By Ruth Tshoukas, Timebank Broker for Paignton


The Timebank is all about supporting each other. People need assistance with all kinds of things in their daily lives, such as decorating, gardening, simple household jobs which get harder to do as we get older, even visiting a housebound person at home.

Dog walking is another task people often need help with. As we struggle more to pay our bills, this exchange of skills can be very useful to all of us. Timebanking is about exchanging time and/ or skills. For every hour spent helping someone else, you can earn one-time credit. This can then be ‘spent’ in the future when you may need help yourself.

A little while ago, after some discussion with different Timebank members, we decided that as well as time, we could exchange some of our ‘things’ which we have no further use for. We all have so much.

We set up our first ‘The Big Exchange’ in Torquay and people brought clothes, books, CDs, some very interesting plants and so on. It could be anything, as long as you can carry it away and, of course, no electrical items, which would need to be tested.

On Saturday, July 16, we will have another Big Exchange event at the Conservative Club in Preston from 11am till 2pm. Come along and bring your ‘no longer needed’ items. If you don’t have anything to swap, just come along, and if something catches your eye, there will be a donation pot. Tea and coffee will be available with a piece of delicious homemade cake. Other refreshments will also be available at the club.

If you are interested in finding out more about Ruth Tshoukas: Timebank broker for Paignton the Timebank, come to The Big Exchange and if you are interested in joining the Timebank there will be opportunities to do so at The Big Exchange.

For those who are computer literate, you can register yourself. Look for Torbay Together on the ‘Devon Connect’ online platform leading to the Timebank. (

We have two Timebank Brokers in the Bay:

Sandra Harper in Torquay (07966 743125), or [email protected]
and myself, Ruth Tshoukas in Paignton, (07703 715236) or [email protected].

Theo Tanser oversees both areas (07599 993987) or [email protected].

So, for more information, contact any one of us.