What does TimeBank think?

How often do you sit down and decide “this is what I think about…….X”? I wonder if we made time to weigh up the arguments or read the literature about different topics how many of us would change our stance or our vote at the next election?

It’s all too easy to just ‘know what you think’ and stick with it, not question it or why you came to think that in the first place and perhaps assume that everyone knows that is what you think and why.

Where, you may ask, is all this going? It’s because at TimeBank we’ve done exactly that -  questioned what we think about key volunteering issues - where we stand as an organisation and as a staff team. In an ever changing landscape it’s vital sometimes to step back and see if what you are saying is still relevant and even still true and make sure everyone internally and externally knows that this is what we think and why.

Take, for example, the issue of the Help to Work scheme – the potential of losing benefits if you don’t volunteer – SIMPLE, it’s not volunteering. If you have to do it, it’s not volunteering. If you are going to lose something if you don’t do it, it’s not voluntary. We’ve gone through a number of topical issues and debated what we think and put them up on our website here – we’ll be adding to it as new questions enter the volunteering world so you’ll always know what we think and why.  

In essence at TimeBank we take quite a purist view of volunteering. We believe that people, as a general rule, enter into it not with an expectation of getting something back but of giving something back. Almost always volunteers get more out of it than they put in and often in ways they never imagined– increased confidence, greater understanding of a cause or issue, more empathy with a particular group of people, something on their CV that makes them stand out to an employer. BUT that isn’t necessarily their motivation for volunteering in the first place. The clue is in the name – it’s you voluntarily giving your free time to something that you care about in order to make a difference to society.