In 2014 I set out on a Mission to see what I could do to create positive, social change, in the community.
After bouncing around some overambitious ideas, I managed to scale my enthusiasm to a more realistic realm where the concept for Mother T’s Community centre was born.
Having an all-inclusive base where I could meet members of the community, not only provided a valuable facility in the village, but it gave me a platform to experiment with better ways of living and working together.
I was able to connect and have conversations with local people of varying ages, backgrounds and abilities. Asking the questions that would allow me to learn where the gaps are and work towards solutions.
A close friend who moved to the island from America had been emailing her mum in Atlanta telling her about the work I was doing at Mother T’s. She received a reply asking if I had heard about time banking!
Upon research, I knew this simple, effective concept was what I had been looking for! An asset-based approach that finds the value in everyone and allows us to trade services that would usually be done on a volunteer basis. I learned everything I could about time banking and at the end of 2014, I gave a presentation at the islands first TEDx event!
We recently introduced Timebank IOM on Facebook where it has gained incredible momentum – almost 3000 members in just a few weeks! The group has been filled with constant action of heartwarming offers and connections being made locally.
We currently have an IT team working hard as volunteers creating a high-end website that will allow users to utilise the system to its fullest potential.
Although the Facebook page is acting as an effective platform for social interaction, it’s important that we translate these virtual connections to the real world. So we recently held a time bank gathering. It was a huge success and created a fantastic opportunity for people to socialise and connect.
We’ve decided to experiment once a month with suggesting a ‘Time To Gather’ …… we will suggest a date and time i.e. – Beach, Glen, Forest, Park. Everybody who comes is there together for an already agreed-upon activity like a picnic or a Group walk.
This initiative may help to tackle loneliness and isolation. It also provides people who are new to the island with regular opportunities to meet other people who are looking to connect.
The philosophy being….you need never worry about ‘having no-one to go with’ as we are always all together. Each ensuring everyone feels included.
Our time is precious, spend it wisely!