The name of our additional scheme running from June to December 2020 is The West Wight Timebank box scheme. This is addition to our normal Timebank activities both current and those that will continue when the government restrictions are eased.
The activities planned are in direct response to the needs of both Timebank members and their families, many of whom who are self-isolating or shielding and our fellow community members whom we hope to support further through the WWTB box schemes.
The scheme aims to address some of the practical, emotional and mental health concerns that we have due to Covid-19. In particular, loneliness, social isolation, food poverty, and anxiety over the consequences of the virus for each family. We ensure that in accordance with government guidelines, that any goods are left for 72 hours before being delivered and the coordinator uses personal protective equipment to maximise safety for all.
The need for this scheme is evidenced by both by local feedback of what is currently lacking as a community response to the awful virus, and a wider understanding drawn from a recent survey of over 1000 island resident responses, stating:
Over half of the respondents were concerned about affording the basics-food
77% are concerned about their mental health
90% are concerned over the health of loved ones
56% are spending time outdoors in their garden.
The Timebank box scheme will address these needs, and make a difference to people’s everyday lives, understanding that even though we may be isolating and socially distancing, it is important to remain connected, maintain our relationships and meaningful interests which give us a sense of purpose, an opportunity to contribute using our skills and build stronger social networks.
The Coordinator spent time at the beginning of the scheme talking on the phone or by Zoom or WhatsApp to members to find out if and what they would like to contribute to, as we made 4 different boxes for the scheme which were delivered to people’s homes following safe distancing and government advice. This additional emotional support given in a person centred manner maintained the trust and relationships we have gained over the 5 years we have been running, and still allowed people to dip in and out whenever they wished based on their own health, circumstances and confidence levels.
A growing vegetable or fruit box, made out of donated free pallets, by individual Timebank members (delivered to their door to make following coordinators discussion of their skills). The lining is made from donated plastic bags in line with our plastic reusing scheme. The box will then be delivered to another member who would like to contribute their time and skills (and their family to give the scheme an inter-generational feel). The member and their family will then fill it with compost (provided by Timebank), and plant vegetables (either those they have grown themselves as long as not grown in fresh manure as per our existing policy for the allotment which is currently closed due to the virus, or given by Timebank) e.g. a salad box may contain come again lettuce, radish, spring onions, small tomato plant and some herbs. Fruit boxes could contain strawberries. This will then be delivered as a gift to the doorstep of a Timebank member who is self- isolating, particularly those who are vulnerable, isolated, or lonely, or don’t have a garden. We currently have over 100 members.
10 boxes a month will be made by different members in this way, filled and delivered, and it is envisage that many local people who are not members, but would appreciate this will be given the free boxes, especially if they don’t have outside space to grow their own food. This could include key workers too, to show our appreciation for their valuable work. Over 6 months 60 boxes will go out.
Update November 2020:
To date we have delivered 72 growing boxes to Timebank members, their families, key-workers, carers and community members.
We are now working at our Timebank Allotment to grow produce to be used in next year's growing boxes.
A well- being gift box (shoe box size). These are collected and delivered to member’s homes (by the Timebank coordinator or sessional workers), so they can decorate them (by our artist members and those families who enjoy craft), and then taken to be filled by other members, with goods that different members have made or contributed. This will include home -made soaps, an artist’s blank card, a poem, and a short story.
10 boxes a month will be made and delivered in the same way as the growing vegetable/fruit boxes to TB members and our fellow community members. Over 6 months the total will be 60 boxes to different people.
Update November 2020:
We have so far made and delivered 62 wellbeing boxes to Timebank members, their families, key-workers, carers and community members.
Food bags, made up of donated foods from local shops are collected by the Timebank coordinator and delivered to schools, and nurseries in the West Wight to local families that the schools believe would find them most helpful in the current circumstances.
10 boxes a month will go out, and depending on need may be the same families, and may live outside the West Wight.
Update November 2020:
To date we have delivered 128 food bags to families introduced to us by local schools, nurseries, health visitors and schools family liaison officer.
Drop and swap bags for children and their family. These are pillow case sizes bags, made up of from items that have been donated to the scheme, including tins, dry goods, plants clothing, toys, books and Christmas items selected by the Timebank members or Timebank coordinator following training already undertaken with Barnardo’s on toy safety, for different ages. Many of the items will be new, but some will be nearly new so the clothes will be washed by members, toys will be checked and cleaned when collected.
10 boxes a month will be made up, but these will be distributed from September 2020 to December 2020 months, and priority will be given to families in consultation with the churches, nurseries and schools, and they may live outside the West Wight.
Update November 2020:
To date we have delivered 10 personalised family drop and swap bags. Families are encouraged to return clothing or toys that their children have grown out of (if they remain in good condition) so they can be repurposed for another family to benefit from in future.
The Timebank has received donations of bulbs from community members and 21 of these have been planted up and donated to organisational members of the Timebank in the West Wight.
We have also delivered a further 13 hanging baskets with donated plants to community members in November 2020.
With the kind permission of West Wight Nursery, we have a local community garden in West Wight. Now coming in to our fourth growing season, we have previously had crops tomatoes, beans and potatoes that have been shared amongst Timebank members and at least 50% of all produce is shared with the wider community.
Update November 2020:
We are currently concentrating on crops that will go into our food bags, growing boxes and to use for chutneys and jams for our wellbeing boxes.
Do you want to help the environment and contribute to the circular economy?
You can do this by using the Timebank refill scheme to purchase your cleaning products.
From October 2020 we now have a pop up outside Freshwater Library once a month. Check the news page for the latest dates.
Alternatively contact Gina on 07790329859 who is leading on this for us. You can take your empty bottles to her garage and purchase products with safe social distancing procedures in place. Alternatively, you can arrange a delivery to your doorstep and she will collect your empties.
The products are: BioD washing up liquid, laundry liquid, fabric conditioner, hand-wash, multipurpose sanitiser, bathroom cleaner and toilet cleaner. We also stock a range of Faith in Nature shower gels, shampoos, and conditioners.
Prices are competitive. Cash only. Please wash and save your empty bottles.
November 2020 update:
With the latest changes with government lock down, the eco-refill scheme is currently on hold. We will post updates as things progress on our news and events page.
Please support this local scheme and do your bit to save the planet at the same time.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, a number of our successful projects have had to be halted. Find out more about them and what they achieved whilst we were able to run them in their original guise. As you will see above, a number of these projects will continue in a revised way to ensure the safety of all Timebank and community members.
Timebank members meet regularly for guided walks in the West Wight area and beyond. These walks are currently on hold due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
We ran a successful Drop and Swap table at the
Our Place community cafe in Freshwater once a month between 2017 and early 2020.
Drop and Swap was there on the first Tuesday of the month and community members were able to bring along something they no longer needed and swap it for something they wanted.
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, this project had to be halted in March 2020 due to the potential risks around cross-infection from items donated and collected.
In 2019 the Drop & Swap was expanded to include the monthly Meet & Eat sessions at St Saviours Holy Family Centre in Totland.
Neither the Drop and Swap or the Meet and Eat sessions have been able to continue since the Coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.