Welcome to Bristol's Community Exchange!
As a member of Bristol's Community Exchange, you are not a volunteer in the traditional sense. You are part of a community that can make a difference and feel needed. The concept of earning and spending credits is important because it offers everyone the chance to give and receive in equal measure. Without a two-way process, the Community Exchange cannot work as there would be no credits to exchange with.
You are of course welcome to donate your credits to another Exchange member, group or organisation who would benefit from them. You may wish to 'bank' some of the credits you earn by helping others and saving them for when you really need them.
However, you should also spend some of your credits on the services on offer from other participants. Unlike a normal bank account, with the Community Exchange, you do not necessarily have to be in a credit situation before you 'spend'.
Section 1: Exchanges
Arranging an exchange
This section takes you through the procedure for arranging an exchange and outlines what you need to do whether you are receiving or providing a service. It also includes some useful advice should things not run according to plan.
Follow this simple procedure to arrange an exchange:
- Sign in to Can Do Bristol.
- Click on the 'Exchange' button in the menu.
- Search the available offers or requests of time.
- Click on the ones that interest you.
- Once joined, click 'Make an Exchange' if you want to accept the offer or request.
- Specify your 'offer' or 'request', add in a short message and then click 'Submit'.
At this point, you and the other member can discuss privately details such as availability, whether the exchange is right for both of you, and if so, when the exchange will take place. Check whether there are any special needs involved or if there is any other information you should know about the exchange or each other. If you have any concerns at any time, please ask for assistance to help you arrange and complete exchanges. If it doubt, don't do it.
On completion of the exchange
You can record your hours quickly online to ensure that all exchanges have been recorded. On completion of an exchange, both members will need to check and sign a completed exchange form. This is to confirm that you were both happy with the service received.
To check your credit balance, log in as usual and check out the number of credits you have next to your name. You can also click on the 'Exchange' tab within your dashboard to donate your credits.
If for any reason you are not happy with an exchange, please contact the site administrator to discuss.
On the day:
- Be on time to the Exchange site – 5 minutes early is even better.
- Be sure you know the Exchange member’s name and be sure he or she knows yours, and any issued password.
- If there are any concerns, please be prepared to arrange the exchange for another time.
- For emergencies, check out your escape route in case of fire etc.
- Find out if there are any possible hazards (i.e. loose or dangerous stairs, unfriendly dogs etc).
Section 2: Useful Information
Unless you have arranged otherwise, we do not have a process for processing expenses so this is up to you to manage and be satisfied with the arrangement before you begin.
You need to cancel an exchange
Whether you are a giver or receiver, please give as much notice as possible if you need to cancel. Contact your site administrator who will contact the other participant.
An emergency arises whilst you are carrying out an exchange
If it is urgent or you consider it necessary, don’t hesitate – dial 999 and call the relevant emergency service. If you have any doubts, do this – it is far better to be on the side of safety. If anyone is injured, your first responsibility must be their safety so carry out the emergency procedure detailed above. Administer First Aid ONLY if you have a valid First Aid Qualification.
Section 3 - Health and Safety
The safety of all Community Exchange members is paramount. As the Exchange grows, you will soon get to know other participants and build up a useful network of people you can trust and call upon. However, if you have any concerns or doubts when asked to carry out an assignment, do not hesitate to contact your site administrator.
This section gives some general guidelines aimed to ensure the safety and comfort of all members which are useful to bear in mind, particularly when working in another member’s home.
Do not put yourself at risk – if you are not sure it is safe to do, DON’T DO IT!
- Be aware of possible dangers. If you are worried about visiting another member on your own, in the dark or in a particular area – discuss your concerns with your site administrator.
- Trust your judgement. If anything sets off alarm bells, trust your instinct and position yourself for an easy exit.
- Do not carry out any electrical repairs unless you are a professional electrician - even routine tasks like changing a fuse or rewiring a plug.
- Do not overload power points.
- Electric wires should not trail across hot or wet surfaces.
- Mains operated appliances (electric fires or hair dryers for example) should not be used in bathrooms.
- If you have any doubts about a piece of equipment, do not use it.
If you smell gas in the house and cannot locate the source:
- Ensure that all naked flames are extinguished.
- Open all doors and turn off all gas taps.
- DO NOT switch on lights.
- Contact Transco (0800 111 999) and tell them your location.
Many fires start in the kitchen – to avoid danger, ensure that:
- Pan handles are kept clear of flames and not overhanging the front of the cooker.
- Chip pans are not filled more than half way.
- Cookers are checked regularly while in use.
- Be aware of these potential problem areas and point out hazards in a friendly way. Cluttered and/or dark doorways, hall, passages, stairs and landings.
- Floor coverings which are worn, torn or wrinkled or move easily.
- Unsecure fixtures and fittings.
- Trailing wires.
- Spillages on the floor
Do not smoke in a participant’s home - even if the participant does. This way, if there is a fire resulting from smoking, you know you cannot be held responsible. If a fire should occur – do not put yourself at risk. Do not put yourself at risk. Take yourself and the other participant to a place of safety.
Section 4 - Rights and Responsibilities
The Community Exchange values you as an individual and recognises its responsibility to maintain high standards for all participants. Equally, as a member you have responsibilities towards the Exchange and other members in the scheme. This section sets out the Rights and Responsibilities of members. It also includes a copy of the Exchange's Standards of Care which you agreed to respect when you registered with the Exchange.
Rights of the Giver
- To earn one “time credit” for every hour spent on an exchange.
- To have credits banked, available to be used when the participant needs a service. These savings are inflation proof.
- To be able to donate credits to another member (who also needs to be a member of the Exchange), a group or organisation that is part of the Exchange or the Community Pot (an account used to help members who are unable to earn time credits themselves).
- To receive recognition for the valuable service provided to the Community Exchange.
- To be treated fairly. Any dispute, complaint or misunderstanding arising out of involvement within the scheme will be resolved promptly.
Rights of the Time Receiver
- To be treated with dignity, care and respect. All participants are expected to adhere to the Standards of Care.
- Guaranteed Price. One time credit always buys one hour of service, regardless of the nature of the task.
Responsibilities of the Giver
- To provide an exchange that is comfortable and satisfying to the receiver.
- To maintain the receiver’s confidentiality.
- To observe the Standards of Care.
- To always contact the site administrator should a difficult or uncertain situation arise.
- To be prompt and keep scheduled exchanges.
- To accept advice from your Community Builder.
Standards of Care
Community Exchange members must:
- Respect another member’s privacy or confidentiality.
- Respect other members’ viewpoints and do not pressure another participant to accept your religious beliefs or political views.
- Not involve friends or relatives in Exchange activities by bringing them to a member’s home or venue at the time of exchange, unless agreed with the Exchange as being part of a group activity.
- Not ask for or accept money, gifts or tips from other members.
- Not eat or drink a member’s food and drink, unless invited to do so.
- Respect a no smoking policy in a member’s home or venue of time exchange.
- Not use any possessions of the member, including the telephone, unless given clear permission to.
- Always treat other participants respectfully.