Press Release Thursday 8 October 2020: Learning Exchange launching

Bays & Beyond Learning Exchange is launching!

This month (October), Sumner Bays Union Trust is launching Christchurch’s first Learning Exchange. 

What is a learning exchange? 

Unlike traditional education, a learning exchange is a community-led form of education and skills swapping. It allows people with skills or knowledge of a certain topic to teach their skills to other people. It is open to everyone.

It works on the principle of reciprocity and the belief that everyone has a skill worth sharing. As such, The Trust has worked closely with Bridge2Rocks Timebank, to create a model which will allow people to pay for courses with time bank credits, or koha, so that cost is no barrier to participation. 

The Learning Exchange also supports small local businesses and sole traders, allowing them to market workshops, which educate people about their product or service. What’s most important is that the workshop benefits the community, and people learn from it.

“We worked with the community, and ran surveys, to find out what people wanted from an exchange. We found that a lot of people were already running workshops for community benefit, so we wanted to create something which would support them, not add to their workload. At the same time, during the consultation, loads of people realised that they had skills worth sharing. They just never had the opportunity to before.” – Eve Wingerath, Learning Exchange Coordinator

Who, what, when?

Presently, the Learning Exchange covers the communities of Sumner, Redcliffs, Heathcote, Mt. Pleasant and Woolston. However, its model, and materials, can be used by any community in Christchurch (and beyond!), so long as someone in the community wants to look after it. 

The project started in January this year, but was put on hold during the Covid-19 lockdown and the weeks of uncertainty and readjustment that followed. Now, as we enter into summer and approach Christmas, it is a perfect time to launch something that will grow connections in the community.

With the first workshops starting in October, just some of the courses on offer include: sous vide cooking; tool sharpening; Tech Talk – handy tools for small businesses; thermal composting; plant powered skincare and clay work!

To learn more, book your place on a workshop, or find out more about sharing your skills, go to


Eve Wingerath – 0210 262 0661

Eddie Hayes – 027 781 1348