The University of Newcastle‘s staff and students will join hands and hearts with the local community tomorrow to celebrate the launch of Newcastle’s Timebanking trial.

Organised by the Hunter Wetlands Centre with the NSW Office of Communities, the launch will see an estimated 5,000 volunteers plant 12,000 seedlings in the Wetlands, along with undertaking preparation work.

Timebanking is a program that allows the voluntary exchange of services between members. The concept is simple – give an hour, receive an hour. By giving one hour to helping another member, you earn one hour of time credits that can be used to receive services of personal value such as dog walking, ironing, community gardening or painting.

Everyone can be part of Timebanking as everyone has something to give.

The Wetlands launch will allow volunteers to participate in the hands-on activities of sustainable wetland management and gain real experience in Timebanking.

Celebrations on Saturday will commence with the Environment Minister, the Hon Robyn Parker MP, planting a specimen rainforest tree on the site.

For those who cannot attend the launch, Timebanking volunteering at the Wetlands is running until 30 November 2012.

For more information or to register your interest email volunteering@communities.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 9995 0573.