The oldest time bank in the UK, here’s how it all started…

Scroll down through time to see some of the key moments that have made us the charity we are today.

The first time bank project is set up in the UK

Timebanking is introduce to the UK in 1998 by Fair Shares. After visiting Dr Edgar Cahn and seeing the Time Dollar Movement in America, Martin Simon wants to bring it to the UK. He begins development work from an office at City Works in Gloucester to create the first time bank in the country.

edgar fair shares

The UK's first time time bank is launched in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire
Fair Shares opens it's first time bank in Stonehouse which is launched by the local MP David Drew.Newspaper 1998 croppedThe original Trustees are Mark Gale, Linda Myer Bennett, David Ballard, Trudie Sheppard, Adrian Slade and Julia Bennett

Staff in Place
first staffThe very first team of Fair Shares staff are in place and ready to take over the volunteering world! Jackie Whitmore (time broker), Martin Simon (Director), Sue Friston (time broker) and Joy Rogers (Project Co-ordinator)
A second time bank launches in Newent
The Newent Time Bank is launched by Dr. Edgar Cahn in May of 1999.
3rd Time Bank opens in Cheltenham
Cheltenham is the third location chosen for a time bank. It opens in the Whaddon, Lynworth and Priors park area of the town and within two weeks has over 30 participants signed up.
The 100th participant joins a Fair Shares time bank
September also sees the 100th particpant in the county sign up to become a member; number 100 is Isla from Whaddon in Cheltenham.
Time Banking UK created
Timebanking UK (TBUK) is formed from a partnership between Fair Shares and the New Economics Foundation. Timebanking UK is set up to promote timebanking across the country and support new time banks to start.
Four neighbourhood time banks open in Gloucester
May to November
The first of the Gloucester neighbourhood time banks is launched in the Podsmead area of the city in May, followed by time banks in Coney Hill and Matson. The fourth opens in November, in White City.Newspaper 1 cropped
First timebanking convention held in the UK
Martin Simon and Fair Shares organise the first timebanking convention in the UK. It is held at City Works in Gloucester.
Downing Street trip for Fair Shares
Fair Shares staff are invited to 10 Downing Street to meet Lord Falconer the Minister of State to discuss timebanking and it's merits. The project is awarded a £49k grant from the Active Community Unit in recognition of the work being undertaken.Lord Falconer
North Cotswolds time bank funded
Funding is received from the Countryside Agency to trial timebanking in a rural area. The North Cotswolds area is selected and John Cousins becomes the project manager
Time for Childcare
Fair Shares launches "Time For Childcare" schemes in Moreton in Marsh and it also starts in Leicester. This project offers training through the time bank for parents wanting to become childcare professionals.time for childcare
Moreton office opens
press art cotswolds fundingThe Cotswold time bank opens an office in Moreton In Marsh and is staffed by Jo Goldie and Kate Newman
Castlegate Project link up with Fair Shares
Fair Shares starts to work with the Castlegate project based at HMP Gloucester's visitors centre. It is the start of long term involvement in prison work by the charity.
First Fair Shares vehicle bought.
blue vanThe beloved blue van is bought as Fair Shares first vehicle.
Gloucester citywide time bank launched
19th July
gloucester launchThe four neighbourhood time banks are combined into the first citywide time bank in the country and the official launch is undertaken by The Mayor of Gloucester, Cllr Phil McLellan & Sheriff / Deputy Mayor Cllr Susan Blakley at City Works.
Gloucester Time Bank makes link with Probation's Community Service Team
Winter 2003
probation 2Four offenders undertake a massive 153 hour task to clear a participant's 100 ft plus garden of brambles. This is the first time Fair Shares has linked with the Community Service Team in this way to provide a service for participants.
