LISTEN: Giles Conisbee talks about why he joined the team and what the time bank does
A charity in Highland Perthshire which aims to share the skills and talent of people in their communities has appointed a new project manager.
Inspired by the community spirt throughout the pandemic, Giles Conisbee has donned the role of the new project manager for the Tay Valley Time Bank.
Explaining why this is an exciting project for him, Giles said: “I saw how the team of volunteers really supported the Birks when the Birks cinema was shut but they were doing drive ins.
“So that landed with me, I think when I had a look, doing a bit of research, I discovered that the Tay Valley Time bank is the glue for a lot of activities around the community.
“Fundamentally what they’re doing is encouraging people to be good neighbours and helping each other felt like a really worthwhile thing to do, at any point, but hey we’ve got a global pandemic going on.”
By acting as a medium for people come and share their skills, the Tay Valley Time Bank helps connect people who want to help support one and other.
People choose to volunteer themselves to participate for however many hours they choose, which in turn earns them a credit that can be used to ask for the help of other people.
All of the hours contributed are valued equally which helps the team simply connect people rather than evaluate them on a commodified basis.
Giles explained: “Say I needed help with some sort of IT, and I contacted the Tay Valley Timebank, they would find on their database of members people that people have ticked boxed ‘I can help with IT’.
“And a broker would just get in touch with different members to see who could help, who’s ready to help you and in what way. So, we would then connect you would get help with your IT.
“So those members who’ve helped you will get credits and you may then find that you, having joined the Timebank, said ‘hey, look, I’m happy to help with weeding in the garden’.
“So, you may be contacted at some point saying, ‘well if you would like to help, we’ve got someone who needs six hours’ worth of help.’”
And this coming month, Giles is joining in on the 28 days of kindness, where he’s going to commit an act of both anticipated and unexpected kindness.
Throughout the 28 days he’s planning to go out of his way to help someone in small or large way, which will help improve their day.
He said: “So the idea is that for every day, once a day, in February, at least one a day, I’m going to perform one random act, or not so random act, of kindness.
“It’s a bit of fun, we could all do with a bit of a laugh right now, but I think on a serious note, I see February as a time where we’re probably still living under COVID regulations that are quite strict, so it could be a bit of a grinding month.
“So I think, in order to connect with people in the community, and with neighbours and reduce feelings of isolation or loneliness.
“I think for all those reasons I’m launching all that 28 days of kindness campaign.”
To get in touch with the Tay Valley Time Bank, Giles and his team can be contacted on: email@example.com
Or by calling or texting: 07507 479555