A TYNESIDE charity is looking for members to take part in a new initiative designed to help the local community share their skills and expertise.
Age UK North Tyneside is delighted to announce the launch of the very first North Shields Time Swap.
The Time Swap initiative is for anyone of any ability or background aged 18 or over, in the local area, and aims to help people in the community connect and share their skills with one another.
Appointing a dedicated timebanking coordinator, Age UK North Tyneside will manage time, work to figure out which expertise can be shared, and link participants with other Time Swap members in order to help everyone involved develop their own new skill.
Timebanking coordinator, Emily Sinclair, believes that the project has huge potential to help people and businesses develop their skills and expertise, and to benefit the whole of North Shields.
Emily said: “The project provides people with a way to share talents and experiences, whilst learning new skills and helping to build connections throughout the local community.
“For every hour of time you give, you receive a one hour of credit to work alongside someone who has a different skill you may want to learn.”
Some skill areas identified for the project include gardening, computer skills, translation, DIY help, craftwork and cooking skills.
Age UK will be hosting an information event at the customer service centre, based at North Shields library on Wednesday 15th February from 10:30am.
Emily continued: “We are really excited to announce the launch of the Time Swap project.
“We have been working really hard with our partners around the North Shields area to get the initiative underway and we can’t wait to get the local community on board.
“We are looking for people to share all types of skills and expertise and in return you will also get to learn from other talented people within the area.
“So whatever your skill or background, whether it’s gardening, cooking, computers or languages, we are interested in hearing from you.
“We believe that giving the people of North Shields this platform to come together to share and enhance their skill set can have a highly positive effect on the area.”
Dr Dave Thomson from the Collingwood Health Group, a partner in Time Swap, added: “We wanted to be part of Time Swap the moment Age UK asked us.
“If North Shields wants to be a healthier, happier place then it will not just be health care professionals who make a difference, it will be the people of North Shields helping themselves and helping others.
“At Collingwood Health Group we have always understood that Healthcare is not the only thing that helps keep people well.
“In fact, it is not even the most important. Lifestyle, poverty, environment all make a difference, but what we know also makes a difference is feeling connected, feeling part of something, giving something of yourself to other people.
“North Shields Time Swap makes sense to us at Collingwood. It is about encouraging ordinary people, some of whom are our patients, to discover what they can give to others and what they can receive from others in turn.”
For more information on the Time Swap project, or to register your interest, please contact Age UK North Tyneside Timebank coordinator, Emily Sinclair on 07725 321089 or 0191 280 8480.