LETS stands for Local Exchange Trading system. People
in a community form a club to swap goods and service amongst each other.
For instance, person A may do 3 hours gardening for person B, who does
3 hours typing for person C, who may do some sewing for person D, who
may do some baby-sitting for person A. So each member has both given and
received a similar amount of work from other members.
But, they haven't been direct two-way swaps as in ordinary
barter, where trading can't occur unless two people happen to each have
something the other wants. In a LETS, Each person lists what they have to
offer and what they need (and they can update this on an ongoing basis).
These listings are entered in a Member Directory together with the account
number, contact details, and balances, and sent to all members.
Using the Directory, the buyer contacts other members in
order to trade. In the original paper-based system, they would write a LETS
cheque in the Community Currency (in Harrow it's called Harmonies)
to acknowledge whatever goods or services they have received. The member
receiving the LETS cheque sends it to the local LETS Accountant who keeps
a record of all transactions. A list of members' trading figures are sent
to all members on a regular basis, as are directory Updates - and may be
viewed on the website.
With an online system, all this is done on the website.
Members who have internet access can take care of their own updates and
and transactions. For members who prefer to receive information in printed
format, the listings can be printed out and posted to them (as long as we
have sufficient capacity on the Core Group to provide this service).
One main advantage of LETS is that it helps people realise
that they do have something to offer, so it encourages mutual support,
rather than one-way volunteering. Whether they have skills or not, each
member's time, energy, or resources will be of value to someone. Just a few
examples are, shopping, lifting, cooking, cleaning, houseminding, lending
home equipment, tools, or meeting space. Start by asking yourself what you
enjoy doing or look at the Directory to see what other members are already
You may also, as a visitor, attend one of our regular
Bring and Share parties, walks in the park, or zoom sessions - for
forthcoming dates check your email or
News & Events.
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