A Gift Economy

All our events are offered in the spirit of solidarity and we’re committed to challenging economic marginalisation and exclusion. Consumerism and capitalism strongly condition our relationship to each other and the world. Reduced to producers or consumers, we’re insulated from more responsive engagement with each other. Our relationships become mediated by way of financial exchange and contracts. Through the Ulex project we want to offer an alternative model that supports economic relationships which contribute towards a culture of deepening solidarity.

We do not want to enter into relationship with you as the providers of a service to a consumer. We want to enter into a wholehearted relationship as co-producers and collaborators in the transformation of ourselves and our world.

We believe that the practice of mutual generosity constitutes a basic ethos at the heart of life affirming community. Sharing is a basic form of solidarity. So, instead of offering our work as a service to be bought, we aim to give our work freely.

The basis of the gift economy we operate – rooted in solidarity and mutual generosity – is the old principle “give what you can, take what you need”.

In our course descriptions we include rates of suggested contribution.  The middle rate reflects the basic real cost required to make the events viable. The project is run by a registered not-for-profit organisation. It depends on numerous forms of generosity and voluntary labour (which is not included in the ‘real cost’ calculation). We don’t have any independent means of financing the events. We do need financial support to make the events viable. If you can offer more than the middle rate we suggest, then please do. This will help to support the on-going development of the work and enable others who are more economically marginalised to gain access to the work.

Similarly, we appreciate that your financial circumstances might mean you can only give less financially – perhaps nothing at all. This should not stop you attending the courses. To support this we engage in extensive fundraising work so that economic difficulties or marginalisation are not an obstacle to attendance.

Either way, please look at the suggested contributions and enter into the spirit of the solidarity economy by giving what you can, so that we can support you and others to take what you need. We are also open to discussing donations in the form of skill sharing and other offers of work to support the project. We look forwards to meeting you in the spirit of mutual generosity.

Collaborative Grant Funded Projects

When participation is supported by fundraising and grant funded agreements, we then make specific contractual arrangements and memoranda of cooperation with partner organisations, enabling grant funding to be used to fulfil the capacity building needs of our partners, which in turn supports our aim to offer the work as widely as possible. Such grants funded projects are developed on the basis of comprehensive needs assessments with partners and are designed as fully integrated capacity building programmes. With regards these arrangements, organisations are subject to our cancellation policy*. In addition, transfers of agreed finance to support such projects need to be made at least three months before activities happen, in order to support adequate resourcing of these activities.

* Our Refund Policy: All donations by individuals are considers as ‘donations pure and simple’ and therefore clearly not refundable, as they are in no way connected to the provision of any service. In the event of cancellation or non-attendance by a partner organisation subject to contract or MOC, our policy is that, unless as a result of negligence or failure on our part, course fees and residential course costs are non-refundable. In the event of a course requiring rescheduling due to instructor illness or unforeseen circumstances causing us to cancel, we will make best efforts to reschedule where possible at a mutually acceptable date. 

Please also support the work by considering one off or regular donations: