UK is the lead body supporting Local Exchange Trading Systems
nationally. We represent LETS in the media, to the government
and national organisations. We organise UK conferences, training
and seminars, advice, networking, and the development of new forms
of LETS for health services, food producers, local authorities
and 'third' sector' community economic initiatives.
are a non-profit voluntary agency with charitable objectives,
dedicated to testing, researching and developing sustainable models
for local and community-based LETS and complementary currencies.
We encourage organisers of LETS schemes to network with each other
locally, and we are developing a range of practical administrative
services and training opportunities for LETS organisers.
We run conferences throughout the UK where LETS organisers come
together to share knowledge and methodologies. We are also working
with academics interested in the problems of mainstream financial
systems, to acknowledge the role of LETS as a practical example
of community currency.
Our aim is to empower and inform people and organisations through
the provision of appropriate, practical, and ethical guidelines
on how to organise and develop their own local exchange systems.
LETSlink UK was founded in 1991 by Liz Shephard as the world's
first national LETS development agency and network. In its early
years, LETSlink UK developed a national advice line, servicing
over 50,000 enquiries and developed the model rules, materials,
back up and 'best practice' guidelines used by UK LETS schemes
and subscribers. In 1994 Liz Shephard received the first Schumacher
Award for 'a triumph of voluntary effort' in the development of
LETS throughout Britain.
Based on co-operative principles the UK's LETS schemes have revitalised
communities, dissolving barriers of social and financial exclusion,
offering new opportunity for all, enhancing people's skills, supporting
local economies and benefiting the environment.
The Prime Minister's flagship Social Exclusion Unit put LETS at
the top of their agenda for neighbourhood and community economic
Britain Together'). Tony Blair has also endorsed LETS as "showing
the way" in his speech to the NCVO, for rebuilding human
and social capital and "making the links between rebuilding
communities and rebuilding economic opportunity."
Supported by MP Linda Gilroy and the Parliamentary Group for LETS,
we ran a national campaign to amend social security regulations
for LETS with the Ministers for Employment and Social Security.
Although the matter has not been resolved entirely, in practice
there have been very few difficulties posed by DHSS offices for
individual LETS members. Where difficulties have occurred they
have been successfully challenged.
LETSlink UK inspired exchange networks have been established in
over 1,000 localities from Iceland to Albania. We also advise
NGOs and community groups in Eastern Europe, Africa, India, Japan
and elsewhere on developing their own appropriate forms of local
LETSlink UK Trustees as at August 2006:
Meg Goodare, who has a background in academic
publishing and an active member of North London LETS since 1996
Dr John Courtneidge, a peace-worker, co-operator and Quaker
who founded the Campaign for Interest-Free Money
Rosamund Stock, a researcher in Social Psychology at the
London School of Economics, founder of The Network Project
Woody Bronson, currently chair of North London LETS, who
has been active in LETSlink for many years
Mary Fee, new age networker, also co-ordinator of LETSlink
London, who acts as secretary and web-weaver.
Yes, we do have vacancies for Trustees, and are now making
this a priority
The LETSlink UK Network is a membership organisation.
Individuals and organisation may join on a sliding scale of fees
from £10 individual, £25 group, to £50 funded
and £100 well-funded. Benefits of
membership include inclusion in news broadcasts and survey reports,
access to the member-only area of the website which includes a
Discussion Forum, preferential rates at Conferences, and optional
membership of the "links" London-wide LETS scheme.
To join or for further details write to us with
full details of yourself and/or your organisation or enter your
details straight into our survey page (in preparation). Joining
fees should be sent to LETSlink UK, 12 Southcote Road, London
Tel: 020-7607-7852 Fax: 020-7609-7112
(temporarily out of order)