My children have grown up with Lets. Indeed, the first directory was born at the same time as my daughter; April 1997. I joined Lets as a young mum; new to the area, short of cash and a stranger in a new town. There was a introductory session at the Community Centre, during a women’s group I attended – I went along, and signed up immediately, along with several other mums. It sounded like a great idea. I’m number 36 in the directory and now we have over 170 members. At one point we had nearly 250 members and over the 15 years New Moray Lets has existed, more than 630 people have had accounts.
So to begin with I earned Lets through babysitting and doing trade fairs; mostly selling outgrown baby items. I did some gardening, made dream-catchers when the children were asleep, and fitted my Lets earning around being a mum. I joined a painting and decorating group, worked at the local youth club, and made lipsyls with ingredients bought for Lets . I even hired out my all terrain 3 wheel pram/buggy! With my Lets I furnished my new council house, hired someone to do my ironing, clean my windows and baby-sit. Oh, and an veggie box subscription!
I then took on the role of Lets events organiser, and promptly tailored it to suit myself! We had Easter egg hunts and summer water fights at Newbold House, picnic days, family bbq’s, and kids craft crèches. I attended residential workshops on parenting, met other mums and bought toys, bikes and climbing frames for Lets, that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford.
As the kids got older the majority of their birthday parties were held at Newbold house. I would hire the space for Lets, pay someone in Lets to do the catering, then hang up a homemade piñata and light a bonfire. Job done! The kids loved the freedom and there was no mess to clear up! The children always got a tree planted, courtesy of Trees for Life, on their birthday too. Even school was made easier, as I choose to put them to Logie Primary, 6 miles outside Forres, and paid someone Lets for car lifts!
When NML joined Letslink Scotland a whole world of inter-trading possibilities opened up. I took the children on holiday to the south of Scotland, paying for our accommodation in Lets. We went to Orkney and paid for the ferry and chalet in Lets. We even went to Sardinia for a week! These were treats that otherwise just wouldn’t have been possible, and they broadened my kids horizons tremendously.
As soon as the kids became aware of Lets as a currency the ball really started rolling! Before a trade fair they would clear out their unused toys, and take them along to sell. I would let them keep the Lets they earned, and buy new toys to take home. I cant advocate this idea highly enough! Now that they’re older my daughter has her own account, and earns Lets through face painting etc. My son whittles walking sticks and sells them for Lets. I then exchange with him cash for Lets, as he doesn’t have an account yet. This has enabled them to grasp the concept of trading and made them realise that there’s more to life than cash, or the lack of it.
My son regularly goes out on ‘bushcraft’ days, and learns about wildlife and tracking animals etc. He has had guitar lessons too. My daughter has had violin, drama and language lessons. Erin even had her art work exhibited and sold in the Lets shop/cafe! Both of the children have had massages, back treatments, cranial osteopathy and haircuts.
I think it would be safe to say that NML has hugely enhanced my children’s lives, and made me a far better mother. Using the Lets currency has given my children access to people and places that they otherwise just wouldn’t have experienced, and I reckon they’ve turned out pretty well because of it!