Island Bay potluck dinner Timebank launch Sewing Bee, May 2013 1st b'day celebrations - Phil and the Annas Launch of M12 Island Bay School Timebank Great Maidens Blush Aro Valley Community Hangi - Kapa Haka No Sh*t Gift Shop 2016 Matariki celebrations 2013 Shelali's Home-made Indian Cooking An amazing trade... Bakhtawar and Dorothy Nolan, the 100th timebank member with flatmates 5th Birthday Barn Dance Brooklyn hub working bee Learning to make moisturiser Belinda in Bee suit Peoples Coffee Roastery Event Fermenting Potluck @ Sustainability Trust Fermenting Potluck @ Sustainability Trust 1st b'day celebrations - Lunch in the sun Island Bay school kids learn about timebanking 1st b'day celebrations - The Troubles No Sh*t Gift Shop Floyd at Floyds! Newtown Hub dinner Mark inspecting the bees The Art of Story-Telling Newtown conversation dinner 5th Birthday Barn Dance No Sh*t Gift Shop 2016 Pancake Party A Fine Affair - raising money for Fairtrade Fortnight Grandmother’s favourite: Patatas Rebozadas Bryant and Olivia at the Sewing Bee Peoples Coffee Roastery Event Poster Aro Valley Community Hangi - Lots of food Margaret and Fiona making tea at the Hook, Line and Sinker film fundraiser Sewing bee Runner up - Wellington Airport Community Awards 2016 Belinda in Bee suit Fermenting Potluck @ Sustainability Trust Aro Valley Community Hangi - TB helpers Wellington Airport Community Awards - Runner up Neighbours Day BBQ Zero Waste at Newtown Festival Peoples Coffee Roastery Event Pop Up Chef, Tania & Organiser, Renee for A Fine Affair Potluck dinner 1st b'day celebrations Garden working bee Sustainability Trust - Curtain/Time Banking Alpha Art Studio Grandmother’s favourite: Patatas Rebozadas

Welcome to Wellington's Timebank!

Time is our currency. Our members swap skills and knowledge for credits. We trade these credits for services in our community.

Our Timebank is a great place to meet people and get help with things you can’t do. You can also learn new skills and share your talents with people.

Everyone’s time is valued equally, regardless of what skills are exchanged.

Read more about timebanking...

The Timebank Blog

The Magic Weave of Shadow the Storyteller


Something told me that when I went to meet Shadow the Storyteller I was in for a treat … and I wasn’t disappointed.

Linda Hansen joined Timebank because of a visit to a friend, who was also a member, just before the project’s first anniversary. Watching a couple of Timebankers, through the window, working enthusiastically on her friend’s garden, she could see the practical benefits of skill sharing. She could see a community of people working for each other, helping to complete the jobs that we, individually, put off – the ones that get us down!  

Linda is used to storytelling in a wide range of settings, inside and out, in rest homes, for pre-schoolers, adult and children’s parties and has even run storytelling courses. So when Hannah Mackintosh invited her to ’tell’ at the Timebank First Birthday Party celebrations she was more than happy to oblige.

Although Linda doesn’t need a complicated set – she usually purloins only a chair – she does have a decorated suitcase of treasures that help conjure up countless scenes for the imagination. Forty minutes is an average length for her story sessions, with extra time for warm up and conclusions. During a session, Linda senses when her audience, if very young or very old, needs a break and passes the treasures around for them to hold and think about.

Costumes are a real advantage in helping establish atmosphere and it’s also obvious that when you have one on, you’re the storyteller. A great benefit to Shadow and, ‘Where else do you get to dress up in sparkles!’

She discovered early on how important the sense of touch is to the imagination, and enjoys the connection when older people smooth their fingers once again over a wooden darning mushroom, for example. She creates a ‘magical zone’ with coloured cloth, placing her treasures like the cow’s horn pictured below, for the children to see but not yet touch, creating expectation and anticipation. Monkey, her glove puppet, is also a winner.


When I asked Linda about the skills needed for such an art, she said that although she always plans and prepares carefully, she knows she must pay attention to what happens in the moment and maybe change a story. She has a good memory and although we may recognise echoes, she rarely tells tales her audience will have heard before. Many are adapted especially for the event.

Whilst she can’t choose a favourite audience, she enjoys the total engagement of the elderly and young children, particularly those with autism. She particularly likes it when older children are captured by the experience, despite their expectation that “storytelling is for babies.” The intimacy shared with an audience often allows both teller and listeners to be moved.

I wondered what had charmed Linda into the world of story in the first place. She told me that she had attended a two-roomed, remote, rural school and had never grown out of the rich diet of myths and legends that she found there in a dusty old set of encyclopaedias. She now visits such schools, saying that if a travelling storyteller had ever visited her school, she would never have forgotten it.  

As Linda left with her many treasures, I couldn’t help thinking that there had been no need for a travelling storyteller to visit that school years ago, for, in fact, one was already there! I also wished that a little boy called George, living on the other side of the world, could have a visit from Shadow the Storyteller - it would be something he too would never forget.

Story by Sue Jenkins

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