Southampton Timebank, which involves a number of volunteers giving up their time to help others in the community, have managed to help over 350 residents within Southampton.
While the usual exchange of tasks range from gardening to ironing, the current pandemic has required volunteers to help others in coronavirus-related tasks, such as getting groceries and picking up medication. 40 of the Timebank volunteers have been able to aide others who may not be able to leave their homes at the moment.
As posted on the Southampton City Council website, one volunteer, named Alex, shared his experience:
I decided to join Timebank because I wanted to learn more about the local community and give something back. I came to Southampton for university and then stayed, so it’s my adopted home town. In recent months, Timebank has become a lifeline for people who need to self-isolate or with limited access to transport and other support networks. I’ve regularly been going shopping for people from all over the city and picking up prescriptions. I’m fortunate to have a car, so it’s easy for me to run these errands and keep safe. I think the best part of Timebanking though, is that anyone who needs help can ask for it without feeling guilty, because there are lots of volunteers more than happy to help. While I initially joined Timebank to help others, I know that it’s there for me too, should I need it.
Cllr Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care for the council, also expressed her gratitude for the scheme:
Our Timebank members are amongst the city’s many unsung heroes who have supported our communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic. There are many examples of members going the extra mile to help, whether it’s picking up shopping, befriending those who may be feeling lonely or isolated and also linking residents to various council services where appropriate. I’d like to say a very big thank you to every single person who has offered their time to help others, and I’d encourage anyone who can help to join Southampton Timebank. It really is a great opportunity to meet people, make friends and make a difference.