Letnet Turns 30! Come and Join our Celebration

Milton Keynes Letnet is 30!

The amazing MK Letnet community bartering and trading group turns 30 this year.

MK Letnet is one of the hidden treasures of Milton Keynes, it is a great little community that just loves to party as well as offering help, skill-sharing and trading.  Members are paid “concrete cows” for their services and can in turn spend these within the group.

Over the years they have hosted so many events; walks, meals, fund-raising events, jumble sales, market stalls, quiz nights, Red Nose parties, murder mysteries, garden working parties, picnics, home “restaurant” nights, theatre nights, afternoon tea, lunch club … you name it, they have probably done it!

Letnet is always looking for new members as the bigger their membership the more diverse the things on offer will be.  Trades have included bikes, painting and decorating, chickens, tuition, massages, baking, lifts, repairs, proof-reading, ironing and so much more!  You can even trade your unwanted goods at their regular trading events.

To mark their 30th Anniversary they are doing what they do best and are throwing a party which will include a shared buffet, trading, live music and dancing!  Why not come along and find out more … if you join Letnet on the night, the evening and membership will be free of charge until January 2024, so you can try it without any risk!

The party will be on the evening of Friday 13th October and will be held in Milton Keynes, book your place at the party by emailing letnetadmin@googlegroups.com

Difficult Times

In these difficult times when many people lost their jobs or were furloughed it is good to know that there is an alternative to spending your precious cash.

Local community group Milton Keynes Letnet is a thriving community of people who trade their skills and services within the network for “ccs” or concrete cows!  Concrete cows are computer credits, we have a banking system where members pay each other in ccs or “points” in exchange for trades which comprise anything from allotment produce, giving lifts, house-work, computer help, painting and decorating, DIY help and much more besides.  Member Valerie says that her “favourite trades were to buy sheep and chickens, to get tuition for her children and to buy a bike”!

Things were obviously quieter over lockdown, but trading still was happening and members were great at looking out for each other and met up on-line for trading and social events.  We have our first face-to-face meeting coming up when we plan to meet in a local pub/restaurant for dinner, it is a thriving social group alongside the trading and many of us have made good friends in the group.

It is currently free of charge to become a member; you will receive a Directory of things that members are Offering and Requesting.  Most people wonder what they can offer, but it is surprising … you may be able to loan a ladder or strimmer, you may be able to give a lift or provide companionship for a theatre trip, bake a cake or share surplus allotment produce – we can guarantee that there will be something that you can offer!

MK Letnet AGM Minutes 2022

MK LETNET AGM 24th September 2022 – Westbury Arts Centre


Welcome: Valerie welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked all for attending.

Minutes of Last Meeting: We reviewed, a couple on minor amendments made to spellings of names of those attending.

Matters Arising: The main matters arising would be discussed in the meeting, it was reported that members had received help that had been requested, other matters were website and IT system which sadly neither have been progressed.

It was noted that Orla had expressed a willingness to take on Membership Secretary work but had found this to be too much and Emma and Valerie had kindly maintained things over the year.

Chairperson’s Report:
I’d like to take a moment to remember one of our members, Fred, who sadly died recently, Fred actually attended our last AGM held on Zoom and was a long-standing member of Letnet.

I can’t believe that two years have passed since our last AGM.  Members have been reluctant to get back to meeting in person, however we have still managed a few events.  We had a small gathering at Westbury last Christmas, several of us met for Tea and Trading at Westbury in April, Camphill lunches have continued on an informal basis, along with other gatherings at Dobbies and occasional breakfasts at Wetherspoons.

Letnet has been represented at other local events, for example continued to collaborate with other local groups and we attended events at Climate Café, Transition Town and the Green Fair and some members also attended a quiz in aid of iPeace.

So I am delighted to say that Letnet is thriving and that our wonderful community is still supporting each other both informally and with trading and events.  When I joined Letnet about 30 years ago I joined for the trading aspect of the group, what I didn’t realise was that I was joining the wonderful community that we have; some of my closest friends are Letnet members, we are a community and we support each other and I think we should be really proud of that.

We continue to recruit new members, many of the referrals come from existing members but quite a number also come through our Facebook page.

I am so grateful for my friends in the Admin Group who keep the group running and if you wish to join us, there will be an opportunity to do so later in the meeting, so please do consider whether you’d like to be more involved in the running of our group – this is not an arduous task!

Sterling Treasurer’s Report: At the AGM in September 2020 (held on Zoom) we had £341.80 in the bank and today we have £114.18.  The main expenses being room hire, postage and printing (although most things are now sent by email).  We have also paid small fees to have a stall at other events to publicise Letnet and to pay for the website.

Trevor proposed that we should ask the membership for a small fee and after discussion we decided that this should be £5 or £10 and that the membership fee would last for a number of years, so in effect maybe paying £2 per year to join.  The Admin Group will work out the final details of how to administer this.

CC Treasurer’s Report: Attached. We worked out that Michael and Susan have done the most trading over the past year – well done to them! Trading is what keeps us going.  If you notice that someone has a large commitment please see if they can do something for you!

Membership Secretary’s Report:  Emma reported that membership numbers are stable. Two people have joined in the last two years and two have sadly died. Many people enquire about joining but then don’t do so. The admin group should look into why this is and also how we can attract more younger members.

Any other questions/Reports: We discussed publicity.  Members were encouraged to take flyers and to distribute them around Milton Keynes.  Valerie had written a small article which was put into the local paper and did generate some interest.  The article was also put onto Next Door and Facebook.  Many of our enquiries are coming from Facebook.  Members are encouraged to write articles and send them to Valerie.

Susan wishes to come off the Admin Group but is happy to undertake small tasks.

Gail wishes a paper Directory and is willing to pay for the printing of this.

Jenni  said that she has not received anything, including a Directory, since re-joining.  Apologies were given and we will rectify this.

It was noted that the Website is very out of date and Jenni has agreed to meet with Valerie to see what can be done to update.

We also noted that the MK Letnet flyer is now out of date and in need up updating.

Election of Officers: All members of the Admin Group stood down and were willing to accept offers or nominations for new members.  No one was forthcoming and all members agreed to stand again, however it was made clear that anyone is welcome to attend Admin Group meetings, and is also welcome to join us and a notice to this effect will go in the next newsletter.  A reminder that all members can claim 5cc an hour for work undertaken on behalf of Letnet.

Carol kindly offered to take on the role of Membership Secretary and Emma agreed to support Carol with this.  The database is currently held in Microsoft Access.

Any Other Business:
We noted that we need to:

  • Update the Directory
  • Charge members sterling and 20 cc for annual membership
  • Update the flyer
  • Update the Website

Jenni suggested asking members why they were not trading – this could be incorporated into the membership update

Valerie thanked everyone for attending and the meeting finished at 16.35

Trading happened and wonderful tea and cakes were consumed and we had a lovely gathering!