be somebody out there that then do something for you.
PS: There’s not much call for people that can move faders about.
PS: No. Not really. But I get the idea. So if Peter Crouch had half an hour from a couple of weekends ago he could donate that, could he.
LB: Yes I think he could, yes. Definitely. (LAUGHS)
PS: I’m sure he’d like to. Maybe. How does it work though, because say you’ve got Gillian Beasley, who’s Chief Executive at the City Council, is her time worth more than mine?
LB: No. Everybody’s time is equal.
PS: Very democratic isn’t it? It’s almost socialist.
LB: One hour of your time is worth one hour of somebody else’s time.
PS: Do you reckon though, seriously?
LB: Yes.
PS: So I want somebody to paint a wall in my house.
LB: Yes.
PS: Essentially, so I’m a Cross Keys resident perhaps, and I can say perhaps change a plug and do a few odd jobs. So we effectively swap it.
LB: That’s how it works.
PS: Right. And how do people, how do you know that people are telling the truth as well? If I say I can paint a wall, I can, I get a bored half way through though because my attention span is quite short, so I start messing about.
LB: What we’re doing is we’re calling people in and having an interview. So we sit down and have a chat with them. Everybody fills in a skills questionnaire, as to what they would like doing, and what they feel they can offer. And we take references from people that know them.
PS: Right. So you can’t just walk in and say yes I’m a brain surgeon, I’ll give you half an hour.
LB: No.
PS: So is there some sort of register of skills?
LB: We have a list of skills, but everybody has a skill, even though most people will say, I can’t do anything. We have people that like to be read to, who can’t actually read themselves, filling in forms, and it can be very basic things. But everybody has a skill that they can offer. And it may not be on a little tick list that we have, but if they’ve got something they want to offer, then we’ll gladly look at it.
PS: So is it like a Peterborough Time Bank then?
LB: This is a West Raven Time Bank. We’re only rolling out in Westwood and Ravensthorpe at the moment.
PS: Oh I see. West Raven. Yes. So you could have a Dog Castor Bank, couldn’t you?
PS: I heard what you said at the top, but how did Cross Keys get actively involved in this?
RM: Basically Cross Keys have invested fifteen thousand pounds over the year into the programme. We’re working in partnership with Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service, as well as various other partners such as Cambridgeshire Time Bank who have been helping us obviously to get the scheme set up, using their exeprience as an established time bank. And basically we’ve got Linda, who’s been appointed as the Time Broker to help to run the scheme, based over in Westwood, our Westwood community hub. And Linda’s obviously running the scheme, and she’s being managed through the Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service. But obviously this is actually a Cross Keys scheme, and I support Linda within her role.
PS: Right. Ok. I see. Yes.
RM: It also links in nicely with the Working for You programme that we’re running, which is an employment project. And one of the areas we’re rolling that out is Westwood area, Westwood and Ravensthorpe. And the Time Bank can act as the opportunity for volunteering, which means people can obviously then put it on their CVs, and it’s a good chance for people who are looking for employment obviously to have something worthwhile that they can be doing with their time.
PS: As we mentioned it’s something perhaps that could be rolled out across the city eventually?
RM: Yes. This is our pilot area, and one of the reasons that we’ve chosen this area for our pilot is the fact that we’re obviously running an employment project in that area, so it fits in nicely with that. As I said, this is a pilot, so obviously we’ll see how it runs over in Westwood and Ravensthorpe, and then it’s a possibility that we’ll look at rolling it out in other areas.
PS: Linda, you’ve worked on these projects elsewhere across the Uk. Where’s the idea come from originally?
LB: The idea’s been around for a long time. It came from America originally. But it’s been very successful in the Uk. Our partners that we’re working with in Cambridge have been going for four years now, and they have a bank of over a hundred people, that are consistently exchanging their time and taking on bigger projects now, and still recruiting staff, which is what we would hope to get to over here.
PS: Yes. It’s effectively bartering really, isn’t it, I suppose. The old fashioned ..
LB: There’s a lot of your neighbourly concerns as well, things that people do and take for granted. You know, you knock on your neghbour’s door when it’s snowing and say do you need anything from the shop? But it’s something that you can actually now equate in your time, and get something back for doing that.
PS: Yes. And the launch is today?
LB: Yes. The launch is today, over at Hampton Court in Westwood. At eleven o’clock we shall be there. We’ve got the Mayor coming down at half past eleven to support us as well.
PS: He’ll go to anthing if there’s a vol au vent. (LAUGHTER) Old Keith.
LB: We’ve got a nice bit of cake coming along. (LAUGHTER)
PS: He’ll be there all day. He’ll be chomping away all day he will, with his tie on. And if people do want to get involved, and they do want to put their time into this bank how do they do it?
LB: They contact me or Ruth. I’m in the Hub on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The telephone number over there, if I may, is Peterborough 396435, or you can email me at linda.browning@crosskeyshomes.co.uk. And any interest that you have, if you give me a call, or email me, and I’ll certainly get back to you and see what we can do.
PS: Make sure you’ve got some Brasso and a cloth on hand as well, because he’s a messy eater, Keith Sharp, and he’ll get it all over his chains. It will take at least an hour to clean them. (LAUGHTER) So some Brasso as well as cake. Listen, thank you for coming in this morning. A really interesting idea. Linda Browning Time Bank Broker and Ruth Mingay Community Programme Manager at Cross Keys.