I've been considering what I really want to do with my life over the next few years and in the process of looking for vacancies to give me some idea I ran into the elance website and shortly after I found the rent-a-coder site.
Essentially these provide a pool of service providers and service buyers, so I could go on there and say I want an app which does X, Y and Z and am willing to pay this much for it. People who can do this task then submit bids and I am free to choose between them. (Obviously I'd like to be on the side of this equation that gets paid).
Now this appeals to me because.... well... I have a low attention span and picking the pieces of work I would like to do, completing them and then moving onto something new appeals to me.
I'm a reasonably good & creative coder so I figure that if this is as easy as it looks I could make a reasonably amount of cash out of this, however only bumping into these the other day I'm;
1) unsure if the idea actually works as expected 2) nervous about the upfront fees which you have to pay to "subscribe" 3) looking for a more UK centric version
You shouldn't have to pay a fee. I don't know about the UK, but here there are the equivalent of employment agencies for technical personnel that deal with tech type contract work. You sign up, you do the work for their client for whatever the duration of the particular job is, they pay you, their client pays them. It never costs you a dime, and it generally pays more than employee work.
Telecommuting on a freelance basis or doing independent consulting is a different story. If it's something like PHP or Perl, you can go read the charter and post in our Commercial Exchange, for starters.
You could also contact web designers in your area who don't seem to offer programming services and let them know you're available for sub-contract work if they need some programming done.