More About This Project

History of Local Currencies. Liz Shephard's LETS info-pack sets out some of the earlier history of Local Currencies. David Weston and Michael Linton introduced the idea at the TOES Conference (The Other Economic Summit) in 1984, and the first scheme was set up in Norwich in 1985. Michael Linton founded the LETSystem Trust, whilst Liz & Harry founded LETSlink UK in 1991 (after the second TOES conference). This was before the internet, and the method was for people to send in paper applications, from which the organisers created, printed, and posted out paper newsletters including lists of Members, a Directory of Offers & Wants, and News Updates, with dates of socials. They also ran spreadsheets or access databases for the accounting systems, transacting cheques on members' behalf. Later, software began to be developed to cover these functions, and In about 2009, "Local Exchange" became available via Francis Ayley, who had co-founded North London LETS then emigrated to the USA, which LETSlink recognised as the most suitable one we had yet seen, and began to install it for groups who requested such support.

The Online System, based on Local Exchange provides a platform, which is customisable for each group. It enables members to build and update a brief personal profile including a photo, contact details, and background information, and to create Offers & Wants to appear in the directory, which may include arrangements for Local Meetings. It also enables members to contact each other to arrange one-to-one sessions, and do online transactions where appropriate. and also enables organisers to send messages out about forthcoming meetings, etc. For those who prefer their information on paper, pages can be printed out from the website, including an All-In-One Directory, available from both the Offered and Wanted Pages, and local coordinators can provide support and/or arrange one-to-one buddies to assist members who don't have online access..

This Project: we are enrolling former and potential LETS organisers, as well as people who just wanted to join LETS but couldn't find a group: once logged in, you can find others who live nearby as well as serving as a network for organisers across Wales. As numbers build, we envisage launching additional hubs for areas where coordinators can be identified, with this hub continuing to promote connections, both for inter-trading between groups, and mutual support between organisers, as well as enabling trades by individuals across the Welsh region. If you are interested in becoming involved at any level, please use our Application Form.


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