ABOUT US - WHO WE ARE
The Token and Voucher Company was formed to help local
businesses and local economies by giving people an alternative
method of giving gifts. Our aim is that money that previously
went into buying imported and unnecessary goods is used to buy
local services of the recipients choice and helps keep our carbon
footprint down while building stronger local communities.
What is a town planner and community regeneration
consultant doing running a gift business?
Over the years I have volunteered with a number of local
organisations. I seldom walk down the street without meeting people
I know. I feel I have a rich life and I love where I live.
How great it would be if everyone loved their community the way I
But commerce is working against our communities - most high
streets have very few local shops left and we now live in" clone
towns" where every high street has the same set of chain stores
selling goods imported half way round the world.
Its not always possible in our busy lives to travel far afield
for farmers markets and good independent stores and, with people
are having to live more frugally, the chains do offer some
great bargains on brand goods. But at least in our
discretionary purchases - especially our gift giving - I thought we
could still support the little independent businesses and help
maintain the links and networks that make our communities more than
just a collection of houses.
And how do my Mum, Leonardo de Caprio, Tobey Maguire and
Reese Witherspoon come into it?
My mum is ultra green and doesn't want stuff. She's a bit
like many older people in that respect. I have tried over the
years to give her non - non-consumerist gifts. But there are
only so many goats, toilets and tree nurseries you can give.
And the Hollywood stars? Well, they are all reported to have
taken the "100 Thing Challenge" and tried to pare their possessions
down to well, just 100 things.
So what do you give people like this? Well - no clutter
gifts - "experiences" such shooting or microlight flying; "useful"
gifts such as a handyman and learning gifts such as learning how to
But all these things are very personal (as I discovered when my
Mum suffered the Nordic Walking lessons I gave her but was ecstatic
when she got her windows painted.) And that's why flexibility
in the gift giving became an important feature to fit in to the web