Timebanking celebrates the spirit of volunteering

The spirit of volunteering that made us feel good during the Sydney Olympics is back.

A match making service called Timebanking has been set up on the Central Coast and in the Hunter Valley.

People donate their skills and in return they get an hour of someone else's time.

Tracey Dawkings heads to the beach during the summer to help teach beach safety at her local surf club.

She doesn’t have a lot of spare time: “I've got three kids I work full time and put in a fair few volunteer hours.”

That’s where Diana Harris comes in. She helps out Tracey but doing her ironing.

She says Timebanking has been extremely helpful for her: “Communities don't get together as much as what they used to and in a way sometimes you can't afford to pay for different things to be done.”

Diana has trouble getting around so in return for the ironing, Brandon Godder comes to help her around the house.

As for Brandon, he needs to get his driving hours up and Ray Smith's got the time to help.

Right now the program is being trialled in the Hunter and on the Central Coast but it's hoped that success will see it spread across the state.

Communities minister Victor Dominello says: “It's a great way to encourage people to volunteer that may not have thought about it in the past.”

For more information, visit www.timebanking.com.au

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