A Repair Café is a free drop-in session where you can bring along an item that needs mending or servicing. It could be an item of clothing that needs alteration or mending, a bike in need of servicing, an electrical appliance which needs repair or PAT testing or a tool in need of sharpening.  A team of volunteers will be on hand to repair the item or advise on what needs doing.

We will be hosting Repair Cafe's at our centre in Twerton High Street, on the first Saturday of the month, from 10am -12.30pm, starting on 3rd June 2017. Hot drinks and home-made cake will also be available to buy. Please do come along with your items in need of repair or servicing. This is a free service, open to everyone.

Bath Borrow It is a new project which we are setting up thanks to funding from Bath & West Community Energy.

Borrow It will offer people in B&NES the opportunity to borrow a range of useful items which are needed only for occasional use, such as tools, household and gardening equipment, catering utensils, camping items, children & baby equipment, etc – it could be anything from a hedge trimmer to a sewing machine, a gazebo or a chocolate fountain!

Did you know that the average drill is only used for 13 minutes during its entire lifetime? The Borrow It project will provide a way to reduce waste and clutter, make better use of resources and help people to save money.”

The Borrow It ‘store’ will be located at the Time Bank centre in Twerton High Street and will be open on Mondays 10am - 4pm and Wednesdays 10am - 7pm. People wishing to borrow items will need to register with the project and are asked for a small donation towards costs (eg 50p or £1).

We are looking for donations of items to stock the Borrow It ‘store’.  Alternatively please let us know if you would like to offer a ‘virtual’ contribution to the project, ie loan of an item which you will continue to own and keep at your own home.

Here is our wish list of useful items we are currently looking for (click on it to read).

WishlistPlease contact us on 01225 442813 or email timebankplus@googlemail.com if you are able to help. Many thanks.

Our new Afternoon Tea sessions are launching on Tuesday 14th June. This is part of our cafe for over 50s at Rose Cottage on Twerton High Street, which run every Tuesday from 12 noon serving bacon butties, home made soup and more.

The afternoon teas will be available from 2.30pm to 4pm. We will be providing a free cream tea to everyone that comes to the launch on Tuesday 14th June.

We're also planning to provide some activities at Rose Cottage while the afternoon teas are on which people can take part in if they'd like to. At the launch we'll be asking what people would like. Some ideas so far are: book group, crafts, quizzes and memories sessions.

Don't miss the launch and the cream tea on Tuesday 14th June!

One of our volunteers, who is originally from India, led a great Indian cookery session last week. We made a mound of delicious onion bhajis and spicy vegetable pakoras.

best photo Indian cookery class 2015onion bhajis

Everyone enjoyed the session and it was great to learn to cook different types of food. The customers at Rose Cottage and our Over 50's Cafe also loved having Indian food on the menu. We will be organising further cookery sessions in the New Year.

Last week, on a cold winter Sunday, 14 amazing volunteers spent the day transforming a small area of neglected wasteground in Twerton into a fruitful community garden. We cleared brambles and nettles, cut the grass, dug out flower beds, collected about 8 bin bags of rubbish and planted soft fruit bushes and other plants, all of which had been donated to us.

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At lunchtime, we warmed up at the Time Bank office with hot soup and tasty vegetable stew prepared by some of the volunteers.

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We made and painted a wooden sign - and Hanna Close Community Garden came into existence. This is a space for the local community, where anyone passing by or living in the local area can get involved or help themselves to the odd raspberry, apple or globe artichoke.

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Bath Guerrilla Gardeners were actively involved with this project and have created several other beautiful community growing spaces throughout the city.

Our Social Cafe for the Over 50's age group is up and running every Tuesday between 12 & 4pm at Rose Cottage (just across the road from our office in Twerton). With use of all 4 rooms at ground level, there is space to suit everyone’s needs.  We have a wonderful team of volunteers who prepare lunch, serve, clear up and help run a range of activities.

The cafe is proving a great place to make new friends, learn new skills or share existing skills such as crochet, knitting, and rag rug making, or to play board games or use the centre's computers. Some participants just want to come out for lunch, a chat or coffee & cake, without necessarily joining in the after lunch activities. It is possible to arrange transport, if needed, by arrangement.

The project aims only to cover its costs, so prices are very reasonable - £1.50 for home-made soup, bread & butter, £1 for a sandwich or just 30p for a cup of tea or coffee.

Several times a year, the Rose Cottage staff prepare a full 2-course lunch, open to all and bookable in advance at the cost of £5. The Easter meal, held in late March, was a great success and a good social mix where people had a chance to re-connect or meet others.

Please feel free to come along any Tuesday between 12 & 4pm and sample one of our delicious home-made soups, or just drop by for a cup of tea or a game of Scrabble. We are also looking for more volunteers who are confident cooks, to help prepare the soup once a month.

2013/14 has been perhaps our most successful year to date. With over 150 active volunteers 4 part-time staff members, and a number of new funding streams, we have initiated several exciting new projects in Twerton and Foxhill, taking timebanking to a whole new level.

Foxhill Festival was funded by the Big Lottery Awards for All. It took place over 8 days in May this year and comprised around 30 different community events and activities in the Foxhill area, harnessing the talent and creativity of local residents of all ages.

The programme kicked off with a Party in the Park, attended by over 300 people, and also included art exhibitions, a treasure hunt, local history talks, a family filmshow, music workshops, a pub quiz, local walks, an evening of performance by local musicians and more. The final music event (included in the Bath Fringe Festival) attracted an audience of over 80 people and was a fitting close to a truly magnificent week.

Thanks to funding from Chrysalis, we are able to continue working with the Foxhill community in the coming year, building on the partnerships and activities initiated through the Festival.

