There is one area in which we are all equal in this most unequal of societies.
There may be rich and poor, young and old, people both in and out of work, and those who are able or disabled.
But whatever our situation in life, our time is of equal value.
And it is time – both given and taken – that is the currency of exchange used in a new project being considered for South Holland.
South Holland District Council is working with Timebanking UK to set up a timebank in the district.
It’s a simple idea in which for every hour of time someone spends helping another person in their community, they are rewarded for it with a time credit.
They can then claim that time back when they need help from someone else.
Those who are in work and able-bodied may feel they have plenty to offer, but might question what help anyone else can give them in exchange for their time.
But take a look at the chart below, and there are some interesting ideas.
For example, some might appreciate being shown some of the simple skills that many older people take for granted, such as knitting and possibly budgeting or simple DIY skills.
Or it could be really useful to receive help with web design, car maintenance or even dog walking.
Many of us may feel we don’t need help... until illness requires regular trips to hospital and we need assistance in getting there.
A spokesman for Timebanking UK explained: “The participant decides what they can offer. Everyone’s time is equal, so one hour of my time is equal to one hour of your time, irrespective of whatever we choose to exchange. Because timebanks are just systems of exchange, they can be used in an almost endless variety of settings.”
The council has set up three Question and Answer sessions to raise awareness of timebanking and anyone who would like to find out more is invited to attend.
The first is on Tuesday, February 9 at 11am at Tonic Health, Broadgate House, Westlode Street, in Spalding; the next is on Friday, February 12 at Crowland Parish Rooms (11am); and the final date is on Monday, February 22 at Holbeach Youth Club (11am). Ring 01775 761161 for more details.