Some years ago, our District Council  - Shepway  introduced Agenda 21 , when an ex-eco warrior was going to revitalise the area by turning the unemployed into hedge layers.

I thought that I would put together a plan which was better and this is it.

At the time I was on the committee of LETS, Local Exchange Trading System, which bartered goods and services. The fault of LETS that it was too complicated and no-one got any real benefit from joining.

To begin with, my scheme was intended to care for and be powered by the elderly, but as it developed , young people, small businesses, mums at home and active pensioners could all join in.

The system is self financing and simple to run, even easier with a computer. It is intended to be a fun way of getting people together and of revitalising a village, group of streets or part of a town it would probably work with a minimum of 250 properties.



Members pay £10 on joining and receive 300* units of named tokens which can be spent only in their community, a further 200 go into a community fund , after 6 months they can pay £10 and receive 300 units as above with a further 200 going into the community fund..

Members could receive a list of the cheapest – Gas, Electricity, Dual Fuel, Telephone,

Buildings, Contents and Car Insurance also Breakdown Cover relative to their post code

taken from the price comparison websites, they could also switch or apply on line but it is not compulsory. They could also have access to Cashback Sites. This would probably save them £100s of pounds.

.Other possibilities are offering to help make a simple (WHSmith) Will at cost or getting a book called Free for Seniors, so that it would make sure they were claiming all they can.

Further issues would then be decided by the committee as necessary, but from the initial issue there should be enough units available and enough funds to produce the newsletter.

The value of each unit in the community is equivalent to £1 but no cash value outside..

The units would be in “notes” of 1, 5 and 10.If required fractions of units could be produced by anyone simply be writing out a certain sized piece of paper with “Half” or “Quarter” written on it and the name of the units. The “notes” would be made of old envelopes and junk mail –brown and white.

The 1,5 & 10 units would be produced by using a rubber stamp with the name of the unit and 1 ,5 10. The paper would be then torn using a ruler or guillotine to a certain size.

The scheme would be run by a committee of (say) 6 people, a secretary to produce the newsletter, a treasurer to look after the issue of units and the cash received and an events

organiser plus three others, one at least being a young person. They would receive units

for their time, as would those delivering the newsletter.

The scheme would provide those offering computer services as above with paper and ink cartridges and they would receive units for their time.

A monthly newsletter is produced with items or services offered and wanted. A local shopkeeper, whose shop was in the area could offer surplus stock for

units ,trades people could offer services part cash part units. Such arrangements would have to be agreed by the Committee.

A shopkeeper, living in the area whose shop is not within the boundaries could have a van or boot sale at their property for a maximum of 3 hours per week or 3 hours every two days for fruit and veg.

Events such as boot/garage sales, card games, darts, swimming, billiards and snooker, 5 a side football and other sporting and social events could be organised with units as prizes.

Environment awards – units could be awarded (say) – Compost bin - 25 : Water Butt – 25,


An elderly person may have their windows cleaned for 5 units

may have their garden mowed and hoed 7 units

may have their hair done 8 units

lift to the shops or shopping done 5 units

Total cost per week 25 units or 80p actual.

A small trader may have invoices typed, books done 7 units per hour.

may employ a young person or pensioner 7 units per hour

A mum at home may use a skill e.g hairdressing, typing,

cleaning and helping elderly people 7 units per hour

Unemployed may do little jobs in exchange for units maximum 60 per week

May buy tools to set up in business e.g

gardening ,decorating, plumbing, building.  Pay in units.

Retired People may pass on their knowledge and skills to businesses , unemployed

people and youngsters, and if active help less active older people.

Children may have their own units to themselves to buy and sell unwanted toys,

and clothes with the permission or confirmation of their parents if thought necessary but any mistakes would not be costly.

Their initial issue would be £1 for 50 units.

On birthdays and Christmas, parents would be able to buy 50 units for £1, to spend on second hand toys and clothes for presents within the community.

This would be of particular use in poorer areas.

Anyone organising games or pastimes for kids would receive units for their time plus cash or units for petrol.

Goods for Sale – almost anything – computers, software, contents of lofts, clothing, household goods, tools, half tins of paint, part bags of concrete, furniture, toys, CDs, DVDs, ornaments, cooking utensils, china and glass, electrical goods, plants, vegetables, fruit, cameras, you name it, could be bought and sold for units..

Items and services- wants and offers - could be advertised in a monthly newsletter and

on a community website.there could be a Saturday morning clean and tidy up of the area with supervised younger people involved all getting paid in units.

The cash could pay for Neighbourhood Watch to reduce crime.

There could also be a national website where ideas could be exchanged.

The plan seeks to bring communities together and increase prosperity in a fun way, the plan is self-financing and has something for everyone.

The plan provides help for the elderly, support for businesses, a part for active pensioners, mums at home as well as young persons and children.

Everyone can be involved – everyone makes a profit and gets paid for what they do.

There is basis for sport and social events., hopefully reducing unsociable behaviour.

Administration is at a minimum. Full instructions will be given.


While on holiday in Boston Mass. USA, we visited a small town on the coast,

while I went birdwatching along the beach, my wife was invited to join a social meeting.

A car was parked with the radio on and people just sat round and talked - my wife was made most welcome. We could do that -  in nice weather -take a flask and a seat round to a pre-determined spot and just sit around for an hour and chat. Very relaxing and great for lonely people.

The scheme works best in a community of over 250 homes , but not too many.

You will need a committee of (say) six volunteers, one with a computer.

You will need 3 rubber stamps.

You will also need to photocopy and distribute a letter around the community.

There would be a national register of schemes financed as below.

Each scheme could pay an annual registration fee of £25, £5 for the registration plus £10 going to a charity such as Cancer Research UK plus £10 to sporting charities or a receipt from a charity of their choice for £20 plus the £5. 

If you take it up add your own ideas.

I can keep a register in the UK or you can in your country.






























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