Redland Park Time Exchange has been one of our biggest and most productive projects this year. Funded by the People’s Health Trust, with additional support for youthwork sessions from the Commissioner’s Community Fund, this project is based on and around the Redland Park Estate in Twerton.

Following consultation with local residents, we focussed particularly on developing activities for children and young people in the local area. Youth activities included art and crafts, circus skills, football coaching, nature activities and outdoor cookery.

We also organised 3 Community Fun Days in the local park and a Christmas event at a nearby community venue for people of all ages. With several hundred local people attending, these events were an excellent way to build community cohesion and for the local community to participate in taster activities and get to know the Time Bank.

Much of the work in the Redland Park area was carried out in partnership with other local agencies including Curo Housing Group, St Michael’s Junior School, Community Learning Service, Bath Area Play Project, First Steps Children’s Centre and Southside Youth Hub. Partnership working helps to ensure an element of continuity for the local community once a particular funding programme comes to an end.

For example, one of our volunteers helped to set up and co-ordinate a school gardening club for parents, children and members of the local community.  Due to the success of this activity, Curo have agreed to contribute towards funding for the gardening club in the coming year.

Art for Wellbeing was a programme supported by Quartet Community Foundation which has enabled us to run art classes in Twerton and Foxhill, focussing in particular on confidence building and wellbeing. Our art classes have been popular and hugely successful, unleashing the creative talent of local people and culminating in wonderful displays of artwork.

In addition to the project work outlined above, we have continued to co-ordinate an active programme of ongoing Time Bank exchanges and services, including:

  • a variety of individual exchanges, ranging from giving lifts, cleaning and helping with interview skills to language help, hair cutting and mending a football net!
  •  a capable and productive gardening team, which has been going out every week to help maintain the gardens of those in need of assistance;
  •  a DIY /decorating team, supported by funding from Comic Relief, which has provided training in basic practical skills to our volunteers whilst helping with simple practical jobs in peoples’ homes;
  • a fortnightly food co-op, providing bags of locally grown vegetables at affordable prices to people living locally;
  • a number of ongoing groups led by Time Bank members, including guitar, Knit & Natter, walking, board games and crochet.

Funding from St John’s Hospital has enabled us to offer 1:1 support and mentoring to our more vulnerable members, such as young people who are not in employment, education or training, people with physical or mental health issues or those with learning difficulties. For example, we supported a young man with cerebral palsy to volunteer, helping in the library at St Michael’s Junior school. This helped him to gain confidence and to achieve a place on a work experience course, as well as being a good awareness opportunity for children at the school.

Timebanking is a wonderful tool for helping to motivate people and enable them to gain skills and confidence and to build stronger and more active communities. Through projects, groups, partnerships, learning opportunities and events, people become involved in local activities and then go on to help others in many different ways.

Through all our activities, our volunteers are always in the driving seat, helping to push the boundaries of timebanking to newer and wider horizons. In the past year nearly 170 new members and 16 organisations have joined the Time Bank, contributing a total of almost 6,000 hours.

With several successful projects behind us, we are now in the process of looking ahead and contemplating what the future may bring. Funding for core costs and ongoing activities is always hard to attract and in the past 2 years we have been very fortunate to receive support towards our core costs from Mr Brian Roper of Roper Rhodes, now sadly deceased. With multiple pressures on funders and no assurances of ongoing funding, securing our future is, as ever, a challenge.

We would like to say a massive thank you to our amazing, ever-helpful volunteers, our wonderful, supportive management committee and to our generous funders who have demonstrated their trust in us to make all this possible.                                    

Iona has been offering English language help to Francesco, who is from Spain. In return, he has helped her with practical jobs in the home and garden.

Iona says "Francesco and I spent three and a half hours during last week and then I asked him if he would like to spend time with my 14-year-old grandson and me and join in our Saturday activities. It was fun. We three went to a jumble sale and then on to two other places where we saw Nathan's puppets and puppet theatre and his rabbits in the garden. I'm glad I can still drive! Nathan got on very well with him.....

Today we are concentrating on interview skills as he has to go to London tomorrow. He is going to report the hour he spent on the shed and perhaps the half hour or so he spent hoovering my lounge. He did a thorough job, moving the furniture, etc while Nathan washed the kitchen floor ... and amused Francesco who had to listen to his protests."

We are a small, friendly organisation which offers people in Bath and surrounding areas opportunities for volunteering and involvement in their local community through an exchange of time and services. Whatever you can offer, whatever you need, everyone's time is valued equally. For each hour you spend helping someone else or volunteering on one of our projects, you receive a time credit, which can be exchanged for a service or activity you would like, or donated to someone else in need.

Our members are involved in many different ways - whether it's help with gardening, assisting at our Lunch Club or Food Co-op, attending art classes or short walks, leading a group, offering lifts, baking a cake, tending our allotment, learning guitar, cookery or sewing, helping at the office or giving computer advice, your imagination is the limit!

Volunteering with Time Bank Plus is an excellent way to develop your skills and confidence, make new friends, help you into employment or simply to become more involved in your local community. Everyone is welcome to join us, regardless of age, health or ability - we firmly believe that everyone has something to offer, please see our skills questionnaire for ideas.

Our office is open 10am - 4pm on Mondays & Wednesdays and 10am - 7pm on Tuesdays, at 86 High Street, Twerton, Bath, BA2 1DE.  For further information, call in to our office, ring us on 01225 442813, click on our contact page or email us at timebankplus@googlemail.com.

Time Bank Plus is an independent voluntary sector charity, working in association with Time Banking UK and is supported by funding from Roper Rhodes, Chrysalis, Curo, HealthFull through The Health Lottery, Bath & West Community Energy and Quartet Community Foundation.