Bean Timebank Bean Graphic
What is a timebank?

Timebanking is a way of putting a value on people’s time; it rewards people for time spent in community activity. In Conwy, time is traded for an alternative to money, called Beans, which can then be spent with participating Bean Partners.

The sharing of skills and knowledge is rewarded by a local currency based on time and one hour’s engagement always earns one Bean. There is no pricing system so everyone’s skills are valued equally.

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Bean Hosts such as Communities First, Housing Associations and Council Departments provide Beans to timebank members for hours given, doing work such as mentoring children, caring for the elderly, being neighbourly.

Essentially, the time spent providing these types of community services earns one Bean that can be spent in accessing events, training and leisure services from the Bean Spend Menu.

The Bean Spend Menu uses under-used resources provided by both public and private sector Bean Partners. Since the Beans are paper vouchers they can be traded between Bean Members in exchange for informal mutual support, eg gardening, decorating, dog walking.

Everyone signs up to share a set of core values:

  • Recognising people as assets – people are the real wealth of a society
  • Valuing work differently – valuing unpaid work that builds community
  • Promoting reciprocity – giving and receiving builds trust and mutual respect
  • Building social networks – relationships are the crux of people’s well being

Conwy Timebank

Bean Timebank Bean Partners

Bean Partners are businesses and public services who provide opportunities for Bean members to spend their Beans.

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The Beans can be redeemed according to the terms offered by each Bean Partner, but an overarching principle of time banking is that one hour of volunteering = one Bean = one hour of reward activity. As an example a bowling alley will offer one hour of bowling for each Bean. However where the product or service is not time related, such as a cup of coffee provided by a café partner, then the “tariff” for the product in Beans will be shown on the website.

Bean partners offer the products and services they will exchange for Beans through the Bean website, where all the terms and conditions and restrictions that apply to them will be shown. We do however, recommend that where the exchange is for a particular event or time, Bean Members contact Bean Partners directly in the way indicated on the website, which could be telephone or email, to pre-arrange or book the activity or service they intend to take part in.

Bean Timebank Bean Hosts

Bean Hosts are organisations who run Timebanks, as part of their operations. They are joint owners of the overall Bean Timebank

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which manages both the website and the relationships with the Bean Partners. They organise the activities through which Bean members earn their Beans, and are responsible for distributing the Beans in return for the member’s activity. An example would be a Housing Association who organise some voluntary activity, such as an environmental clean-up, for which they reward those taking part with Beans; Or Leisure Services who use volunteers for stewarding a rugby match, and give Beans as a reward.

Each Bean Host will advertise opportunities to earn Beans via their social media pages which can be accessed on the Bean website. Bean members can then choose to take part in those activities, subject to any conditions laid down by the Bean Hosts.

Bean Hosts can also organise activities themselves through which Beans can be spent, such as community cinema or trips or access to leisure facilities.

Bean Timebank Bean Members

Bean Member

Bean Members are members of the timebanks managed by the Bean Hosts and perform volunteer tasks in return for Beans.

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They can then spend these Beans with the Bean Partners or the Bean Hosts in return for beneficial activities or services, much like you would spend money or other vouchers.

They can be in any number of Bean Timebanks and can come from anywhere provided they have been accepted by each Bean Host to take part in their timebank activities.

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