Portobello Timebank is a SCIO
(Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation)
We are committed to supporting and empowering local people to build an all inclusive friendly community where all members can exchange their skills & time.
Everyone has something to offer.
Everyone’s time is valued equally.
Reciprocity is key.
Together we have a network of support, strength and trust.
Anyone can join (see How to join for details).
It's all about helping each other
Portobello Timebank is on the East side of Edinburgh City centre. We are very lucky to be by the sea with fantastic beach with long promenade and great views over to Fife. We welcome members from all over the EH15 postcode, and from adjoining areas such as Craigentinny and Musselburgh where we already have some members. It’s just a matter of how far you’re prepared to travel.
Our official postal address is Portobello public library, (we don’t have dedicated staff at the library):
c/o Portobello Library,
14 Rosefield Avenue,
Phone: 07968 090 530 (checked weekly).
Email us using the form below:
Thinking of making a donation? Like any organisation, we have ongoing running costs and your donation will help meet these costs.
Also, from time to time we do fund raising for specific local charities chosen by our members.
We use the PayPal Giving Fund, as there are no fees.
Log into your PayPal account, then click the More button (…) and go to “Support a charity” then search for “Portobello Timebank”.
Alternatively, click the Donate button below and search for Portobello Timebank.
Any size of donation will be very welcome. - Thank you!
What is a timebank?
A timebank is a community where the members help each other by doing small jobs, favours or tasks. For every hour you give, you will receive an hour’s credit that you can then redeem when you need something in return. Everyone has some talent, skill, hobby or interest that is useful to another. If necessary we can arrange for a group of timebankers to work together to tackle a bigger job!
The community as a whole benefits from more personal ties between people who otherwise would never meet due to differences in age or social circumstance.
You give – a few hours of your spare time when you want, doing the things you enjoy.
You receive – the opportunity to get some help for yourself when you need it.
What are the benefits?
Meeting new people and making community connections and new friends.
Helping others in a way that fits easily into your lifestyle.
Having the freedom to do as much or as little as you like.
Using and developing your knowledge, skills and experience.
Gaining satisfaction from making quality of life better for someone else.
Gaining satisfaction from your positive contribution to your neighbourhood.
Getting credits for the volunteer work you already do outside of the timebank.
How does it work?
When you join the timebank we will open an online exchange account for you. You will be able to see what is being offered, make your own requests and contact other members to arrange an exchange of service. After an exchange you will be able to record the time you have earned, and see a statement of your balance.
Watch this for a quick run through explanation.
There are currently seven ‘charity trustees’ appointed to the ‘board’ as detailed below. Any member can become a ‘charity trustee’ and take part at meetings. We are always on the lookout for volunteers, so if you’re a member and interested in joining the board, please make yourself known to one of us.
Frank Ledwith – chair (co-opted August 2019 and elected 29/09/2019)
Previously a committee member since January 2017 after joining the timebank in October 2016.
Kirsty Carver – secretary since the timebank launched in early 2013.
Having been involved in the Timebank from day one I’ve seen how it has grown and developed mainly by our members but also through sharing our Timebank experiences and hearing about other Timebanks in Scotland. I love the way each member’s involvement is different, some are dippers, only using it for social events others are so embedded they feel like the Mr Downes who I lived next door to as a child – some have become close friends too. I joined a hopeful group in 2012 and helped launch the Timebank in early 2013, I’d just moved to the area, recently had a baby and wanted to have a greater network locally – happily everything fell into place. I’ve exchanged hairdressing, lifts in my car, help moving & lifting and lots of loans and received massage, jewellery making skills, help decorating, bike maintenance… the list is endless.
James Carver – treasurer since November 2016.
I joined the timebank in 2015, in part because I found myself with more free time because of a job move. Almost straight away I was impressed by how much the Timebank did for me in terms of motivation, meeting people and getting some edible benefits (my weakness). Whether it be digging up paving slabs, scarifying lawns or doing a minor bit of DIY, it really cheered me up and in return I got jams, biscuits, cakes and some chat! As a fan of conservation and a hater of litter I began organising some timebank litter cleans around Portobello and again, I was amazed by the impact we made, the enjoyment of my fellow timebankers picking up litter and the gratitude of local residents. These have continued to expand and we now also support the Friends of Brunstane Burn initiative in Joppa.
Josephine Petersson – charity trustee from June 2018
In October 2017 when we moved to Portobello I met Frank (our chair) at a stall in Portobello market and he quickly recruited me to Timebank which I much appreciate. My sense of community is considerably enhanced and have met many inspiring and amazing locals. My cake baking has much improved and the joy of sharing is invaluable. When it was suggested by Irene (previous chair) if I would consider joining the committee I was delighted. I’ve had multiple exchanges from re-learning to thread a singer sewing machine (from 1915) to mending and patching, making Christmas decorations…. The list and possibilities goes on. One of my main interests is the ‘Environment’ and the well being of our planet and those who live on it, animal, vegetable and other. I’ve become increasingly involved in community gardening and hope we can continue to develop further ‘waste’ patches for the benefit of all. Currently I’m involved with 4 sites.
Clodagh Ross – charity trustee from April 2019
I joined Timebank in 2017 having moved to Portobello from Newhaven in 2014. It sounded like an interesting way of getting to know people and to potentially make some sort of contribution in the community. Since joining, my main offers have been cat feeding and helping out on the coffee stall at events. Since lockdown, I have also been one of the scone bakers for the virtual coffee mornings. My main successful requests have been garden related: the installation of a water butt, my pride & joy, getting a new hook in the wall for my washing line, and help taking a fence down.
Richard Wright – charity trustee from August 2019
I helped Irene Thomson with membership admin from October 2018 before being co-opted to the committee following Irene’s departure in July 2019. My main role is membership secretary (new memberships, hourworld admin and induction), but I also help with the newsletters, and look after this website. I joined the timebank in 2014 seeing it’s strength in building community. I’m in the Litter Clearance and Conservation Groups, and enjoy fixing and restoring various tools and equipment for members. Occasionally I do small DIY jobs, though I usually have plenty of that at home!
Anne Stevenson – co-opted December 2020
I love the fact that we are a community within a community! It’s definitely the best thing I’ve joined since moving to Portobello in 2016. The best bit for me is the friends I have made! Every time I go out for a walk, or to the market, I will bump into a Timebanker and have a chat. I have provided help with sewing, fixing a sewing machine (also had mine fixed), dog walking, chicken sitting, enormous wing making, camper van advice, amongst other things. I’ve received some darning, help washing my conservatory, advice for leaky windows, how to look after my bike, plant cuttings, and I’ve given a talk on happiness at the Dalriada and helped at the Village show.
The following AGM documents are available for viewing & downloading (there was no AGM in 2020).