from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Canals: The Making of a Nation: EngineeringWednesday, 2nd September 2015 01:20 - BBC FourEpisode 6 of 6 looks at the rise of civil engineering and the feats of technology behind the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Read more: Canals: The Making of a Nation: Engineering
Canals: The Making of a Nation: EngineeringAvailable until Friday, 2nd October 2015 01:50Episode 6 of 6 looks at the rise of civil engineering and the feats of technology behind the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Read more: Canals: The Making of a Nation: Engineering
More or Less: Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes and runnersAvailable until Tuesday, 29th September 2015 20:30
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 1Available until Tuesday, 29th September 2015 19:00
Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school: Episode TwoAvailable until Monday, 28th September 2015 01:55
Oliver Sacks: "Romantic, in the sense of the romantic poets"For Vaughan Bell of Mind Hacks, the more Sacks wrote, the more we were inspired - and the more we... Read more: Oliver Sacks: "Romantic, in the sense of the romantic poets"
Are our kids tough enough? Chinese schoolIn a unique experiment, five teachers from China take over the education of 50 teenagers in a... Read more: Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school
Challenges in advanced management accountingThis free course, Challenges in advanced management accounting, focuses on strategic management... Try: Challenges in advanced management accounting now
Forensic psychologyDiscover how psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations and... Try: Forensic psychology now
LETS: A community development
This unit enables you to hear about some of the participants in the Local Exchange and...
This unit enables you to hear about some of the participants in the Local Exchange and Trading Schemes (LETS). These are associations of people who make offers of goods and services to and from each other. What is on offer and the requests people make are listed in local directories.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- give examples of how LETS work as a community development.
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
LETS: A community development
Local Exchange and Trading Schemes (LETS) expanded rapidly in the UK after the first scheme was set up in Norfolk in 1985. By 1996 LETSLINK UK, the coordinating body, reckoned that there were about 450 LETS in the UK, with 40,000 members. LETS exist in most western European countries – in Australia and New Zealand, the US, Canada and Japan. Their origins lie in Canadian attempts to revive local traditions of skills exchange and barter outside commercial and international labour markets and currency systems.
LETS are associations of people who make offers of goods and services to and from each other. What is on offer, and the requests people make, are listed in local directories. Currencies have local names. You'll hear people mentioning ‘Squares’ and ‘Keys’ on the audio clips. Each member has a cheque book of currency vouchers, with which they pay for work or goods. Cheques are then sent to a central accounting office where one individual account is credited and one is debited. A typical system values units of currency at one hour's work. Sometimes cash is involved, if materials are needed or a phone bill mounts up.
LETS vary around the world, with some systems maintaining parity with the national currency and being organised by one person as administrator. In the UK, the model is more flexible and democratic, with participation and collective control more in evidence.
The audio clips were recorded in 2000.
Participants in the audio clips:
Liz Shepherd is the national co-ordinator of LETSLINK UK;
Jan Hurst is Development Officer for the London Borough of Greenwich Social Exclusion and Justice Division's Anti-Poverty Team;
Peter Jones, Roger Bunker, Rachel Bunker, Jenny Hurst and Veera Usher Muller are all members of two LETS in the Greenwich area.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Care, welfare and community (K202) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Social Care courses or view the range of currently available OU Social Care courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 9th January 2013
Last updated on: Wednesday, 9th January 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.