At the end of September 2017, the St Neots Awards recognised a number of local individuals and community groups for their positive impact and achievements. We’re on a journey to follow them over the coming months, to find out more about them and to see how things have evolved for them since their awards recognition.
Highly commended for our 2017 Volunteer of the Year award was Georgina Corley, a local St Neots Great Grandmother who has spent a substantial amount of her time over the past six years running St Neots TimeBank. TimeBanking UK is a national charity and a way for local communities to share their knowledge and skills and be rewarded for it – with time. For every one hour volunteered you can claim back the same amount. Known as credits – these can then be saved up for those jobs you can’t manage or don’t have the skills or time for. In St Neots TimeBank has reached 200 members, with volunteers supporting each other in the local community with activities from gardening and learning new languages to reflexology and cooking. Visit the St Neots TimeBank website to see the many activities TimeBank volunteers can help with.
Everything that Georgina does for St Neots TimeBank is voluntary; running events, activities and groups, making sure everything runs smoothly, that people get along and make connections with each other. Georgina designs and produces a monthly newsletter and organises publicity with local media, and attends all kinds of meetings representing TimeBank in the region and nationally, to showcase the wide variety of work she undertakes all for the St Neots community.
Founded over 20 years ago, there are over 250 TimeBanks around the UK, supporting local communities. Timebanking was introduced to the UK from America by a distinguished legal professor. St Neots TimeBank was launched in March 2012, coordinated by Georgina from the start and funded originally by Luminus Housing Association.
Discussing her work for TimeBank and the upcoming plans for 2018 Georgina said: “At my age and being disabled, TimeBanking has given me a unique opportunity for volunteering to help others that also can’t manage certain tasks. Elderly and those that are isolated believe they have nothing to give back – but everyone has something – even a phone call can make someone feel less isolated and part of a community.”
“St Neots TimeBank, gives me an opportunity to reach out to other groups and assist the wider community, to deal with isolation, assist the vulnerable and work alongside other statutory bodies. For me the many comments of thanks and appreciation when a job is complete is payment enough. None of this could have been achieved without help given by the Town Council with our administration costs.”
Georgina has confirmed that TimeBank will continue holding their monthly coffee morning, which includes a ‘Pamper Day’ and ‘Gardening Day’, with 100’s of plants for sale grown by members. TimeBank are also holding a Sign Language Course once again and are planning to soon start Ceroc dancing sessions. Why not make 2018 the year you give back to the local community in St Neots? Donate an hour of your time and receive an hour back to support you in return, or exchange that hour for Time Credits. To learn more about St Neots TimeBank or to get involved, visit their website or phone 07590909057.