In 1997 a group of local people in Forres decided to form a Local Exchange Trading System, New Moray LETS, to trade and share skills and resources without cash. They elected a Core Group – the management team who would carry out the essential tasks. Every three months, the group would produce a Directory of Members’ Offers and Wants. These were also advertised on the LETS Community Noticeboard in Forres House. People traded, the currency flowed between members and the membership grew.
The Core Group produced Newsletters which they distributed to the members. The Newsletter included a Directory which listed each member’s current balance and trading turnover (the combined credits and debits earned or spent). The Core Group also kept the cash and LETS accounts up to date and organised social events and trade fairs.
More recently we created a private Facebook group which allows members to instantly trade on-line. With most members now using Facebook, we agreed to produce an annual paper Directory instead of every three months, saving time, energy and paper.
The group started with no money but instead used its own local currency (LETS) to trade and pay people. New Moray LETS is proud that it has sustained itself without external funding ever since. From our modest beginning we have helped our members trade almost Two Million LETS (equivalent to around £2,000,000), saving local folk cash to pay for other bills and creating sustainable friendships along the way. We are a pragmatic group and prefer to have our meetings and do the essential work in our own homes rather than rent and manage an expensive office.
New Moray LETS is a local, non-profit co-operative, managed by elected local folk for local folk.