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‘Time2Trade' for the 'time rich and cash poor'


While most of us are familiar with modern marketplaces such as e-bay, Time Banks are still less known but spreading quickly as public agencies increasingly recognise their benefits. Time banking involves participants ‘depositing’ time in a bank, accrued through providing practical help and support to other time bank members. They can then ‘withdraw’ their time credits to utilise skills and support offered by other participants. No pricing system exists in a Timebank with everybody’s skills being valued equally at: 1 hour to 1 credit. This is not an extension of the Black Economy in which high quality skills are exchanged outside of the purview of the taxman. Time2Trade’s purpose is to give people who are not part of the market economy – for reasons of unemployment, deprivation, sickness or lack of self-esteem – access to basic services and opportunities to have a more purposeful, social, and healthy life in a ‘cash-free’ economy.

The Time Bank Time2Trade in Sandwell provides a model for healthcare commissioners and providers in the UK and elsewhere how to deal with increasing health inequalities as levels of income inequality have risen in most OECD countries.

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Frankie Hine-Hughes, project manager of Governance International, wrote this case study on 26 September 2011.

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