Gloucester citywide time bank grows
By December, 200 participants are signed up to the Gloucester time bank and 6000 hours of services have been exchanged since the offical start in July
HMP Gloucester
Prison bike resizedFair Shares starts a bike project in HMP Gloucester. Old bikes from Centre Parks are refurbished by prisoners and then working with the charity, Jole Rider, the bikes are sent out to Gambia for health workers to use.
Newent Onion Fayre - Window Display winner
Newent in Bloom cert 20051Fair Shares involvement with the Newent Onion Fayre continues and this year the Newent team take the third prize for their window display.
Fair Shares builds links with the Royal British Legion
Gloucester time bank builds links with the Royal British Legion in the city and uses time credits earned by prisoners at HMP Gloucester and offenders undertaking Community service projects to provide transport, befriending and decorating for ex-service personnel. rbl & gloucester#1
Downing Street Visit
downing street croppedTimebroker Reyaz and participants Alec and Tina are invited to 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister as part of an event to celebrate volunteering.
Floods in Gloucestershire
bbcFair Shares works with BBC Radio Gloucester to co-ordinate the volunteer response to the floods in the city after many people are left without power or clean drinking water. 
Film making begins
Fair Shares secures funding to buy some video equipment. The project works with a local filmmaker to teach participants how to video and edit films.filmaking
Minister visits our Prison Bike Project
Minister of Justice David Hanson visits Gloucester Prison to talk to us about our prison project and how the work may be replicated in other parts of the country.David Hanson Visit
Fair Shares goes to the seaside
The annual holiday trips to the seaside start in 2008 with a trip to Bournemouth for participants.Bournemout
10th Anniversary
The 10th anniversary of Fair Shares. We hold a celebration at the City Works office and Dorothy Hodge, a founding member of Stonehouse time bank, speaks of her experiences to the guests.10th celebration
Stroud Office launches
The Fair Shares Stroud office in Brick Row is launched, staffed by Chris Moore and helped by volunteer Emma Ordonez
Minibus bought
minibusFair Shares secures funding from Gloucestershire County Council to buy a minibus with a wheel chair ramp that allows it to be used by a wide variety of participants and local groups.
Filming in HMP Gloucester
Permission is granted by the Governor at HMP Gloucester to start filming the story time DVD’s with prisoners. The DVDs show a prisoner reading a bedtime story which is then sent on to their children and proves very positive in maintaining family links. 
HMP Eastwood Park and Leyhill
leyhillInitial talks get underway with HMP Eastwood Park and HMP Leyhill to undertake projects in these prisons.
Smart car donated to Fair Shares
15 November
A Smart car is left as a gift to Fair Shares by participant Martha Speyer in her car
Fair Shares starts working with St James City Farm
A young man and girl feeding a lambFair Shares becomes involved with the City Farm in Tredworth.
Spring Ball fundraiser is held in the Cotswolds
26th March
cotswoldballFair Shares holds a Spring Ball at the St Edwards Hall in Stow On The Wold as a fund raiser for the charity.
Cotswolds Roadshow!
16-20 May
The North Cotswold Roadshow hits the highway for a week around the villages in the area to promote time banking in the rural communities.cotsroadshow
1000 hours certificate awarded!
1000 hoursHugh becomes the first participant to earn 1000 time credits!
Cross Generational work in Stroud
A project is launched in Stroud by Fair Shares and Open House (Five Valleys Foyer) which is a housing project for young people. The aim is to offer the opportunity for young people and older people to meet each other and benefit from the other person's skills and knowledge. The project runs to the following June 2012 and is very successful.Cross Generation
Life Histories project in Stroud
Life histories stroud 1 Life histories stroud 21 oct 11The Stroud time bank run a pop up shop as a culmination of their Life Histories project.
