The Art of Story-Telling


I hadn’t realised when I arranged to meet up with Viv Askey, that she, too, had been a Timebank reporter! 

She joined Timebank early last year and wrote the blog for about 6 or 7 months. Interestingly, Marion Leighton, whose Pancake Party I covered earlier, was Viv’s first interviewee. Viv decided to take up the voluntary position because she appreciated the concept of Timebank and she also wanted to get a hands-on approach to learning more about the art of story-telling. 

Viv remembers going around to Marion’s house to pick up a kilo of her famous healthy, sugar-free muesli and ended up staying for dinner. Talking to Marion and Quentin about Timebank and the good food they were eating, Viv also learnt about the draft version of Marion’s Recipe Book focusing on recipes for a healthier eating regime. It soon became obvious that Viv could exchange trades by doing some proof-reading. 

Viv says she doesn’t offer that many trades as she earned lots of credits through writing the blog, but she has done some proof-reading and some writing for other people. In return she has received some delicious home-made Indian meals, chakra balancing and of course … the muesli.

What Viv really enjoys about Timebank is the interaction she has with people beyond her own immediate community. She recognises that she has built up a rapport with people of different ages from a variety of living situations, far greater than is usual, because of this involvement. She would encourage people still considering joining to take the plunge. ‘Don’t think you have to have excelling or unique skills … what is unique is your involvement,’ she adds. She also feels that the tip she was given at the beginning, ‘it’s ok to get into (Timebank) debt,’ is a number 1 rule.

Viv has been really happy with her involvement: it has always felt really good, it’s a nice way to meet people and, loving food, she has received some great food transfers. You certainly get to access whole areas that you might not otherwise come across and there isn’t the money boundary, which is so often a limiting factor in other walks of life.

Volunteering to write the blog turned out to be an excellent decision for Viv. She was really interested in listening and telling people’s stories and she met numerous warm and inviting people. She certainly learnt a lot about the story-writing craft and discovered her own talent. So much so, that she has become increasingly involved in writing and blogging and now writes for Enspiral Tales. It was great to meet Viv and be able to share the creativity and satisfaction we have both discovered through sharing people’s stories and, of course, I’ll have no problems finding someone to proof this story before it hits the Wellington Timebank Newsletter.

Story by Sue Jenkins