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Gipping Valley -
Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS)

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About Gipping Valley LETS

LETS stands for Local Exchange Trading Scheme, which means its a way for people to exchange goods and services, normally within their local community, without using money. Gipping Valley LETS was founded in 1996 and is situated around the Gipping Valley in Suffolk. The River Gipping flows through Stowmarket and Needham Market, and the LETS group is based in Creeting St Mary on the opposite side of the Gipping to Needham Market. There are many LETS groups around the UK and the world, and therefore trading is not restricted to the local group. See our Contacts and Links page for details about other LETS groups.

How Does it Work?

Skills, Goods and Services are traded using a standard unit of exchange. The name of our unit is a Talent. One Talent is equal to £1.

All members receive a copy of our Directory, and Skills List, which have following functions:-

  • The Directory is a list of current members and their contact details.
  • The Skill List, is an index list of Skills, Goods and Services offer by the members, example.

So, if you are good at decorating you might offer this whilst at the same time you might be looking for a baby-sitter, tool hire or computer lessons. Unlike bartering you don't need to do a direct swap. You can pay your baby-sitter with a LETS cheque whilst earning your LETS Talents elsewhere with another member. Cheques are passed to the Talents Banker who will issue regular account statements to remind you how much you've spent and what you've earned.

This may sound just like normal money but there are two important differences:

  • You do not need to earn Talents before you can spend them.
  • There are no interest charges, although there is a tithing charge of 20 Talents per annum to cover running costs paid for in Talents, eg committee members time.

Other Benefits

  • LETS is run by and for local people.
  • LETS is a non profit making community enterprise.
  • LETS creates wealth that stays within the area.
  • LETS puts people in touch with a great variety of resources and skills that cash cannot reach.
  • LETS offers people an incentive to shop locally.
  • LETS helps people to develop new skills.
  • LETS can help create new markets for goods and services.

Who can Join?

Anyone and everyone in the local community including individuals, charities and businesses. There really is no limit to the skills and services you can offer and someone out there needs yours.

How to Join?

Read the Membership Agreement and then complete the application form. Return the completed form to the Membership Secretary with the joining fee of £5 for individuals or £10 for families, charities or businesses. There is an annual membership fee of £5.00 plus a tithing charge of 20 Talents.

Alternatively, come along to one of our monthly social events. Please contact a committee member for details.