Central UK Summary - August/September 2016

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Freegle UK Central: Summary of items of interest

August (521 posts) and September (664 posts) 2016

New platform

The vast majority of posts in August and September was concerned either directly or indirectly with the new platform, especially after The Big Switch on 6 September – just in time for Freegle’s 7th birthday on 11 September. Happy Birthday to us!

The switchover inevitably meant various bugs and teething problems but with Edward’s hard work they are gradually being resolved, and we will end up with a much more responsive and smooth system. Thanks a million, Edward.

This summary attempts to list the main points and features dealt with on Central that affect groups under the new system. For more detailed information, anyone who doesn’t regularly follow the posts on Central is advised to do so. Many queries and issues are also dealt with on modtools https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ModTools/info and Tech https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Freegle-Tech/info

Some of the main features of the new platform that were discussed on Central


Groups on facebook can now, via modtools, share posts from the main freegle facebook page on to their group page. See message 59362 for more info https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FreegleUK-Central/conversations/messages/59362


Members are asked if they want to repost an item a day or so before the offer or wanted time interval set by the group, and if they do, it is automatically reposted (subject to moderation). Any group that wants to opt out of this function should set the max number of auto-reposts to zero.


This allows members and moderators to communicate on-line. The chat can be seen on both modtools and FD. Any messages are also sent by email.

Mapping and locations

It is no longer necessary for someone to join a group before making a post for the first time. Instead, they enter their postcode and are directed to their nearest group – or they can then choose another group if they wish. This has meant a lot of work behind the scenes – by Edward in particular. In modtools are the settings for the sub-areas which identify the member’s location (derived from their postcode) and also the catchment areas of individual groups. Specific questions about defining and checking catchment areas and how they overlap generated a huge number of posts that cannot be summarised here. If you have a query, ask on Central.

Spam filter

The new system has a filter that traps spam and possible spam that would otherwise be sent to members. These are now redirected to modtools where mods can check them out and delete them. The vast majority are spam or hacked email addresses but occasionally they are genuine and should be noted as ‘not spam’ – hence the need for human intervention.

Member feedback

Members are now asked when they post taken or received or withdraw a post whether they were feeling happy/fine/unhappy, and they can add comments. See message 59831 if you interested in some of the early responses https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FreegleUK-Central/conversations/messages/59831

There was quite a lot of debate about how much credence you can put on these figures. They were obviously a self-selecting group, but as a general indication, they are positive!

Group profile pictures

It is now possible to add a group’s profile photo to appear on FD, together with a tagline. You do this through modtools. If anyone wants a freegle logo as their photo, Christian will do it for you – contact him here christian_freegle@brenn.co.uk

Other items discussed

Contact Lens Solution

The question was raised as to whether it is permissible to offer contact lens solution. The advice from opticians is that it is a medical item, and so the answer is ‘no’.

Volunteer Support Role

Three people were interviewed for this temporary paid position, and the standout candidate, Mhairi was appointed. Mhairi is interested in what brought people into Freegle, and would love to hear from volunteers. Contact her through Central.

Developing the mobile app

The launch of the new website has seen the demise of the ‘current’ mobile app; the Board has however approved funding of £2,500 to Chris Cant to develop the app in such a way that it will ‘wrap’ the new site, and will not need as much effort to keep it in sync in the future.

Patron for Freegle

The Board feels that it would be beneficial to have patrons for Freegle, this being a recognised way of establishing and maintaining a high profile. After some discussion it was agreed that Cat would approach the Green MP, Caroline Lucas, and the racing cyclist Graeme Obree (who fitted washing machine bearings to one of his bikes).

Notification of the 2016 Freegle AGM

All groups and volunteers should have received via bulk mailing notification of the 2106 AGM, which will he held on Freegle UK Central between 00.00hrs Tuesday 1 November 2016 and 11.59hrs Monday 7 November 2016. Note that to participate, volunteers have to be Members of Freegle – it costs £1. For more info, go here http://wiki.ilovefreegle.org/AGM_2016

Freegle support volunteers

The support group does a tremendous job dealing with all sorts of queries, and not surprisingly the workload has been particularly heavy lately. Help would be appreciated, so if anyone feels they are able and willing to help, contact the support group here. freegle-support@googlegroups.com

Message Maker

With the new platform, this is now defunct and any references and links to it should be removed from the yahoo home page.

Celebrity Freegler

Edward reported that the model turned entrepreneur Lily Cole had posted some offers (successfully, as it turned out) on her local Freegle group. She and her partner who runs a web company had previously shown interest in supporting Freegle, so watch this space.

Working group reports


July 2016 [[1]]

August 2016 [[2]]


July 2016 [[3]]

August 2016 [[4]]

Freegle Funding

March – August 2016 [[5]]

Other reports

Freegle Board Minutes

June 2016 [[6]]

July 2016 [[7]]

Mentor Team

July 2016 [[8]]

August 2016 [[9]]

Liz S

October 2016