Sue joins Fair Shares
Sue Martin joins Fair Shares as a Time Broker to run the Cheltenham Time Bank and starts to develop IT projects to teach people basic computer skills.newspaper - cheltenham
Fair Shares launches an out of county time bank in Stratford Upon Avon
Fair Shares launches a time bank in Stratford Upon Avon. This photo was taken at the River Festival at the end of June to promote the new time bank.stratford time bank
The Fair Shares staff team
The Fair Shares staff team as of September 2012. staff team 2012
Fair Shares Charity Shop Launches in Stonehouse
16th November
Our charity shop opens in November in Stonehouse, the town where the first time bank began. Lawrence Hughes, the CEO, is on hand to pass out sandwiches at the launch
New coffee mornings in the Forest and Newent
On 7th February, the first Fair Shares coffee morning is held at the Chill Out Zone in Newent. The following week, on the 12th February,  a new weekly coffee morning session begins at the Holme Community Centre in Mile End, Coleford.
HMP Gloucester
15th February
After 222 years, Gloucester prison closes down, bringing to a close our joint working. We look to see how we can continue the prison work elsewhere. The article below is from Gloucestershire Live:HMP glos closes
Lawrence retires and we celebrate our 15th Anniversary
18th March
lawrence leaves and 15 yearsWe hold an event to thank Lawrence Hughes for all the hard work and his dedication as he retires. He has been an inspirational CEO and leaves a fantastic legacy. We also celebrate the work of our short term contract staff who finish this week, they have made a huge difference to the organisation and will be a credit to the organisations they've moved on to help. We also celebrate 15 years of Fair Shares with a gigantic selection of cakes made by staff.
Reyaz awarded 'Citizen of Gloucester'
Reyaz is named Citizen of Gloucester for over a decade's worth of community work in Gloucester City.Citizen of Gloucester
Helping Hands project launched
helping handThe Helping Hands project begins, it's aim is to support people being discharged from hospital who need a little more practical help.
Coffee and IT !
Weekly coffee mornings start at the city farm in Gloucester and a weekly coffee morning / IT session launches in mornings
Information Day
16th December
Fair Shares holds an information day for organisations and over 65 people attend to find out more about the charity and time banking.organisational day
New starters
February 3rd sees David Moore join as a Time Broker whilst on the 10th February Rene Martin takes up her post as manager of the Fair Shares charity shop in Stonehouse.Fair Shares Charity Shop front
May sees the development of a time bank in the Tewkesbury area.
Stratford and Oxford time bank fledge
1st July
Fair Shares has successfully supported the development of two timebanks that are now functioning independently. Stratford Time Bank and Oxford have benefitted from the expertise of all the staff at Fair Shares and after a year or more of consultancy and development have set off on their own independent journey.
First South West region time bank network meeting is held.
23rd September
Fair Shares jointly hosted the first South West Regional Time Bank Network meeting held in Taunton with Timebanking UK and Zebra Collective on 23rd September. Over 33 people across the South West came to network and share good practice from Cornwall, Plymouth, Stroud, Bath, Oxford, Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury, Swindon, and Seaton.
Good Neighbours in the Forest
The Good Neighbours project launches in Newent.
Cotswolds offices merge
The North and South Cotswolds offices merge and are run from Moreton by Andi Weide.
Head Office moves
chequersFair Shares head office moves from it's first home at City Works a few minutes away to the Chequers Bridge Centre on Painswick Road.
Time for IT
Time for IT project funding ends having helped over 72 people to improve their IT skills. The IT club still continues to run with an added coffee morning component.
'Chance To Chat' Memory Boxes launched
28th January
Contents of one of the memory boxes that have been launched at Stroud library.Memory Box 12 copyThe launch at the library with partners from the Library and Museum In The Park.memory box launch with partners
Funding for Tewkesbury
Funder Morrisons FoundationMorrisons Foundation and Tewkesbury Borough Council provide grants to support Time Banking with older people with long term health conditions in Tewkesbury
Prison Project celebration
22nd March
prison celebration photo40 people attended a celebration of the Times2 Maths Prison project at HMP Leyhill. Countess Lady Bathurst attended in her role as High Sheriff of Gloucestershire.
