Exchange your time and skills with others – Community Matters

By Ruth Tshoukas, Timebank Broker for Paignton

Although my chief job is running the Timebank in the Preston and Paignton area, in these unparalleled times, we have all had to adjust to a different way of living.

I find that I’m talking to people every day over the telephone, people who get in touch via the helpline because they need help. So many people live alone and have lost their usual support systems, like local coffee mornings, exercise groups or whatever. Luckily, we can usually match them with a local volunteer to help with bits of shopping or just a regular phone conversation.

We have a wealth of volunteers who we hope will also join the Timebank going into the future so that the volunteering will continue when times are ‘back to normal’. For those of you who have been volunteering through the helpline and want to join the Timebank, you won’t need two more references as we already have them for you.

Timebanking is a way of exchanging your time and skills with others. You earn a Timebank credit for every hour you give. Whatever you do, a phone conversation, computer support or anything else all have the same value; one hour equals one-time credit.

You can ‘spend’ your credits on the Timebank as and when you
choose. Or you can let them accumulate as a measure of how much you are doing in your community.

This is how it works
Timebank members can offer their skills to others or request help from others:

  • Signing up is easy to do either on the website or through your local community builder/Timebank broker
  • Anyone can join the Timebank; individuals, community groups or local businesses
  • All exchanges are equal no matter what you offer
  • The more people contribute and join the Timebank, the more there will be for people to share
  • There are no limits to how many hours you can offer or how many you can request.

How to sign up
To join the Timebank: Go to

Then in the right-hand corner, click on register. You will then receive an email with an activation link, which you will need to click to get started. Then…

  • Sign in to Torbay Together
  • Select explore in the left-hand corner
  • Select ‘Join the Timebank and follow the instructions on the screen

If you live in the Paignton area and want more information you can contact me by email:, or phone 07703 715236.

In the Torquay area, your Timebank Broker is Sandra Harper – email, or call 07966 743125.

We have what we need when we share what we have.