A place to stay

Imagine if we all had the philosophy of asking others in our amazing timebank community to help first, before asking anywhere else.

Sarah from the Lyttelton Timebank lives by this philosophy, and so when she and her family wanted to visit Wellington during the school holidays to escape the winter of the South, putting up a request on the Wellington Timebank for a house to stay was a no-brainer.

Joe lives in Newtown and was heading away for a week. She saw Sarah’s request and thought Sarah and her family would be great house-sitters, as well as dog and chicken-sitters. Chutney the dog loved having Sarah’s two kids to play with too! The trade was a fantastic one, Chutney had friends and didn’t go hungry, and it gave Sarah and her family the opportunity to visit Wellington without paying for a week’s accommodation.

The Lyttelton Timebank has been around for ten years, and is a fantastic model of how a timebank functions when it is fully integrated within a community. Sarah is one of the co-ordinators for the Lyttelton Timebank. She joined two years ago and started by offering up the simple skill of editing, a skill she had always had and overlooked. She soon fell into editing and reviewing books for the Lyttelton LIFT (Living Economies Inspirational Facts Transition) library. It may not have been a unique or fancy skill, but it was sure useful and helpful to a lot of timebankers who wrote stories and needed an editor.

This small start burgeoned into a full-on immersive timebank life for Sarah and her family. Sarah now works to connect many of the local schools around the Lyttelton and Diamond Harbour to the Timebank. This is a wonderful way for the school kids to connect with different members of the community they may not otherwise have the opportunity to know. Sarah is inspired by the Wellington Timebanks Feast for Strangers conversation dinners, and would love to see a similar thing bringing people together in Lyttelton.

Getting back to the philosophy, it connects directly to Sarah’s vision of collaboration between the Lyttelton and Wellington Timebanks.  Imagine if we could always have another community in another part of New Zealand to turn to.  This successful house-sit trade shows the capacity of trust and honesty that timebankers have; we literally invite people into our homes (for not just a cup of tea, but to stay for the week!). This might be the start of a great new friendship between the Wellington and Lyttelton Timebanks. 


This trading tale is brought to you by Vivienne Askey