• Noel Williams

Innovative Ideas for Social Welfare and Your Time Bank


As a time bank, you have probably tried to come up with new and innovative ideas for social welfare. Time banking can play a massive part in social welfare and already does around the world. For your hours taking part in projects that aid social welfare, you can earn credits from your time bank which you can call in for help or work, whenever you need it.


We have already talked about initiatives such as bringing awareness to recycling and how they can help your community. Encouraging people in your community to recycle more and even take part in projects such as picking up litter from parks, beaches, and other public areas, can only be good for the social welfare of your community.


Well, there are so many other innovative ideas that you could take inspiration from. We know that as a time bank you may have thought or even been involved in some of these already but for those of you that haven’t, why not see if there is something from the following that you could get involved with?


Examples of Innovative Ideas for Social Welfare


There are many prominent examples of innovative ideas that have and still are playing a big part for social welfare in communities. If you are somebody that wants to give back to your community, you may find some inspiration from the following:


Community Shops


Far from a new idea but one that has been adopted and is successful in countries all around the world is community stores/shops. Think charity shops that sell second-hand clothes or other items. Donated by the public, people that need them can buy at discounted prices. Sold cheaply, they find these goods new homes with people that do not have the funds to buy them new.


They can sell all kinds of items this way. Donated ovens, fridges, televisions, and all other types of home appliances make their way to those that need them. This has been a great help in particular to homeless people who have been re-homed and looking to start over. They can pick up these appliances for a fraction of the cost or even free in some instances.


There have been some great examples of food stores that operate similarly. By sourcing food at lower costs from wholesalers, these stores can offer much lower-prices. Usually these foods are those that the wholesaler cannot sell at the full price, anyway. It may be food close to expiring or those that have slightly damaged packaging such as dented cans.


They do not run these stores for profits and instead proceeds cover administrative costs with all surplus going to charities or other community initiatives. Perhaps this is something that your time bank could get involved in? You could start your own project or simply volunteer to work alongside an initiative already in place in your community.


Collection and Sale of Used Textbooks


Another great innovative idea for social welfare could be to give struggling students a hand. Students, particularly working students can find it difficult to pay for their education and the other costs that come with it. Using your time bank to create initiatives to help them be a great thing to do in your community.

One way to do this would be to collect used, and no longer needed textbooks from students at the end of each semester. These can then be sold to other students at heavily discounted prices or even donated.


Student Tuition


Students can also get help if they are struggling. Let’s say, for instance, that there are some Spanish, French, German speakers among your time bank members. Perhaps you could set up free tuition classes for students that are struggling with those languages at school/college/university? This does not have to stop at language either, it could be any skill that somebody has to offer.


Helping the young in our communities is just as important as helping the old. By assisting students, they could get the grades they need that could be the difference between finishing or not finishing their education. It could be the difference between them falling into gangs, crime, or prostitution. Helping the young early can make an enormous difference to their lives.


Micro-Lending Programs


Another innovative idea for social welfare are micro-lending programs. A great way to help the community, time banks around the world have set up money lending programs. Not everyone can get credit for whatever reason and not everyone will be able to pay back what they borrowed. Instead, a member of your time bank could borrow a set amount and make their repayment installments through hours worked.


This is a noble concept that has shown to be successful on many occasions. For those that are unemployed, it brings the additional benefit of getting people used to working and contributing to society. The work they do in return could be something of actual use and would look good on a resume, so it could also increase their employability.


Social Work


A broad term, social work fundamentally involves putting in the hours to help the community. It could be helping to care for the elderly or children with disabilities, feeding the homeless or needy, or providing support to those fighting addiction or mental illness. There are so many avenues to social work and as a time bank, you should be able to find a way to help in any of them.


You could partner with existing charities or organizations and offer your time bank members credits for volunteering to help. Perhaps you could form or supply members to a food bank, have them go shopping for elderly people, or assist single parents by looking after their children when they work.


Starting a Time Bank


A time bank itself is already a benefit to social welfare. Not just because of the help members are able to give to others but also the help that members themselves receive. Just being a member will help so many people. Older people that suffer with loneliness in their old age now get to socialize with others more, a time bank also helps them to stay active. Members that are unemployed or suffer with addiction or mental issues get used to contributing to society and thus become more employable.


Members feel part of a community, a club, or even a family and it can be life changing for so many. Being a member can help with confidence or self-esteem issues and can give people a sense of belonging.


If there is not a time bank in your area, why not consider creating one if you want to do something worthwhile for your community? Bit by bit it will grow in size and you will be able to increase the amount of good that you can do. All time banks started somewhere, so why not speak to friends and family about getting one up and running in your community?


Supporting Local Charities


Charities are always looking for volunteers, and they often struggle to achieve what they have set out to do. Why not do your bit to give a local charity a helping hand? If you run a time bank, you could work alongside a local charity and encourage your members to volunteer in return for some time credits.


You could help them by collecting donations, handing out leaflets, or working in their stores. A partnership such as this will always be good for your community while also benefiting your members that have put themselves forward for work - they earn time credits after all.


The Takeaway


Time banking and social welfare go hand in hand. Time banking is a concept designed to allow people to help one another without the need of a monetary system. What you give out in time can be recouped back in the time of another person. What better reason than to use that time for the benefit of social welfare?


You can use your time bank to really help your community in so many ways. As long as you have the willing

members and the desire to help out in areas in your community, there is a lot of good that you can do as a collective.


Of course, there are many other initiatives that you can use other than those above. You could even come up with your own unique innovation ideas for social welfare. If you put your collective minds to it, we are sure that you can come up with some great community uses for your time bank members.


Nomos App For Time Banking Communities


Thanks for reading and do not forget to read some of our other articles on the Nomos blog. You can also check out the Nomos App on our home page. You can download the app and find then join time banking communities and start swapping hours with others in your local community.

  • Expose your hidden talents

  • Choose jobs you love to do and earn hours

  • Hire people for services you need

The app will connect people, help to create new communities, and help people find existing timebanking communities, and we can’t wait for you to try it. What’s more is this app is totally free to use.



Sources:

  1. https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1211&context=senior_theses

  2. https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC85642/jrc85642.pdf

  3. https://socialinnovation.ca/2020/10/23/venture-for-canada-is-foster-the-entrepreneurial-mindset-of-young-canadians/

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