skip to content

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Volunteers sought for Timebanking project

01/04/2015

Jo Hammersley, Equality and Diversity Assistant at the Service, with Amanda Boyd, of  Disability Solutions One Roof Project
Jo Hammersley, Equality and Diversity Assistant at the Service, with Amanda Boyd, of Disability Solutions One Roof Project

The Service is seeking extra volunteers to support its Timebanking project in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

"By helping to run the café, both at the front of house and behind the scenes, volunteers can support an important hub for the people of Newcastle as well as earning time that they can trade in for any jobs they might need help with."

Jo Hammersley - Equality and Diversity Assistant

The innovative scheme has proved popular since it was set up in 2013 with 40 members on its books. It is supported by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service through the Safer Communities CIC.

The team is now hoping to extend the services it offers to people by expanding the skills base provided by volunteers. In particular it is looking for those with general DIY and administration experience.

Volunteers can do simple things such as walking a dog, mowing a lawn or giving someone a lift to the hospital.

The Service also wants to hear from people who can help out at the ‘Wednesday Hub’ which takes place every week from 10am-4pm at Newcastle Community Fire Station.

They would assist with the running of the ‘café station’ as well as transporting older or vulnerable people, who may be socially isolated, to and from the event.

Members then ‘claim back’ the time they have given up by utilising the skills of someone else in the Timebank when they need assistance.

The scheme, which is part of Time Banking UK, is free to join and is mutually beneficial for members.

Disability Solutions is also providing help and support for disabled people to get back into employment, training or volunteering. Representatives from the charity are on hand during the Wednesday Hub.

Jo Hammersley, Equality and Diversity Assistant, said: "The Timebank has proven to be really successful and we now have a varied group of volunteers who regularly give up a few hours to do a bit of work to help other members of the scheme.

"We are very keen to build upon its success at the same time as boosting the community café which has become a vital resource for local people of all ages, from college students to mothers with toddlers and older residents.

"By helping to run the café, both at the front of house and behind the scenes, volunteers can support an important hub for the people of Newcastle as well as earning time that they can trade in for any jobs they might need help with.

"The volunteers who have been helping to run the café have also benefitted as some of them were previously isolated in their homes and now feel much more integrated and confident, not to mention the benefits gained by those who use the facility. It is a win, win situation and we would love to hear from anyone who would like to be a part of it, in whatever capacity they can be."

For more information on Timebanking call Jo Hammersley 01785 898573  or email safercommunities@staffordshire.gov.uk