Fair Shares hosts European Conference
coacteThe CO-ACTE European conference is hosted by Fair Shares and was held at Park House near Gloucester Park. Delegates representing a range of community organisations from countries including Belgium, France, Greece and the UK will take part in the two-day event in Gloucester. The conference discusses new economic models based on people sharing time, money, experience and skills, to bring communities together and improve health and wellbeing.
Fair Shares Summer Celebration at turning 18
12th July
Around 100 people attend our Summer Celebration at the Chequers Bridge CentreFair Shares Celebration - 012Jamie and Sara, Fair Shares participants, are interviewed about how being involved with Fair Shares has benefited them and others.
Gloucester Fun Day
Fair Shares Celebration - 012 We hosted a fun day, organised by Farhanah, for the people of Gloucester at Chequers Bridge Communiy Centre. Over 500 people visited, taking part in face painting, exploring a fire engine, bouncing on bouncy castles, and eating at the various food stalls.
Visit from some Danish Anthropologists
Sif & Julie We were joined for 3 months by two student anthropologists from Denmark - Sif & Julie. They shadowed us as we worked and also visited Rushey Green Time Bank to gather information for their master's thesis.
Visiting Parliament
Parliament Trip - 002To celebrate one of our youth groups from Betaris Training finishing their volunteering with us, we visited parliament and had a guided tour around the Palace of Westminster and a chat with our local MP, Richard Graham. He answered various questions, ranging from apprenticeships to brexit.
10 years of Bournemouth
Bournemouth Trip 2018 2018 is the 10th year of our annual Bournemouth holiday, and the 11th holiday with our participants. This time, our holiday was a joint venture with Stroud coming as well.
These People We Love
These People We LoveA film was produced for us by Pip and Ali Heywood capturing the changing relationships between those living with dementia and their carers.
Official Workshop Opening
Workshop Router Using funding fron the Barnwood Trust and Screwfix Foundation, we refurbished our workshop and held an event to open it to the wider community.
Charity Auction & 21st Celebration
Charity Auction To celebrate our 21st birthday we hosted a charity auction in Stroud with donations and guests from all across Gloucestershire.
Our Time to Shine
Time to Shine June was Fair Shares 'Time to Shine' at Gloucester Services. We showcased our work to both staff and visitors for a month by building minature planters, using our chance to chat postcards and holding jewellery crafting sessions.
Rich Gets An Award
Rich w/ Award Rich, our young persons worker, won a 'Community Hero' award in the Gloucestershire Constabulary Impact Awards. He was nominated due to the work he's done with us and was presented with the award by Martin Surl, PCC for Gloucestershire.
Rachel Joins The Team
Rachel Photo Rachel joins Fair Shares and starts replanting the community allotment.
Covid-19 Begins
Once lockdown starts we switch from our usual activities to providing cooked, delivered meals every weekday and a foodbank is also opened in the Friendship Cafe.
15,000 Meals Cooked!
Food Collage After a year of hard work by over 90 volunteers and various community organisations, we cook our 15,000th meal.
HRH Princess Anne Visits
Princess Anne, Reyaz & Tina Princess Anne visited our Gloucester office to see some of the volunteers who've been helping over the pandemic., as well as the facilities we have like the wood workshop.
New GEM Worker, Tim
Tim, new GEM worker Tim takes over as our new GEM worker, aiming to help people in Barton & Tredworth find employment or training opportunities.
Celebrating the Queen's Jubilee
Jon fitting the bench Our wood workshop made a bench for Gloucester City Council in celebration of the Queen's Jubilee.
GEM comes to a close
Our work with GEM, a programme centered around helping those into education or employment, ended as the programme wrapped up after 6 years and helping over 1,200 people into work or education.
Sue leaves the team
After 12 years of working at Fair Shares, and 6 years as the CEO, Sue says good bye.
Katie joins as new CEO
Katie join as new Fair Shares CEO, bringing with her 13 years of experience in the charity sector.