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About Us

Portobello Timebank is a SCIO

(Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) 

Our Manifesto

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, Restalrig, Duddingston and Musselburgh where we al 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):

Portobello Timebank,
c/o Portobello Library,
14 Rosefield Avenue,
EH15 1AU

Email us using the form below:


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what is a timebank

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.


The Team

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.


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.

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Annette Woodham – charity trustee from October 2023

I've lived in Joppa since 2005 and joined the Timebank in 2019. I thought Timebanking was a great idea as soon as I heard about it and I’ve not been disappointed. I’ve benefitted from help on my allotment, having heavy furniture moved, getting clothes mended, and my car back from its MOT (just to mention a few), and have learnt from other members in areas such as bird identification, crafts, jam making etc. In helping other members with their requests you get to meet them and often find common interests. It’s also rewarding taking part in community projects and fundraisers.

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Anne Stevenson – charity trustee from August 2020, and Secretary since 2023.

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.

Lynda Hepburn – charity trustee from 2021, and Chair since 2023

I joined Portobello Timebank after hearing about its benefits from one of the gardeners who help to look after our local park. Having moved to Portobello in March 2017, I was also looking for a way of meeting people and getting involved locally. The Timebank was the ideal opportunity! In addition to offering and receivng help, I now find myself part of the committee to which I was co-opted when a couple of places became vacant. I’m now helping to organise Timebank talks, baking for Timebank events and  affiliated local organisations, joining in Timebank craft activities and generally making links to my local community. I strongly believe in the Timebank ethos which says we all have something to offer and we’re all equally valued for our time, irrespective of what the job involves. And of course I like to be active in my local community, where giving becomes receiving and everyone benefits.


Caren Moffat – charity trustee from October 2023

Originally from South Shields, I know I made the right decision to come to Portobello. I’m delighted to be a part of Timebank. It’s good to be among people who are ready to say, “Yes!” and who will follow up with energy and enthusiasm.

Flo Cairns – membership secretary from October 2023

I'm a returning scot, born in Stirling & taken south for my dad's work when very small. I made it back to Scotland in 2018 and to Portobello in 2022. Timebanking makes perfect sense to me and like many Porty things reflects the community and its values that I've come to cherish. I'm pleased & proud to be able to use my time and skills to bring people into this excellent venture.


The following AGM documents are available for viewing & downloading (there was no AGM in 2020).


Chair's Report
Treasurer's Report


Chair's Report
Treasurer's Report


Chair's Report
Treasurer's Report


Chair's Report
Treasurer's Report


Chair's Report
Treasurer's Report


Chair's Report
Treasurer's Report
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