We had a day out to London to visit Philippe and Simone at the Rushey Green Time Bank. They are the second oldest timebank in the country (we’re the first of course!). They were initially set up in a doctors surgery in Rushey Green. The GP at the time felt that many of the patients who were coming to him needed more than just a medical prescription. What he felt they needed was social interaction and being part of a mutually supportive community. The timebank was born out of this.
Over the past 19 years the timebank has grown and expanded out in all sorts of ways to take on lots of different community projects and activities. But in the same way that Fair Shares works, timebanking has always been at the heart of everything that happens. We had an amazing time listening and learning about many of these and sharing ideas and experiences. Some of the great things they do include community bring and fix sessions, computer coding lessons for young people, food recycling projects and they even developed a local loyalty card system for volunteers linking with local businesses – the Lewisham Local.
In the afternoon we had a wander around the Wild Cat Wilderness. The Wild Cat Wilderness is a community green space coordinated by the Time Bank. It is a natural wilderness in busy London, which local people are shaping and developing. It is a community space where people can explore nature and the wildlife, play or relax in its peacefulness, learn new outdoor skills or crafts, share and enjoy the space with other local people of all ages, cultures, faiths and abilities.