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7 October 2018 - The first anniversary of two initiatives that connect newcomers, migrants and locals of all ages and backgrounds through shared skills and experience has been celebrated in Ashburton.

The Mid Canterbury TimeBank and Learning Exchange were set up 12 months ago by Kate White after a public meeting showed strong community support for the initiatives.

The TimeBank concept trades time rather than money and works on the premise that everyone in the community has something to offer and every person is equally valued. 

The Learning Exchange encourages people to share their skills, knowledge and passion in the delivery of informative workshops.

Supporters of the initiatives ran a scavenger hunt, information sessions, a car wash fundraiser and enjoyed birthday celebrations at the Sinclair Centre, Ashburton last week.

To date, Mid Canterbury TimeBank has 128 members, who have completed over 1000 exchanges, clocking up over 2000 hours. Around 500 of those hours have been through the Learning Exchange.

Mid Canterbury TimeBank co-ordinator Kate White said she was proud of what the TimeBank and Learning

Exchange have achieved over the last 12 months.

Both initiatives were bringing the community together to "connect, contribute and belong".

Those involved included individuals, businesses and other organisations.

"We've had great feedback.

Friendships have been made and the impact on the community has been very positive," Mrs White said.

Mrs White said older people in particular had been "very active" and had been involved with activities like astronomy, crafts, sewing, Maori language, recycling and flax weaving.

Mid Canterbury TimeBank is holding a forest rejuvenation weekend on November 3-4, where members and the wider community are invited to experience the unique area around the Staveley Camp.

Those taking part can get involved with a number of activities and workshops, and can also help with weedbusting.

More information on the weekend and timebanking can be found on the website mctimebank.nz, or Mid Canterbury TimeBank Facebook page.



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