Edinburgh Local Exchange Trading Scheme
I have noticed that some members of LETS have some difficulty in deciding what jobs or services they have to offer. Others have no difficulties in earning their Reekies but have no idea on how to spend them. Some may offer a service and find that no-one contacts them.
My experience is as follows. I offered several things and found that there was only one thing that was really selling. That was baby-sitting. Doing that as well as working on the LETS committee (yes we do pay for committee attendance) allowed me to pile up a large Reekie balance. However I was not so good at spending this money, and I allowed my balance to lie.
The time came for a major spring clean of my flat, throwing things out, re-decoration and other jobs, with a view to moving house. Several people helped me and I am very grateful to them as I cannot do much of this work myself as I have a disability. In addition I have had a new computer system installed for Reekies, which allows me to use email and the Internet. This also would have cost a lot on the open market.
All of this has improved my life a lot and I have some new friends in LETS as well. It would have cost me a lot of money to get the help that I needed commercially. I hope that what I have written will help others to get trading. It’s really something to get in on.
Aunt Agony's corner:
I'm too busy with young children/work or I'm too ill to trade on a regular basis but I still want to use the system. Can you suggest anything?
-Answer: Yes, there are many ways one can trade without moving a little finger and still earn many Reekies, so here are a few examples of what you might offer if you have very little spare time, or recovering from an illness:
* Loan of a wheeled suitcase.
* Use of clothes line in a garden.
* Don't have a garden? What about a computer?
* Loan of DVD's, CD's and books
* Looking after a goldfish/houseplants in your own home
One Member's Storyby Ingrid
I moved back to Edinburgh in 1997, after being away from here for fifteen years. I was starting a whole new life for myself and my two sons, and wanted to be near my brother and his family. It was while visiting them that I was introduced to Jane who immediatally enrolled us into LETS! I had been a member of the Stirling group a few years previously, but hadn't used it very much before I moved again, but I was keen to be part of the Edinburgh group as I feel the idea is really great.
Since being in the Edinburgh LETS group I have done quite a variety of things for Reekies. I have altered clothing, sewn garments, helped run a creche, been a taxi, helped with housework, given Reiki treatments and I sewed 21 large cushion covers for people to sit and meditate on in the Salisbury Centre. I have taken a lady and her dog to the park for a walk, I taught another lady to crochet and sold her some wool for Reekies, and most recently I have been doing bits and pieces for a single mum and her gorgeous new baby. The mum insists on paying me even for sitting holding the baby while so she can get on with things she needs to do.
How have I spent all the Reekies I must have earned doing all these varied and interesting activities? I have had many amazing sessions of massage and other therapies which I could never had afforded with money This helped me very much during what was, and continues to be, quite a difficult time in my life. Meeting all the people I have traded with in LETS, and feeling able to help them in some small ways has been very good therapy for me too. I am very glad I joined and have benefitted very much from being a part of the group.