Posts Tagged ‘big society’

#3 borrow a helping hand! Hermione’s story ..

September 7, 2012

Caption: Fixed computers after borrowing a helping hand from Adam

“Ever since I started The DoNation one of the things that I’ve envied most about my friends and their conventional jobs (aside from their salaries) are their IT support teams. Just because I run a web start up, it doesn’t mean I enjoy or am good at IT; I’ve been driven mad by far too many afternoons helplessly spent trying to fix niggling computer issues myself.

Through several social enterprise support schemes we’ve been lucky enough to have had four computers donated to us, which have all come in super handy as our team has grown. But as time goes on and our computing demands have increased, these well used, second hand machines started to stagger, stutter, and slur. I had resigned myself to the fact that it was time to fork out on a new laptop, but given that we have this abundance of machines and my hate for waste, I felt a bit uncomfortable about it.

But then our wonderful intern Eleanor (pictured above) came across a post on Ecomodo by Adam, an IT expert offering his skills to organisations like ours. It so happened that he lived just down the road from our office and so popped by after work one evening. Within hours he’d got two of the computers back on track, doubled in speed and reliability. On a second visit he tackled a desktop that I had completely written off, he managed to get it on for the first time in a year and back to full speed in less than an hour.

It was simple stuff for an expert, but mind-boggling and hair-tearing for a novice like me.  It saved me from forking out on a new computer, so saving a good £600 or so and a lot of unnecessary waste.

It might not be quite the full IT support team yet, but we’re getting there. Thanks Adam, and thanks Ecomodo!” Hermione

Stories from our members #3

every budget has a silver lining ..

June 23, 2010

It’s tempting at budget time to jump straight to the calculators to work out what the effect is for your personal finances. Once you’ve done that, stand back take a broader look and you might see some new opportunities there. Here are 5 we’ve thought of ..

  1. From January 2011 people will buy less because of the VAT increase. An increase in demand for second hand goods is great news for people that use Freegle to get rid of stuff, for those who sell their unwanted things on eBay and for people who use Ecomodo to make money by lending out their seldom used stuff to people who prefer to borrow instead of buy.
    People who bring forward purchases to beat the VAT increase in January 2011 can use Ecomodo to lend out their new stuff, helping others less able to spend, and making back some of the purchase price.
    This renewed interest in the longevity of stuff will also drive a resurgence in repairing which can only be a good thing for the environment and jobs.
  2. Many families will have less disposable income. Don’t fret, it is easy to live a rich life without riches.
    Most families have stuff lying around which can help make up the shortfall through being sold or lent out, and friends, neighbours and colleagues probably have most of the skills, spaces and stuff they need to achieve their goals for far less money.
    Ecomodo can reveal these possibilities in a community.
  3. Charities and other good causes will find it harder to convince people to part with their hard earned cash.
    There is an ever increasing set of innovative ways to continue to donate without taking money out of your pocket. Charities can raise funds from entirely new sources such as web searching, exchanging currencies and community resource lending.
  4. With pay freezes and the national insurance increase, morale in communities and workplaces will be low. People will feel blue. But there are some reasons to feel good.
    Times like these make us find other ways to achieve our goals by making better use of the resources around us. If that ends up bringing communities together and reducing our environmental impact that is a good thing.
  5. Budget cuts across Government departments are likely to impact environmental and social projects. The onus moves to communities and citizens to work together to make a difference creating the Big Society. Will the emergency budget really kick start Big Society?

Meriel Lenfestey, co-founder of Ecomodo believes strongly in society’s ability to adapt. “The rise in social enterprise and community focus places everyone in good stead for the years ahead. Society and attitudes will need to change… but for the good. Good for pocket, good for planet and good for people“.

Come and join Ecomodo today ..

what’s hiding in David Cameron’s closet ?

May 19, 2010

With number 10 signing up to 10:10 and the introduction of Big Society the Government is committing to a green agenda and people power. They acknowledge that grass roots initiatives and social enterprises can make the greatest difference.  One recently launched social enterprise which facilitates community based, person to person lending and borrowing of objects spaces and skills via a website is the perfect example of this. Regardless of their means, people are gaining access to tools and equipment to enrich their lives and get jobs done, and all with less environmental impact. is gaining momentum fast and is looking for everyone in the UK to lend out the things they seldom use.

So David Cameron, we ask “What’s hiding in your closet? Something more useful than an old pair of Gordon’s socks we hope”.

Bringing together a new way to green your life and your community, this social enterprise is set to take the UK by storm by providing a real alternative to our consumptive lifestyles without having to give things up. The brainchild of two London born women, simply lets people reuse and lend out their assets to other people around them. People can lend and borrow anything from gardening or DIY tools, stuff for the kids or things for a holiday. They can save money by not having to buy, which is great if you are only going to use it once.

As Britain is a nation of hoarders with households sitting on £31 billion of goods they never use – an average of £581 per person (Gumtree survey | Daily Telegraph) there is certainly no shortage of stuff for everyone to reuse. Using Ecomodo any local community, neighbourhood, school or workplace, can pool their hoards for the common good. So far items around the UK range from lawn mowers to prams, bicycles, DV cameras and even an iPad.

“We are gaining momentum” says Tracy Currer, co-founder of Ecomodo. “We already have 35 lending circles across the UK from Exmouth to Macclesfield and London to Glasgow. We hope to see many more Brits opening up their sheds, attics and cupboards for others to use, making cash for themselves, donating to a charity or local PTA or lending for free. We need to get more stuff online to show borrowers that we are a real alternative to shopping.”

Unfortunately, lending and borrowing does not have a great reputation. The team have designed Ecomodo carefully to drive confidence. ”We listened to all the concerns people had and designed the site accordingly. Lenders can choose to lend to everyone or just people in their circles, to take a deposit or insurance and we help people through the whole transaction, letting both parties leave feedback when they are done”.

So what seldom used stuff would David Cameron lend out to help his community and the environment? After all, he won’t have much time for hobbies or DIY anymore.

image borrowed: robertsharp’s photostream | FLICKR | Creative Commons

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