We were very lucky to have the opportunity to be joined in our work by two Danish anthropology students – Sif & Julie. They accompanied us for three months from the end of August to mid-November. During their stay here they threw themselves in head first and experienced the whole range of what we do.
To begin with they visited the Gloucester services and learned about how it helps support local organisations as well as interview both MP Richard Graham and the Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl. We gave them a taste of the seaside by having them join us on our annual Bournemouth trip. They spent some time inland as well by visiting a deer park and the Forest of Dean. It wasn’t all just fun though – they got their hands dirty by helping Dorothy with her garden and Kate with building her bike shed. Rushey Green Time Bank in London also welcomed them and they could see an alternative way of time banking. Excitingly, Julie was also able to take part in the group talk we had with Edgar Cahn. They even took part in our lunch club by sharing some Danish cuisine – meatballs and salty liquorice.
Here’s a few words on how they felt their time here went.
During the last 3 months, we have had the pleasure of participating in Fair Shares as part of our Anthropological master thesis on time banking. We have met so many inspiring people and have truly enjoyed taking part in the everyday life of Fair Shares. We want to thank you all for being so open and answering our many questions – you made our project possible!
We have learned that time credits are not essential to run a functional time bank; rather, by honoring the core values of respect, reciprocity and community, Fair Shares succeeds in creating an inclusive environment for people in the local community to meet and connect.
We are amazed by the strong community spirit in Gloucester and everyone’s willingness to help their neighbours, which we will be inspired by in our continuous work and life in Copenhagen. Again, we want to thank everyone who has welcomed us with a smile and taken the time to chat, and we look forward to come back to visit you all next year!
Sif & Julie