Skill swap in your Transition Town
In 2009 I started a "local skill swapping" group on Facebook because I couldn't find a fast way of finding people in my local area who I could join forces with to swap skills and get things done for free. At the time I hadn't heard of LETS or Timebanks or Transition Towns. Since then, I have helped form a Transition Town in Crystal Palace (where I live in London SE19) and launched www.localskillswap.com which now has over 400 members in 42 groups across the country.
One of the most important aspects of Localskillswap is the by-product of encouraging people in a community to reach out to people they don't already know to swap skills, that is, to strengthen ties within the community and open up everyone's eyes to how many skilled people are around, often within walking distance of their own home. Currently, I am approaching Transition Towns where there are no localskillswap groups in the area to see if they would be interested in starting a localskillswap group with the twin aim of being able to view the all the skills of their transition town members on one page, as well as making the TT more visible to people who are coming to the website by just Googling "skill swap" If you become a member of www.localskillswap.com you have the following resource available to you:
- you can reference the skills directory of members in your local area
- you look at individual member profiles
- you can approach members directly to see if they will swap skills with you or you can post "adverts" on the local home page
- you can ask and answer local knowledge questions
- you can use the website as a reference for like-minded trades people (i.e., those with an interest in the community)
- you can use the website to promote yourself and your skills
- you can swap skills and get things done for free without leaving your neighbourhood!
It is almost effortless to start a group (it's free, all you do is register as a member then submit the names of 6 people who would be interested in joining the new group) and you would then be able to invite your transition town members to register and log their skills which you could view all on one page. You could also use the website to promote any re-skilling events to all localskillswap members in the local area to increase attendance figures.
In addition to starting new groups, I would be interested in reciprocal links (you will see panels on the right hand side of the page where a TT logo + link could be placed) to promote cross-pollination between any particular TT and Localskillswap.
Please get in touch if you are interested.
Thanks for reading,