So what is LETS?

    LETS stands for Local Exchange Trading System. LETS was pioneered in Canada but now operates successfully worldwide; there are many LETS groups operating in Britain alone.

    LETS is a non-money trading system.  LETS is actually more like a timebank. It is system that enables people to exchange services and goods with minimal use of money - for example, money for ingredients for baking, fuel for lifts. It's a self-help community initiative that encourages the sharing of skills and resources. LETS groups trade in fictitious currencies; here in Bracknell we use BRICKS as there used to be a thriving brickworks in the area. Waltham Forest has its currency as “BEAMS” as they meet in the Hornbeam Cafe. Up to 2018 there was a system in Reading which Traded in READIES; it closed and became part of the Bracknell system which now covers a wider area.

    The group sets its own rate of exchange; in Bracknell it’s 20 BRICKS an hour. Think of LETS credits more as 'favours' rather than 'money' since everyone's time is equally appreciated.

    There’s a wealth of skills and expertise which is frequently untapped. LETS is a great way of helping others whilst receiving help in return when we need it. Years ago, relatives were usually close by; Gran was around the corner, Dad was in the next street, so family was always at hand to help out. In our modern world, with families very often far apart, we may not have so close support.

    Here's how we work and how much it costs

    Members advertise their goods, skills and wants on the online Community Exchange System. Help is available for those without computer skills.

    You give Fred a lift to the airport which takes 1 hour there and back. Fred pays you 20 Bricks for your time and a cash contribution towards the cost of your petrol. You buy an apple pie from Ann at a cost of 15 Bricks. While she is doing her shopping, Mary shops for Sue as well. Mary claims Bricks for her time as well as money for the shopping bill. 

    We do charge a quarterly admin fee of 10 Bricks plus a 2.5% LEVY on both sides (payer and payee) of every transaction between Members. This covers the Bricks which Bracknell LETS 'pays' to Members who work hard every month to keep the Group going; managing membership, the website, our accounts, the hire of the hall and marketing for example. 

    We also have a nominal real money annual membership fee to cover the cost of postage, printing, refreshments and speakers: this fee is clearly shown at the bottom of our Terms and Conditions before you join.

    Everyone has something to offer and needs help at some time.