#2 celebrating Cromford weekend ..

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Guest blog by Tom Veitch from Global Action Plan

For a few months now Global Action Plan has been running the Cromford Shares project, focussed on exploring different ways to increase the amount of sharing that takes place in the Derbyshire village of Cromford.

From the start we wanted to look at different ways that people could share, from very low-tech ideas (like a notice board in the Post Office) to an online system for those who were more used to using websites like Freecycle and Freegle.

We reviewed a few of the available ‘sharing’ websites and chose Ecomodo for two main reasons. Firstly, the ‘trusted circles’ gave a way of helping people to feel safe that they wouldn’t necessarily be sharing with ‘anyone and everyone’. Additionally the sharing agreement and the optional insurance that accompanies each ‘share’ gave some security and tackled some of the common barriers that people mentioned when we talked about the project initially.

Ironically, one benefit that we had not foreseen at this stage was the option of lending with a donation going to a good cause – and that people were free to pick their own local good causes, rather than just national charities.

A few weeks ago we had the chance to promote Cromford Shares and Ecomodo at Celebrating Cromford, a weekend of activity in the village. We held a market stall at one of their events as well as the main market on the Sunday. We took along props to demonstrate the types of things that could be shared. As it was a rainy weekend we were even able to lend our “borrow me” umbrella at various points.

Most people were very receptive, and a common comment was “what a great idea”. A lot of people were familiar with Freegle and Freecycle and saw Ecomodo as a natural next step. We signed up 25 people to Ecomodo on the day, with lots more taking away a leaflet for more information. Even if people were visitors to Cromford they could check out what was available in their area.

Interestingly, a lot of people we spoke to had already heard about Cromford Shares, but hadn’t got round to signing up to anything yet, so it showed that, whilst it can take a while for an idea to get off the ground, it is worth sticking in there and keeping talking about the project.

Cromford Shares is part-funded by the Tellus Mater Foundation.

Stories from our members #2

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