I've long complained about the lack of local economy schemes in my area, and contacted LETSlinkUK on various occasions to say I'd be interested in any such scheme starting up. I've just had an email regarding meeting for starting up a LETS scheme for Manchester and surrounding areas on Friday, 17th October at the Youth Hostel (Potato Wharf, M3 4NB) [see map], Room 3 from 7.30pm. The meeting will cover what the LETS scheme is and how to go about starting up, expanding, and running a LETS scheme in the area, using the LETS start-up checklist as a basis. If you want more information on LETS schemes and are in the area covered by this meeting, come along; if you're not in the area but are interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org for information and see the LETSlinkUK website for details. Here's the basic outline of LETS from their website:
"LETS - Local Exchange Trading Systems or Schemes - are local community-based mutual aid networks in which people exchange all kinds of goods and services with one another, without the need for money.
LETS are revitalising communities throughout Britain. As grassroots initiatives they are open to everyone - people of all ages, skills and abilities; local clubs and associations; voluntary groups, charities, community initiatives; housing co-operatives, small businesses and local services - helping everyone to give and take, connect to new resources, and find a genuine community identity.
LETS offer equal opportunities to all - whether employed or unemployed, financially secure or on low income, black or white, able or disabled. LETS use a system of community credits, so that direct exchanges do not have to be made. People earn LETS credits by providing a service, and can then spend the credits on whatever is offered by others on the scheme: for example childcare, transport, food, home repairs or the hire of tools and equipment."