Finding a plumber, builder, or gardener who’s willing to work for free sounds too good to be true. But if you have a swapable skill, be it filing accounts or filing nails, it might not be.
Skills-swap schemes are in place in 200 local neighbourhoods around the UK, including many London boroughs. They are led by the charity Time Banking UK. Visit timebanks.co.uk or call 01453 750952 to find an organiser near you, or for information on starting a scheme in your area.
There are also websites, including swapaskill.com, offering free skills exchange. You sign up, search for the skill you require (from legal advice to accounting, babysitting, even tattooing), read the reviews, and then register the skills you have available to swap, so that others can find you. Once you have swapped skills with someone, you can rate their work.
Another site, schoolofeverything.com, offers skill swaps alongside paid sessions in anything from DIY to patchwork. The emphasis is on learning, so you teach someone something while they teach you.