Peter Mitchell: Street Sale Star
First up was Peter Mitchell, who helps run the North Earlsdon Neighbourhood Association (NENA). NENA is run by local residents and organises an array of community events, from a hanging basket festival to an autumn beer tasting event (apparently very popular!). But the highlight of the community calendar is the annual Street Sale, in which residents set out stalls to sell their unwanted goods from their front gardens.
The first NENA Street Sale took place in 2010, with just 20 stalls and 50 visitors. However, thanks to lots of promotion and engagement with local newspapers, radio stations, plus the use of social media, last year’s sale boasted 50 stalls and an impressive 1500 visitors! The NENA Street Sale is fantastic way to ensure items that would otherwise be thrown out get re-used. Many residents also sell their own handmade goods and produce. You can pick up anything from a nearly new sofa to hand-knitted tea cosies – and everything in between!
This year’s sale will be on 5th July (date TBC). Come along and join the fun, and maybe be inspired to hold one in your own community.
Cat Fletcher: Re-use Crusader
Next we were treated to a talk from the amazing Cat Fletcher (aka The Human Womble). Cat is a tireless advocate of re-use and waste prevention. Not only does she run re-use site freegle.org.uk, she is also a Reuse Manager for Brighton City Council and is famous for furnishing her house with £20,000 worth of free second hand goods. She’s also currently involved in a project to build a house almost entirely from waste products.
Freegle is a UK-wide umbrella organisation, run by experienced volunteers and members of the free reuse community. The website connects local groups, allowing users to give stuff away rather than throwing it away. As Cat says, “it’s not waste till you waste it”!
John Compton: Streetclub Superhero
Last but not least was a talk from John Compton of B&Q Streetclub. Streetclub is a free online tool for bringing communities together, perfect for organising a barbeque, swapping and borrowing tools or starting a discussion about issues that matter in the area.
The project has been running for 18 months and in that time 1500 Streetclubs have been formed, 500 of which are extremely active. Residents use Streetclub for a variety of purposes from organising street parties to sharing skills and equipment. John explained how each area uses the tool slightly differently, and that it has been designed to be flexible to the needs of different communities.
We also learnt about B&Q’s waste donation scheme, in which they donate unsaleable products and waste materials for re-use by recognised community groups, eg schools, charities. It’s great to see large corporate companies recognising the need to reduce waste and support local communities!
If you want to start your own Streetclub and be in with a chance to win £500 worth of B&Q vouchers, enter the Thrift Week Streetclub competition here.Back to blog home Previous Article Next Article