About Taffs

How Did Taffs Begin?

In May 2010, as the economic downturn began to bite, Steve Smith saw the opportunity to set up a scheme encouraging local cohesion, sustainability and community spirit – Cardiff Taffs was born. Originally set up as a Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS)* called the South East Wales LETS or SEWLETS, it was decided to become a community currency to better meet the needs of our members in Cardiff.

*a local community-based mutual aid network in which people exchange all kinds of goods and services with one another, without the need for money (from http://www.letslinkuk.net/)

Why are you a community currency rather than a LETS scheme?

LETS are a quite specific way of implementing a community currency. However we decided that rather than follow one particular model, we wanted to pick various elements from the different community currency models available to create a currency that is uniquely Cardiff and would work best for the people of Cardiff.

How does Taffs work?

Each member begins with a balance of 100 Taffs. It's possible to spend before you earn - all we ask is that you don't go below a balance of zero. Members may earn Taffs in a variety of ways; by trading items e.g. fresh produce, craft items at our monthly trading sessions; by offering a service or services such as babysitting, gardening and D.I.Y help on this website or via our Facebook group. Taffs may then be redeemed in a similar manner; buying goods at a trading session or paying for a service. We are hoping to set up links with local businesses in the future so that members may use Taffs to purchase items.

Who can join?

Anyone who is over the age of 18 and lives in Cardiff or the surrounding area, e.g. Barry, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, is able to join.

How do I join?

All you need to do is register on this website and you are ready to start trading. You can also come along to any of our meetings and sign up there.

How do I trade via the Forum?

To post an offer of goods or services: Go to the Offers section on the Forum and post under the appropriate section, using the 'Post a new topic' button.

To post a want: Go to the Wants section of the Forum and post under the appropriate section (either goods or services), using the 'Post a new topic' button.

Why is there a minimum/maximum balance allowed and what is it?

Taffs works best by people continuing to trade. Anyone that is just spending or just earning will start to damage our economy. We do, however, understand that people may want to save up for something or spend more at one time to earn it back later. For example people may become ill for a period or they may wish to spend more in the winter and earn more in the summer by selling produce.

Everyone starts at 100 Taffs. The minimum balance is zero and the maximum balance is 200 Taffs. We currently ask that members only withdraw around 10 Taffs in paper form, due to the costs of printing them.

How do you deal with inflation?

Whenever UK inflation rises by 10%, ten Taffs are credited to each member's account.

How are you funded?

Currently we are in the process of applying for funding – we hope to have more news on our latest application soon! Meanwhile, any donations would be gratefully received

Who co-ordinates the project?

The group is co-ordinated by a team of five people; Co-ordinator (Gillian), Secretary and Events Officer (Patsy), Treasurer (Lisanne), Assistant Treasurer (Charlotte), Funding Officer (Ian), Social Media Manager (Lauren), and Website Admin (Vicky). The team is elected at the annual AGM; any member is eligible to stand for election (see our constitution).

I don’t think I have anything to offer. Can I still join?

Everybody has skills that they can share – you don't have to be a D.I.Y expert or a superb gardener! Even the offer of time to help someone clean their house or giving a lift to someone can be valuable. Still unsure? Come along to one of our monthly trading sessions, or check out the 'Wanted' section on the Forum.