What is G&G?
Giving & Getting is a way of asking for and getting help, support, favours and treats from friends and neighbours while giving you the opportunity to give when you can, in the way that you can. It also provides a way of extending your friendship group, sharing skills and encourages co-operation and trust.
But don't we ask our friends and neighbours for help anyway?
Most of us have no problem asking for help occasionally with the little things; putting our bins out, taking in our parcels, or watering the plants. However we often find it harder to ask when the favour is bigger, for example lifts to and from the station or airport, sorting out our computer, taking us to the hospital or clinic. As for asking our neighbour for some of their fantastic carrot cake or fudge, well, that just does seem a step too far.
Help when we need it most
The things that we need and or can give change throughout our lives. Young parents will value help with babysitting or occasional childcare, while retirees will appreciate lifts to stations or seasonal hedge-cutting. We also often find it harder to ask at those times when we actually need more help, for example, when we are coping with illness or loss. We all say to each other at such times "please let me know if there is anything at all I can do to help", but how often is help requested? Not often enough!
How does it work?
G&G makes it easy to ask and easy to offer. It operates on a simple token based system automatically moving tokens between members and keeping track for you of how many tokens you have.
On joining, each member is given 50 tokens. Members spend tokens by getting the help they want and receive tokens by giving help and favours requested. Members can only hold a maximum of 100 tokens at any one time, so if a member is accumulating too many tokens they need to 'get' a bit. If a member runs out of tokens then they have to do some giving.
Members cannot negotiate how many tokens to give or get when they make a request. The system sets out clearly how many tokens you will give or get for each activity. However, if the activity they want does not appear on the lists, then the member can make the decision about how many tokens that activity is worth.
When a member makes a request for something they want, that request gets circulated to other members via emails and on the web-site. Other members can offer to fulfil that request. These offers are emailed automatically to the member making the request as well as appearing on the web-site. When the member making the request decides which offer to take, the tokens for the activity get transferred and precise arrangements can be made directly between the members via email or telephone. Requests will be deleted after a set time if the request is not met.
Members can also make specific offers and can decide how many tokens they want for these. These offers are more likely to involve treats for example to make a cake, or to offer a lift to a member when you are travelling somewhere. The first member to take up a specific offer gets that offer.
Giving & Getting circles
Each member will be able to give and get with members who are in their inner, middle and outer circles. In addition, they can also give and get with any other member.
Inner circle - your close friends and neighbours who you have invited to be
part of your inner circle or who have invited you to be part of theirs. You will have a high level of
trust with these members.
Middle circle - close friends and neighbours of your Inner circle friends and who are not already in your Inner circle. You will have a good level of trust with these people even if you don't know them personally because they are good friends of your close friends.
Outer circle - close friends and neighbours of your Middle circle friends and are not already in your Inner and Middle circles. You will still have a fairly good level of trust with these people even if you don't know them.
All members - you can also choose whether to make requests and offers available to members who are not in your circles but might live close by. However, they might be strangers, so more care is needed.
If you get an offer or request from someone in your middle or outer circle who you don't know, you will be able to see how that person links back to you by looking on the 'Your circles' page. If you get an offer or request from someone you don't know who is not in any of your circles, then there will be no links to you.
You decide who to give and get with
Every time you make a request or make a specific offer you can decide if you want to make it available to just your inner circle, your inner and middle circles, all three circles or to all members. You can also decide to limit requests and offers to friends and members living within a specific distance from you.
Joining is free and there are no charges for using the G&G site.
You can join G&G in one of two ways.
- Click on the ‘Join' link above and follow the instructions. You can then go on to build your own G&G circle by inviting your friends and neighbours to join.
- An existing member can invite you to join. You will be sent an email and you simply follow instructions. That member will be in your Inner circle and you will then have access to all the people in your friend's circle - some of whom you may already know. You can then build up your individual Inner circle by inviting your own friends and neighbours to join.
What could I give and get?
To see ideas for activities click the 'Giving & Getting Ideas' link below. G&G has tried to cover a broad range of suggested activities, but you are able to make up your own if what you need is not on the lists. The activities available to you will depend on the skills and interests of the members in your circles. The larger the circles the greater the chance that there is someone willing and able to meet needs. Everyone has something to give and everyone likes to give. Have a little think about what you like to do, and what your skills and qualities are and what would be useful to get.
Your details and your security
When you join Giving & Getting the only information you will have to register will be your name, your email address, telephone number and your postcode. G&G does not ask for your exact address but you will need to share that with the individual members who give and get with you.