Skills exchanges and bartering schemes

Offering to do gardening work, asking for help with the computer – skills exchanges and bartering schemes are a tried and tested form of organised neighbourhood help. They transform uncomplicated door-to-door help into a larger-scale system of give and take.

What it involves

Members offer something they are good at, such as cooking, gardening, decorating or DIY. In return for their service, they receive offers of help that they themselves can use. Schemes like these can be organised in close-knit neighbourhoods or across entire districts and towns.


Everyone can join in and give something – not only those who have enough money to buy the help they need.


For more useful tips on how to organise a neighbourhood scheme, see the Netzwerk Nachbarschaft website:

or consult Verein Dein Nachbar e. V.:

A list of volunteer agencies is available from the Federal Association of Volunteer Agencies: