WHAT IS HOUR EXCHANGE?
A community program where participants of all abilities contribute skills into a communal pool. Once you have made a contribution, you can then request ANY other skill out of the pool as needed. “Give an hour, receive an hour”
Unlike volunteering, which is a one-way model of altruism, an hour exchange is based on reciprocity. It creates stronger ties between you and the people right under your nose.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
1. Help a neighbour for one hour doing something you enjoy
2. Record your transaction in the online database
3. You are now entitled to request one hour of help from anything else on offer in the database
Every skill is valued equally in units of “one hour” (or part thereof).
One hour of your time is equal to one hour of your neighbour’s time, no matter what you do.
We all have skills to contribute, no matter what our age, ability, career or lifestyle.
Small skills are especially valuable such as digging a hole in the garden, sweeping leaves, cooking a meal, reading or sitting with someone.
Larger tasks can usually be broken down into smaller tasks which can be met by people offering smaller skills.
WHO CAN JOIN?
Anyone willing to be part of the Mosman Park community. You don’t have to live here.
I WANT TO JOIN BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY SKILLS?
In Mosman Park Hour Exchange, the emphasis is on small skills. Such as dog walking, gardening, tutoring or driving someone to/from the train station.
It is possible to break down a larger skillset into much smaller skills. For example: making strawberry jam. Small skills out of this might be:
- Harvesting and washing the strawberries
- Washing and drying the jars
- Re-organising the refrigerator to fit all the new jam jars
- Writing labels
Perhaps you’d like make-up done for a special occasion? Or you have lots of lemons to get rid of? Even simple things such as lending/borrowing a ladder, waiting for a parcel delivery or reading today’s newspaper to someone who can’t read. No skill is too small. A Project Officer is on hand to help you get started. A good place to start is to think of the things you enjoy doing which are valuable to someone else.
I’M VERY INDEPENDENT – WHY SHOULD I ASK STRANGERS FOR HELP?
Sometimes it can be hard asking for help. No-one wants to be a burden on friends or family.
- But that lightbulb isn’t going to change itself – if only you had a ladder.
- You’ve got a wedding to attend – but your injured hand means you can’t apply make up.
- The fruit on the lemon tree is going to waste on the ground.
- An extra pair of hands on laundry day would mean so much.
This is where the Hour Exchange might be of benefit to you. After helping another Hour Exchange participant for 1 hour, you’re entitled to request 1 hour of whatever assistance you need from the offerings available. It costs nothing and, like a community noticeboard, you deal directly with your neighbour.
If what you need isn’t on the list, you can always contact the Project Officer for an easy chat towards a solution. The help you need might be right under your nose.
Are you worried about interacting with strangers, or having strange people at your house? The Project Officer doesn’t do those checks and balances on your behalf, but is there to equip you with the tools to feel more confident.
Remember – you’re not getting a hand-out, you’ve earned that hour of assistance by contributing your skills into the Hour Exchange.
HOW DO I JOIN?
1. Sign up to the online database at mosmanparkhourexchange.com.au
2. Attend a face-to-face orientation session
3. Discuss any ideas or concerns with the Project Officer
HOW ARE PARTICIPANTS SUPPORTED?
People who do not have internet or a computer can phone the Project Officer to discuss options. Computers with internet are available to use for free at The Grove Library.
All print materials are available in alternative formats (e.g. Braille, large print) and can be translated into different languages.
Once a month we all get together for a BBQ in the park.
The Project Officer is available on Thursdays and Fridays by telephone, e-mail or in person at the Town of Mosman Park office.
HOW IS THE PROJECT SUPPORTED?
Participants with great ideas for the future of the Hour Exchange are encouraged to join the Steering Committee (which cares for the direction of the project).
The project is community-driven and supported by the council. Resources (such as office space) are provided by Town of Mosman Park. Community members are encouraged to uptake leadership tasks within their capacity.
WHO DO I CONTACT?
Project Officer, Mosman Park Hour Exchange
c/- Town of Mosman Park