Freegle Reps Report 2011-12-22

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Reps Report 1st October to 30th November 2011

This report covers over 240 threads, from message 16146 to 17585


We discussed several issues around policy, rules, roles, procedures, problems, referred some queries to Structure and noted a few points to be clarified for future elections.

GAT and local group issues

(Saira, Jane, Sian):

We discussed changes to Jane and Sian’s role and a few queries about local groups (Clacton on Sea, Stockport, Redbridge, Bury).


(Paul, Ollie, Edward):

We are always keeping an eye on Freegle technology issues as they affect all groups and developments are integral to our future. Particular discussions in this period covered VPS hosting, a new tech volunteer, group homepages, server capacity, republisher changes, observer role and mailbox issues.



This included ongoing research and monitoring of opportunities. We applied to NESTA for funding to build a mobile phone app. This was lead by Chris Cant (Penrith) with support from the Reps. Unfortunately we were unsuccessful. [1] We don't wish to abandon this idea and bid, though, so are looking for new funds and considering an ADMIN on groups for volunteers.


(Edward): Our first official AGM was run on Central at the beginning of November for a week, so as many volunteers as possible could partake. [[2]]

Finance/Bank account


- Unity bank account details were finalised and the Freegle bank account was opened.
- We have had discussions about donations in general, appropriate purposes and online donation options. First deposits, donations and payments have been processed successfully.
- An auditor was assigned (Jean from Ely).
- Treasurer's email account set up

HMRC registration


This is progressing now and all forms have been completed and due to be submitted.

Child Protection Policy


This work will be developed in 2012.



This part of the report is more in depth as it substitutes for a separate Media Report.

Wrap - (Waste and Resources Action Programme)-the 'recycling' practical arm of Defra (Dept. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
LCRN - London Community Resource Network

1.Wrap released the first ever research into online reuse and a toolkit and other advice on reuse; Freegle contributed to the "Online Exchange Potential Impact" research. Freegle were thanked for their input and we are highlighted throughout the document, available to download/read here: We are discussing issues raised.

2.Invited by Lord Taylor of Horbeach (the under Secretary of State for the Environment) to be part of first National Reuse Forum. Attended 28th November at Defra offices in London. Follow up is now in hand. Freegle will be part of the ongoing Forum with further meetings in 2012 focusing on collaborative problem solving of identified barriers to reuse in general (lack of community reuse storage facilities; value, regulations and perceptions of second hand goods (reused products) and Sharing Experineces (developing best practices).

3. Esther (Coventry) has established an excellent local recycling contact in the Midlands and he has been very supportive of Freegle and assisting us nationally to raise our profile.

4."Spring into Reuse" This is a Freegle initiative for a national campaign in 2012. The aim is to motivate local authorities to engage with local Freegle groups (offer promotion, include in council events and publications, to inspire development of community reuse initaitives, collaborate with us); to get media coverage of Freegle; to inpsire new participants (businesses, workplaces, institutions); to raise awareness in general about reuse and Freegle. A long press release is available and a condensed version will be availblae before Christmas. Local groups are encouraged to send out the press release to local contacts (MPs, councils, housing groups, other community and voluntary organisations.
The campaign will hopefully inspire Freegle volunteers to consider how you can develop:
- Making your group as easy as possible to use (remove barriers)
- Extend your reach into your own local community (collaborate with others)
- Engage and Interact with your local authority (events, publicity, links)
- Improve your media and local social profile-locally (get known via papers, radio, facebook, twitter etc)

5. Freegle have been part of discussions with Zero Waste, Friends of the Earth, UKWIN (UK without incineration network), ReAlliance and others to develop a national 'influencing' body (to promote waste reduction via reuse and recycling, contribute to national regulation,policy and strategy etc). This is ongoing.

6. Other Events attended on behalf of Freegle or to promote Freegle:

- N0tice (Guardian Community Noticeboard) Brighton meeting
- Friends of the Earth Conference: Communities, Councils and Climate Change
- Brighton Community Radio (local and national and disability aids group promotion)
- WRAP Annual Conference: Relearning to reuse, getting the most out of scarce resources.
- Feeding 5K: free food waste event in London (wore Freegle t-shirt, interviewed by BBC world service (Russian programme)
- FareShare Million meals drive (volunteered as a Freegle Rep, photo with local MP)
- Greening the Green Deal (ensure reuse is built into loft insulation activity-regional meeting)
- CUPP seminar (Uni collaboration opportunities)
- The geeks were finalists in the Best Use of Social Media (not-for-profit sector) and Cat and Sian attended the ceremony

7. Events_not_attended (due to lack of personal funds, so we are currently thinking about what to do about this):

- Greening Government Conference
- Sharing Innovation Workshop
- Sustainable Communities Govtoday transition to a low carbon economy conference
- Media Trust Christmas party
- LCRN Christmas party
- The geeks were finalists in the Best Use of Social Media (not-for-profit sector) and Cat and Sian attended the ceremony

Cat on behalf of the Reps Edward, Jane, Paul, Saira, Cat, Sian, Ollie, Richard, Jacky

Back to Freegle Representative Group or Freegle Reps Report 2011-09-30, forwards to Freegle Reps Report 2012-01-12