Time Banks UK ‘Banking on Biking’
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 12:00am 19 November 2006
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New Cross and Deptford Project
Time Banks UK is a community initiative which encourages local residents to trade skills and time. In 2004, Time Banks UK developed a pilot with the assistance of LCC’s community project to run workshops in 4 Time Banks in London.
In 2005, CLPP funding was requested for a Time Bank broker to set up 2 workshops per borough, organising one themselves and then mentoring a broker of a second Time Bank in the borough to set up a second workshop. The initial pilots had been carried out with no budget and funding would enable the Time Banks brokers to spend time forging links and building partnerships within the wider community and borough and bring in qualified mechanics for the workshops.
Project development and outcomes
For workshop 1:
- Contact was made with local LCC groups Lewisham and Southwark Cyclists, Lewisham Road Safety team, Pepys Resource Centre, SureStart, New deals for the Community and South London Maudsley Health team to promote the project and see how different partners could be involved
- A bicycle collage project was done with the local SureStart – forming a new community link and raising the awareness of cycling with the parents and children involved
- Time Banks members ‘ children produced posters advertising the event and the poetry group wrote cycling poems
- The actual event consisted of a 3 hour workshop at Pepys resource centre in Deptford, with 2 CTUK mechanics plus cycling information and TfL maps. Lewisham LCC cyclists were on hand to discuss any cycling queries and help plan routes
- 16 people between ranging in age from 7 – 50+ worked on their bicycles with the mechanics and many more attended
- LCC donated 2 second-hand bikes to be worked on which will now be kept as pool bikes for the Time banks community
- A raffle prize was offered of cycling accessories and a free LCC membership
- New Time Banks members were recruited at the event and an excellent contact was made with a man from the local estate with bike mechanic skills who is keen to be involved in future projects
For workshop 2
The second broker was supported – learning from the experiences of the first workshop.
- Existing contact were used within the cycling field and new local contacts made
- The workshop followed the same format and took place at the Irish Community Centre in Catford.
The final stage of the project is a joint group ride organised by both Time Banks with the assistance of the local LCC group. This will take place in late April.
One of the Time Banks brokers is now looking at starting a Bike Buddy scheme and is discussing the possibility of organising cycle training at a community centre for local children.
Whilst the Time Banks principle of exchanged time and skills is very much in evidence throughout this project, funding has proved essential in allowing the broker to dedicate time to forging links within the community which will now hopefully continue to flourish. In order to make future projects such as these successful further funding is necessary to enable professional services to be used – cycle training/mechanics - which can then be supported by the time and skills of the local people involved.
This vital community work could not be done without the support of our membership. The best way to ensure more local communities are introduced to the benefits of cycling is to become a member today.