'Timebanking' program allows volunteers to bank services

Member for Albury Greg Aplin.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin.

A GOVERNMENT program that allows volunteers to exchange their time with services has started in Albury.

Timebanking has been initiated on the Border by the Albury-Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau, with helpers being encouraged to earn credits through unpaid work which can be swapped for services from like-minded people.

Member for Albury Greg Aplin said the NSW government scheme had been tested in other areas since October 2012.

“Timebanking has been successful in the Hunter and Central Coast trial sites, attracting 4300 members, so it is fantastic our community will have the opportunity to benefit from the program,” he said.

“Timebanking is a new concept in Australia and allows members to earn ‘time credits’ for volunteering.

“They ‘bank’ these time credits and redeem them later for a service of personal value, such as help around the home, support with shopping or getting your car washed.”

Participants register at timebanking.com.au with both the volunteer and the beneficiary of their work having to sign-on to ensure the validity of the deeds.

The volunteer then has the opportunity to flag their need for particular help or click on arrows on a map to find what assistance may be on offer from other participants.

Timebanking is expected to be officially launched on the Border during this month’s National Volunteer Week.