Good neighbour pilot to give people in Atherstone and Mancetter ‘precious gift of time’

  Posted: 13.02.20 at 07:31 by Nick Hudson

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Project leaders of a new good neighbour initiative for Atherstone and Mancetter have pleaded for the pilot scheme to be kept “local”.

The area has been specifically chosen for the launch later this month and is aimed at giving people the “precious gift of time” to each other.

The Atherstone and Mancetter Timebank will be designed to test and establish a new model of community-led support across Warwickshire – helping residents to come together and share their skills.

Timebanking is a way of spending one hour of time helping someone out, the organisers say.

For every hour spent, you earn an hour in return. This can be exchanged for an hour of someone else’s time.

As no money changes hands, timebanks are a great way to help people access the support they need.

The scheme for Atherstone and Mancetter is being run by Coventry & Warwickshire Cooperative Development Agency.

The not-for-profit intermediary organisation, which has been in existence for more than 40 years, won a tender from Warwickshire County Council to launch the 12-month pilot project.

“It is basically a good neighbour scheme, providing the precious gift of time for something you might not be able to do yourself,” said CDA spokeswoman Kate Launchbury told Atherstone Nub News.

She added: “You can give a lift to somebody – and bank an hour – in return for someone else doing IT work for you.”

But she warned: “Please keep it local. I believe it will only work that way.

“For example no one in Atherstone will want to walk a dog belonging to someone in Stratford.”

The county council announced the plans last July as part of new approach to “manage” the demand on a range of local authority services.

The impact of the initial one year pilot scheme; which has finanical support from the county authority’s Early Intervention, Prevention and Community Capacity Fund, will be monitored and provide the basis for decisions about future funding.

Warwickshire council leader Izzi Seccombe said the time of the announcement: “The county council works hard to find new, innovative ways to keep the residents of Warwickshire healthy, supported and independent.”

The local Timebanking launch is planned in in the Community Space in the Atherstone Arcade, Long Street between 12 noon and 2pm on February 26.

Anyone 18 or over living in Atherstone or Mancetter can apply to join.

The Timebank is open to people of all abilities, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Typical activities include helping people to attend appointments and providing companionship; gardening and basic DIY; walking groups, fitness and exercise; computer training and IT repairs.

However, there is no restriction on what can be offered or requested by the membership.

In addition to the launch event there will be monthly drop-in sessions.

To apply to join or find out more check out the Facebook page and website or contact Kate Launchbury on 024 7663 3911 extension 105.

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