A scheme in which people trade skills for free will help revive community spirit, according to the people behind it.

In the TimeBank, for those living in Burnt Oak, Colindale, Edgware and West Hendon, people offer good deeds to each other completely free of charge.

Under the scheme, people can store up credits for help they give others - so for example one person can offer swimming lessons or babysitting in return for art classes or gardening.

Mother-of-two Jennifer Mahon began volunteering for the project last year, and was recently promoted to time-bank coordinator.

The 29-year-old said: “It’s a good thing to do as there’s no commitment. You can do as much or as little as you like, as long as you do something in return.

“Helping someone gives you a real sense of accomplishment. You feel like you’ve done a good deed. It’s also great for your CV if you’re in between jobs, as you build lots of skills.

“Our aim here is to focus on health and social care - helping reduce isolation in elderly people and getting them out and meeting new people.”

Ms Mahon and other members of the TimeBank, supported by Community Barnet, are hoping to get others on board in the New Year.

The scheme is free and people of all ages and all different backgrounds are eligible to sign up.

She added: “In the olden days, you’d know all your neighbours and you could go down the road and ask for a lift.

“We’re trying to rebuild that community, and hopefully revive some community spirit on the way.”

For more information, contact Ms Mahon on 0208 3648400 ext 227.