Author Archives: Helen Johnstone

SHARE – latest news and wish list

The ‘sharing shop’ is close to being a reality and now has a name: SHARE – A library of things. This excellent venture, led by edventure, working with Sustainable Frome and the Cheese and Grain, is looking for people to get involved – with the first work days on Wednesday 15th April and Thursday 16th April, and then the following week, from Monday to Thursday.

They now have a ‘wish list’ of items to get the sharing started, which you can find here. You can donate items – from the wish list, please – by popping down to the shop on Wednesdays from 10am – 4pm.

SHARE will be in the vacant shop on the bridge that used to be an Age UK charity shop, next door toThe Card Factory. The doors first opened at the Independent Market on Sunday, allowing people to come in and hear about what’s going on and give their views. There were also lots of fantastic suggestions for items that SHARE could have, including a disco ball, invisibility cloak, roller skates – and, of course, gardening and DIY items.

Now is the time to get involved. The small team at edventure need plenty of volunteers to make this work – and they will make it a fun, sociable space to help out in. Contact Charley directly if you’d like to volunteer, or just turn up at the shop.

You can also like SHARE on Facebook to keep up to date.

And for some examples of this kind of thing:

A sharing shop?

What do you think of the idea of a place where you can borrow – possibly for a small fee – items like power tools, decorating equipment and cooking items, that you might only want on a few occasions?

Plans are taking shape on the ‘Sharing Shop’, which will be a joint venture between edventure and Sustainable Frome in the heart of town. The town council, through recycling and energy officer Anna Francis, has secured a lease on the premises for the ‘shop’ on the bridge that used to be occupied by the Age UK charity shop.

The shop may be based on the online service Streetbank, which helps people find the things they need in their local area. Have you tried this? We’d love to hear how it worked out.

Are you interested in getting involved? There will be workdays to smarten up the shop (probably during April), and we will need people to staff the shop (from April – June roughly). Email us at Sustainable Frome to find out more.

There may also be a ‘Sharing festival’ to introduce the idea of sharing to people in Frome. Contact Anna Francis to find out more.

On a related issue, do you have a skill to share? Can you use a sewing machine? Do you knit or crochet? Do you have some basic woodworking skills? or some good upcycling ideas? If you think you have a skill you could share, we would like to start building a list of the skills we have locally to help people get better use out of the stuff they own. Tell us what you can do – you don’t have to have a qualification, but if you do, let us know – by emailing Sustainable Frome.

The Gift Economy

Did you come along to our December meeting? If so, you would have learnt a little about the gift economy and experienced a gift circle. This appeared in the newsletter afterwards and provides some links for you to delve further into the subject.

The Gift Economy

In contrast to the market economy’s insistence that we monetise everything that we do or give, the gift economy works on giving what we can and trusting that we will be able to find what we need from others. And while it might sound radical, it is a system that has been found in some smaller societies around the world, and is already evident here in things like Freecycle, open software, ‘couch surfing’ holidays and, of course, the Incredible Edible movement.

Lewis Hyde’s books The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World and Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership are ground-breaking works worth asking about in your local bookshop.

Mark Boyle has lived without money for some time, and you can read a Guardian article about him, or try his website, The Moneyless Manifesto.

There is also a website, the Gift Economy, with lots of articles, videos and links to explore further.

And I would like to recommend the YouTube video of Amanda Palmer’s TED talkThe Art of Asking, which explores what can happen when you are prepared to ask people to give.