Many people are feeling a mixture of being overwhelmed by information and that they don't know enough. The safety guidelines literally change day by day. But building community resilience is exactly what timebanking is for; it's a network of support and skills, it's a source of company (via phone, online etc if in person is no longer a 'safe' option for you).
Are you self isolating due to returning from overseas, or because you are particularly vulnerable? There are timebankers who can help pick up shopping and drop it off for you.
Are you fit and healthy and low risk? You can check in on your neighbours etc and earn timecredits regardless of whether they are timebank members or not - the Community Fund will pay these timecredits out (see the request here) You can log your own hours, we don't need any proof of what you've done or anything, it is all based on trust. If you need assistance with logging the hours just ask your local coordinator for help.
Is there a service you could offer online, via Zoom/skype etc or phone to help support those stuck at home? This might be a listening ear, tuition in something like arts and crafts, yoga, meditation, conversation in another language, how to cook something etc. Think of all those YouTube videos out there, they're all basically someone sitting at home giving instructions to a camera for someone else to follow! You could perhaps offer this service live instead of recorded! We could even have socials and discussion groups online.
If you lose your income as a result of closures etc please let us know if there is anyway we can help. We can put requests out for donations of surplus food items (lots of people have an embarrassment of riches in terms of fruit etc in their gardens right now!), and can do so anonymously on your behalf if you'd prefer. Remember we have skilled people in all manner of tasks who might be able to help you fix something that needs mended for the costs of the parts and some timecredits.
If you have any ideas of things that you can offer, or assistance you require please let us know. We can't guarantee results every time, but we can guarantee we'll try!
We'd love to hear stories about timebankers giving or asking for help through this pandemic, not only can we share the ideas and inspiration amongst ourselves, but also it is the sort of thing that funders love to hear, and we'd be stoked to bits if we could get funding from the local and regional councils to become an official part of their Civil Defence Emergency response like Wellington and Lyttleton Timebanks are amongst others.
Please keep in mind the official guidance from the Ministry of Health at all times when offering or asking for assistance, keep your physical distance from each other wherever possible and wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
Meanwhile we'll be keeping an eye on the guidelines ourselves. We probably won't be organising any large events (by our standards!) in the near future, but small gatherings, especially held outside, are currently considered a 'safe' option.
Kia kaha koutou
Anna, Paula, Charlotte & Greer