17 February 2021

Woolmer Forest Timebank is offering support with health and wellbeing

A charitable organisation in Whitehill & Bordon is offering encouragement for people to improve their health and wellbeing during February and March.

Lockdown and the closure of leisure facilities and charitable activities such as lunch clubs and social groups has meant that many people are struggling to stay fit and to look after their mental health.

Woolmer Forest Timebank has teamed up with Disability Rights UK and Timebanking UK to help people in Whitehill & Bordon improve their health & wellbeing. They are looking for people with a disability, a long-term health condition or mental health issues to get involved in the new project. Timebank staff will meet with each participant and their health professional if relevant and discuss what their health aims are. Each participant will be paired up with a suitable volunteer buddy to help them achieve their aims over the next 2-3 months. It could be anything from going for a short socially distanced walk with the buddy regularly, to having weekly phone calls discussing healthy recipes to improve a diet or even a regular online chat to help with mental health.

One project participant said, “I have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and I need support with following my special diabetic diet and also with exercising regularly. The Timebank has paired me up with a buddy who will be calling me at least weekly to encourage & support me along the way. This is going to be so helpful. I’d really recommend others to get involved.”

Woolmer Forest Timebank Manager Claire Coxwell said, “We are delighted to be taking part in this worthwhile project. Improving health and wellbeing is one of our key focusses. We already run regular Get Active sessions and a supportive Sunday Chat event every week. We try to promote other wellbeing activities being organised by our partners in the town too.”

The Woolmer Forest Timebank is a friendly group of individuals and organisations who swap skills and exchange support in the Whitehill & Bordon area. It’s free to join. Members help each other out or share hobbies, skills & knowledge and earn time credits in return. These can be “spent” on themselves or donated to a community pot to help others. For example one member does shopping for another and earns an hour’s time credit. The first member uses the time credit to ask another to explain how to download apps on her Smartphone. The possibilities are endless.

Woolmer Forest Timebank believes that the real wealth of a community is its people. Everyone is valuable and has something to offer. Timebanking enables people to give as well as to receive. “You need me” becomes “We need each other”. The Timebank aims to strengthen the community as it builds social and support networks. Everyone’s time is valued equally – an hour for an hour.

The Woolmer Forest Timebank is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and is led by the charity Community First and supported by 7 partner organisations – Abri, Furniture Helpline, Kingsley Organisation, Timebanking UK, Whitehill & Bordon Community Association, Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust and Whitehill & Bordon Nextdoor.

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