Credit-Based Exchanges coming to your Community

Are you interested in setting up a skills exchange? As part of our Touchstones project we’re currently recruiting community groups to join us in piloting some credit-based skills exchanges. Find out how you can get involved.

What is a “credit-based exchange”?

Put simply, a “credit based exchange” is a mechanism for people to exchange services without using money.

Why would we want to get involved?

Our research shows that this can really benefit rural communities in terms of strengthening community links, sharing of advice and support, encouraging volunteering and obvious cost savings to our rural residents.

For some inspiration why not look at these examples of exchanges:

  • Timebanking - “a means of exchange used to organise people and organisations around a purpose, where time is the principal currency. For every hour participants ‘deposit’ in a timebank, perhaps by giving practical help and support to others, they are able to ‘withdraw’ equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need.” Timebanking.org (2013)
  • Apples4Eggs: a York based home produce swapping community. Have a look at some great photos of swapped produce on their pinterest page.
  • LETS schemes - “LETS are local ‘community based’ networks. People exchange goods and services without using money. LETS use ‘community credits’ as people do not have to make direct exchanges. People earn LETS credits by providing a service and can spend these credits on whatever is offered by other people in the scheme.” Letslinkuk.net (2013)
  • The GoodGym in London: instead of going to the gym you get fit by doing good. GoodGym Camden pairs members with isolated older people. The older person becomes your coach and keeps you motivated to keep running, in exchange you bring them a newspaper and have a chat and so on.
  • Fixperts: Excite people with making skills...they solve problems for others...and share their inspiring results online

We have a small pot of funding available to seed fund some pilot activities to help us understand how a credit exchange might work and be replicated in other areas. If you have a skills exchange idea you would like to try out, or know of a group starting out in the area that might benefit from some help or funding, please get in touch with us here at RAY.

However you need to be quick, we need to hear from you as soon as possible as funding will be allocated in December. Please contact Tania Weston to discuss your ideas further on 0845 313 0270 or email tania.weston@ruralyorkshire.org.uk.