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DISTRICT COUNCILLOR FOR CAMBOURNE Shrobona Bhattacharya helped to launch the rollout of timebanking in South Cambs at a presentation at SCDC's offices last month.
It is part of a proposal to help parish councils start their own local schemes based on several years' experience of Cambourne Timebank, which was founded in 2012.
Timebanking is an exchangebased volunteering system in which hours are the currency.
It also helps to build social networks of people who give and receive support to and from one another, enabling those from different backgrounds, who may not otherwise meet, to come together and form connections and friendships.
Generating 'social capital' in this way can be important to peoples' health, wellbeing and resilience and can prevent 'needs' from arising.
Members can be part of a team or offer their own practical help, such as looking after someone's pet while they are away or giving an elderly neighbour a hand to sort out their cupboards. Other examples from Cambourne include being sociable – organising weekly coffee mornings, an annual Christmas lunch and holding a film night.
Cllr Bhattacharya is the founder of CamCare UK – a local registered charity. She said: "We run more than 15 community projects engaging people of all ages and work closely with Cambourne Timebank as an organisational partner.” "As a member of Timebank I've picked up many jobs and visited elderly people, fixed computers or mobile phones and taken patients to the hospital for appointments." Anyone volunteering through Cambourne Timebank can earn credits for others to help them, or vouchers which can be used at selected leisure and entertainment venues. For more information about Cambourne Timebank and how to get involved visit: cambournetimebank.org.uk