Supporting Northfield’s first Time Bank


On Friday 3rd May I opened Northfield’s first ever ‘Time Bank.’

It is a bank that rewards people for sharing skills within the community – with time. Anyone can exchange an hour of their time for credit to withdraw when they need it. Activities that are shared range from cooking, budgeting, gardening, childcare and arts training.


It is both a very traditional and truly new concept. As a form of exchange it has had a long history – people have always traded and exchanged skills with each other. But in our modern and fast paced economy, valuing time over money is refreshing.

Too often, people providing vital services and support within our community go unpaid and unrecognised.

The Time Bank values our time equally. One hour spent caring for a neighbour can be exchanged for one hour computer support. Time spent volunteering can also exchanged for training or travel passes, that increase people’s access to employment, leisure and other opportunities.

The project shows that crises catalyse imaginative solutions. The Northfield Town Centre Partnership, who are hosting the Time Bank, emerged from the closure of MG Rover at Longbridge. Food banks have now become lifelines for those hit hardest by the government’s austerity programme. Northfield’s energy and innovation – from poetry and photography to gardening – was on full display at the launch.

I am proud to support a project that enables people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to share their skills and build a stronger community. These local responses to the current economic crisis are vital.

RB2To find our more information and get involved, visit the NTCP Time Bank website.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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