Transforming Communities Through Timebank Ireland: A Social Impact Study

Participants of the Social Impact Study on Timebank Ireland


In the fast-paced modern world, the ties that bind communities have grown weaker. People often find themselves living in localities where social connections are scarce, and neighborly support is a rare commodity. Furthermore, disparities in income, education, and opportunities have given rise to profound social inequalities, even within the same neighborhoods. These disparities disproportionately affect those already grappling with poverty and unemployment. But, as it turns out, there’s a hidden wealth of skills and time waiting to be tapped into.

The Birth of Timebank Ireland

Enter Timebank Ireland (TBI), a vibrant community of individuals driven by a shared vision of interconnectedness, resilience, solidarity, and prosperity. TBI is not your traditional economic model; instead, it’s a group of people who willingly share their services, skills, talents, and knowledge without a single monetary transaction. It’s a testament to the fact that everyone, regardless of their background, has something invaluable to offer.

How It Works

At the heart of TBI is a simple yet powerful idea: give an hour of your time to your community and receive an hour Time Credit in return. This Time Credit can be saved, shared with others, or spent on services within the community. The more extensive the community network, the more services you can access.

TBI leverages an online portal where members list their ‘offers’ and ‘requests.’ These listings are accessible through an online bulletin board and shared through email and social media channels. Members contribute by spending a few hours offering requested services or engaging in other beneficial activities within their community. When they need help, they can withdraw their earned ‘time credits.’ TBI members seamlessly switch between being service users and service volunteers, and there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help when needed.

The Impact on Individuals: Case Studies

Case Study 1: Monica

Monica’s journey with TBI began with a recommendation from a mental health consultant. Living alone in a rural area, Monica had been grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder and an autoimmune condition. Her involvement with TBI not only improved her mental health but also helped her feel more connected to her community. Monica underscores that TBI offers a platform for those who believe they have nothing to give, providing them with the opportunity to make valuable contributions without monetary exchange.

Case Study 2: John

John, who has significant health issues, found TBI through a friend. With the support he receives, including transportation to medical appointments and help in his garden, John feels a renewed sense of community and purpose. He emphasizes that belonging to TBI has transformed his life, fostering new friendships and a sense of belonging.

Case Study 3: Brenda

Brenda, a nature enthusiast, joined TBI to give back to her community. Through TBI, she has attended workshops, received help with house cleaning, and forged connections that align with her values. Brenda describes TBI as crucial to her reintegration into West Cork life after a 25-year absence.

Case Study 4: Delores

Delores, who makes jewelry and sells it at local markets, felt isolated after an accident during the pandemic. TBI connected her with a community willing to help without financial exchange. This support not only aided her physical recovery but also improved her mental well-being. Delores considers TBI to be life-changing.

Measuring the Impact

To quantify the impact of TBI, a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis was conducted. It revealed that for every €1 invested in TBI, a staggering €16 is generated in social value. This reflects the profound difference TBI makes in the lives of its members and the broader community.


Timebank Ireland is not just a platform for sharing time; it’s a catalyst for building stronger, more connected communities. Through its innovative approach to mutual support, TBI exemplifies the power of people coming together to create meaningful change. In a world marked by divisions and disparities, TBI stands as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that meaningful relationships, strengthened resilience, and shared prosperity are not just ideals but attainable realities.

For more information please see our Social Impact Study 2023.

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