So what is LETS?

LETS stands for Local Exchange Trading System. LETS was pioneered in Canada but now operates successfully worldwide; there are now over 450 LETS groups operating in Britain alone!
Pile of bricks
LETS is a barter system that enables people to exchange goods and services with minimal use of money. 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. In Aberystwyth they use TOES (Welsh for dough and rhymes with voice), Bath uses OLIVERS and HARDYS are used in Dorset.

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, Auntie 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 often don't have that close support.

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

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 appreciated equally.

Here's how we work. 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.

We do charge a quarterly admin fee of 10 Bricks plus a 2.5% "tax" 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, our accounts and marketing for example.

We also have a nominal real money annual membership fee to cover the cost of postage, printing and speakers: £6 for individuals and £12 for families and if you pay on time you get a 50% discount.

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