Exchange your Skills and support your Community

There’s an initiative in my community called the Skills Exchange. It’s a sub-group that runs as part of a Transition initiative that exists so we could be self sufficient should the price of oil become too high. I believe there are Transtition groups in different areas across the country.

We joined the Skills Exchange a few years ago. It means we can exchange our skills for ‘gems’ or tokens. Each token being worth an hour of your time or skill. What an amazing, community driven idea. It means the community can support each other where we need it, should that be an hour’s worth of cleaning, digging in the garden, making cakes, giving lifts to airports or feeding pets during holidays. In actual fact the skill list is pretty exhaustive. We can borrow a tent, or bike carrier, learn Spanish, have support putting our CV together, get a massage or even have a Butler for the evening!

So what do we exchange? Well mostly we give Mr Demolition’s IT skills. It’s what he does for a living and so when someone gets a virus on their computer, or it stops working he pops round to see if he can put it right. We have a little pot of gems and we like using them for bits and bobs in the house, or little extras like a massage or a manicure for me.

Recently, after seeing an email offering services, I booked in a local professional photographer to take some photos of me. You know what happens, you are forever taking photos of the children and everyone else, but I never seem to be in any of the shots. I thought it would be a great way to get some head shots to use for the blog and social media without having to shell out lots of money.

So for an hour Paul Carroll came around with his lighting and fancy camera equipment, and I sat awkwardly whilst he directed me. It was a great, very indulgent hour and here are the results. What do you think? I think they’re pretty awsome!

Can’t wait to get him back to take some of the children!

If you want to learn more about our local Skills Exchange, here’s their blog – The West Bridgford Skills Exchange

And here’s the link for Paul Carroll Photography – he does Weddings too!


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  1. July 13, 2012 / 3:10 pm

    They are lovely, I keep meaning to ask you about your photo. The lighting is gorgeous, but so are you!!

    • Jen
      July 13, 2012 / 6:43 pm

      I think the lighting has a lot to do with how well the photo turned out Amanda! But thank you xx

  2. July 17, 2012 / 1:07 am

    Love these photos Jen! They are beautiful and as Amanda says so are you. Very photogenic. (Guess what I am off to do – reply to your email! Sorry!!!) xxx

  3. March 6, 2018 / 1:29 am

    I am starting a photography blog. Would you be interrested in writing for me or posting you photos on my website?

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