Firms urged to barter trades

Michelle Dolan with Peter Gowland of HVDA
Michelle Dolan with Peter Gowland of HVDA

PEOPLE with skills to trade are being urged to get involved in an innovative recession-busting scheme.

The Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS) sees people exchange their skills with each other with no money changing hands in return.

Whether it be a plumber providing a service in exchange with an electrician or a housebound resident with good IT skills providing a CV in return for work to their boiler.

Anyone in town is welcome to get involved in the scheme which is going to be co-ordinated by Hartlepool woman Michelle Dolan, and can attend a meeting to be held in town.

But Michelle says there needs to be around 100 people involved if it is to be a success.

The 32-year-old, an alternative therapist, said: “It can involve dog walking, piano lessons, baby sitting, anything, that is the beauty of it.

“It is not to replace money but when there is a shortage of money then schemes like this are great.

“I just thought Hartlepool could really use something like this, something that can really benefit the community.”

The mum-of-one, originally from Manchester but now living in Alma Street, added: “The initial aim is to test the water, but it really depends on how many people are interested.

“It will be a casual meeting to see how much interest there is.”

The meeting has been arranged for later this month and anyone interested in finding out more or getting involved is urged to go along.

The Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA) is backing Michelle in her efforts to get the scheme set up in town.

Peter Gowland, project director at HVDA, said: “This is very different and there isn’t one like it in Hartlepool.

“It is very much in line with the Big Society idea and everybody has something to give.

“There is no money involved and it does not cost anything to be involved.

“HVDA is happy to be supporting this and we hope it takes off.”

The LETS meeting is due to be held on Tuesday, May 29, at the Belle Vue Centre, in Kendal Road, at 7pm.

There will be a guest speaker from Durham, who has run a similar scheme, in attendance at the meeting.

Everybody is welcome and for more information about the scheme call the HVDA on (01429) 262641.