Trading Tales: Our Timebank turns one

The good cheer was undeniable at the Timebank’s first birthday celebrations with a multitude of notable successes to celebrate from the first year of community trading.

As Hannah Mackintosh, Timebank coordinator, noted, it was important to come together to celebrate these successes.

“The Timebank is now a community of 190 people who regularly help each other out. People have done everything from providing companionship to motorcycle maintenance,” says Hannah, “The success of the Timebank is all about the people who are in it and the birthday was a real indication of that.”

The best description of the birthday celebrations is ‘fun in the sun!’

“The atmosphere was very relaxed. I loved seeing everyone chatting and getting to know each other,” says Hannah, “There was a BBQ with food donated by Commonsense Organics in Kilbirnie, as well as coffee donated by People's Coffee. Timebank members brought a beautiful selection of salads and we were even treated to three birthday cakes baked by different members.”

Members and friends sat out in the sunshine on the grass, and some tried their hand at juggling with tips from Gulll, who offers juggling lessons through the Timebank. Linda the Timebank storyteller told stories of mystery and magic for the kids in the shade and a little later The Troubles, a lively jazz band that two Timebank members are part of, played and got everyone to their feet dancing to the upbeat tunes.

This was followed by the award ceremony presented by Hannah and a special VIP: Wellington’s very own Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. Annette King and Paul Eagle were also in attendance, adding to the local support for the Timebank.

“Everyone was so warm and open with each other and welcoming to those who dropped in to enjoy the celebrations,” says Hannah.

So how has our beloved Timebank been going?

“The first year has been about building and responding to what the community wants their Timebank to look like,” says Hannah, “At the end of one year we have a strong, active Timebank that people take pride in being a part of”

And what of future plans?

“Next year I would like to see more social activities that bring people together, organised by timebankers for timebankers. We will continue to build connections across the community sector so that the Timebank can support other community organisations. I would like to see a membership that adequately represents the diversity of the community we live in.”

At the birthday awards ceremony, awards went to people who help with the running of the Timebank: Gradon, Kiri and Bernadette, who have all volunteered in the timebank office, as well as Lisa, who has done much of the design work, and Matt, who built the website and regularly updates it. Rex and Kim were also awarded for doing the neighbourhood hubs in Island Bay and Newtown, and Jen was awarded for the Trading Tales articles.

There were also special mentions that went out to Marion, Leonie and Renee, who all “active and generous traders,” according to Hannah.

Finally, the timebanking awards went to Bakhtawar - for providing fortnightly companionship to another timebank members.

and Maria - who often responds to requests from people who need immediate support or are in strife.

“Maria’s experience and knowledge combined with her cheerful and caring personality has been a wonderful support to Timebank members,” says Hannah.

Now for the big award (drumroll please. The Timebanker of the Year award went to... Willie Gunn.

“Willie has been a wonderful advocate for the Timebank and he often reaches out to the community. He has done this through offering to be a mentor for a young man who was doing his community service hours through the Timebank, by helping out in the gardens at Kilmarnock Heights Home, and also by helping one of the younger members of the Timebank collect firewood,” says Hannah, “He also organised a potluck dinner for Timebank members”.

At the end of our first wonderful year of trading, Hannah would also like to shout out to some special people for making the first year possible.

“Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who has joined the Timebank, because they believe in the concept and want to be part of building their own community. You all inspire me daily,” says Hannah, “Secondly, I want to thank the Wellington City Council, TG Macarthy Trust and the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre who have all generously funded and supported us. We couldn't have done it without you. Thirdly, I would like to thank the steering committee, a team of nine individuals who have all built the Timebank into what it is today.”

Congratulations are in order and a big collective pat on the back to us all for this first year of collaboration, cooperation, success, and, ultimately, support.

Kia Kaha, traders in time, and we’ll see you next year to build on our achievements together.

Jennifer Niven