Ballater Community Skills Exchange Launched

>> 18 March 2016

Need some help with your pet, a bit of gardening, transport to an appointment or help with your computer? Maybe you just need someone to sew a few buttons on a jacket, put up a shelf or bake a cake - maybe you’re the person who can provide such valuable assistance…?

Three enterprising women are setting up a Skills Exchange, based in the Ballater Library, to allow members of the community to swap skills and save money

Ballater councillor Geva Blackett said:

“The idea came to me when someone said that their insurance company was not covering the restoration of their sister’s garden following Storm Frank – so exchanging skills seemed an obvious solution. But it is important to stress that this is a community exchange so, for example, the person who digs your garden may not want you to bake a cake – but the father welcoming his wife and newborn baby home from hospital might! In turn, the father might help someone put up a shelf…”

Geva went on to explain how it will work:

"The Skills Exchange proposes to keep a notebook in Ballater Library of offers and requests. For example, you need someone to put up a shelf for you so you put that in on the help wanted page. You’d be more than happy to do a few hours babysitting for someone so you put that on the help offered page and so it goes."

Rev Vittoria Hancock said

"People may think they have nothing to offer but turning up a pair of trousers, taking your dog round to visit an elderly person, doing someone else’s shopping, a lift to the doctor’s or even clearing snow from a path – the possibilities are endless because we are not all good at everything but everyone is good at something!”

Faye Swan, who works in the library, said:

“This would be a central point for those who need help and those who can offer help to find each other. If the library is not open, just put a note through the letterbox and we will update the records. Personal details are not published and will not be kept longer than required.”

Information about the Skills Exchange will be put out via and offers/requests may be added to the notes in Ballater Library via telephone - call the library and leave a message on 013397 55628. Contact can also be via email from next week to DeesideSkillsExchange as well as on Facebook – and who knows it might even go on Twitter.

It is hoped to extend this from Braemar to Aboyne soon.

A few offers already received are:
  • Sewing (buttons, hems, etc.)
  • Dog sitting
  • Computer assistance
  • Ipad assistance
  • Transport to shops /appointments

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