“For me, it’s completely changed my life”.
I was a housewife and retired and didn’t do anything. I started timebanking and went to the Timebanking conference in Blackpool and met some lovely people. I was really inspired by the changes it made to people’s lives.
At home I helped with a survey to see if people wanted to learn about how to grow vegetables, and from that Diane started Growing Newsome, which I got involved in as well.
So because I earned time credits I got some payback and another timebanking member helped me learn how to send emails. Then I helped at the luncheon club.
As a result of this I’ve helped reunite the local tenants and residents association which I’m quite involved with and had the confidence to go on to do various courses.
I have never taken a proper exam in my life but timebanking gave me the confidence to go on to get my certificate in Leadership and Management.
I can be an example to people who think they can’t do anything – because you can.
The purpose of ‘What makes us tick’ was to bring together people who are passionate about making a difference in the communities they live and work in and who are open to the new possibilities that can be created when we learn from each other.
‘What makes us tick’ was an opportunity for people to share what’s important to them, their own ideas and aspirations. We shared learning from the direct personal experience of people telling their own stories. The participants included inspiring community activists and voluntary and commercial organisations who are working in Kirklees, and people from further afield.
Through our discussions we explored two ideas in particular.
Instead of starting with problems and trying to fix them, we started with what we have and what’s important to us, and we tried to build on that first. So we started with the idea that:
“We don’t know what we need if we don’t know what we have”.
Secondly, instead of seeing some people as the volunteers and others as needy, or some of us as delivering services to customers with nothing to offer of interest except money, we tried to share and develop the opportunities that we can create for all of us to contribute and benefit – by exploring the principle of giving and taking.
We also shared our experience of the tools and methods we’ve used to collaborate and coordinate activities at a neighbourhood level, including Community Forums, Timebanking and the emerging use of local Social Media.
As well as inspiring community activists, the participants included people from business and social enterprise backgrounds, from education, local authorities and the NHS, Church communities, housing organisations and timebanking schemes from across the country.
This report has been co-produced by the participants.