About Edinburgh LETS

'LETS' stands for 'Local Exchange Trading System'. The founder - Michael Linton said: "the word 'LETS' was chosen to highlight an invitation (let's) and a culture of consent". Let's trade!

The scheme works like this: when a member gives time or resources to another member, they receive credits - we call them 'Reekies'. These credits are recorded on the website and exchanged for services when needed. So if you earn some Reekies helping someone to decorate their home, you can 'spend' them on another member's time or resources: choosing from everything on offer from the entire membership.

Potential members sometimes worry that they don't have sufficient skills or time to join LETS. In fact, everyone has something to offer, and people can choose how much or little they want to trade: most of our members work full-time or have young families, so people with loads of spare time are in the minority.

Another perception is that it's all about trading jars of home-made jam. The reality is that we could use a jam-maker right now. In fact LETS has seen some amazing trades over the years. One member saved another member hundreds of pounds by helping her challenge an excessive bill. One member had architectural plans drawn up for her flat. When two members' home was damaged by a fire, a small squad rushed down to help clear out all their belongings. But mostly it's the small things that make a difference: help with a sick cat, getting advice or having someone to put up some shelves.

Many of us have found that the best thing about LETS is making new friends. LETS members range through all age-groups and all sorts of characters, from the activist whose home is mostly furnished from skips, to the teenager who loves fast cars, so whether you're outgoing or reclusive, there's likely to be a corner of LETS which suits you.

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