Publicity in Penrith and Eden District

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Thanks to Cumbria County Council

Penrith and Eden District Freegle has received two sets of funding from Cumbria County Council Community Waste Prevention Fund - thanks very much!

Funding 2017-2018

In November 2017, Penrith and Eden District Freegle received funding for a year from the Cumbria County Council Community Waste Prevention Fund - more details - thanks very much - supplemented with a little funding from Freegle itself. The project has three elements, all with the aim of promoting the local Freegle group and keeping items out of the waste stream:

  • Run four Give and Take events across Eden District
  • Produce Freegle publicity materials
  • Produce a How-to-Freegle guide on paper and video


Kirkby Stephen Give and Take

Kirkby Stephen Community Arts hosted a Freegle Give and Take on 25 November 2017 in the Kirkby Stephen Sports and Social Club. 75+ people of all ages attended and many items changed hands to be used again. Elaine demonstrated how to make Scandinavian paper chains and kids activities ran in a safe corner of the room. A welcome cuppa and mince pies were available. Thanks to the seven helpers who made it happen.

Lessons learned:

  • the venue was good but we should have cleared more space and set up earlier
  • we forgot to put out a prominent donations bucket
  • start a little earlier so we can get any leftovers to a charity shop in good time

Funding 2016-2017

Penrith and Eden District Freegle received funding in May 2016 for a year from the Cumbria County Council Community Waste Prevention Fund - more details - supplemented with a little funding from Freegle itself. The projects plans to:

  • Run four Give and Take events across Eden District
  • Produce a fortnightly blog
  • Produce a list of alternatives to Freegle in Eden District
  • Produce a guide/short report for other Freegle groups indicating the success of these publicity efforts

End of year summary

The year's activities have maintained and raised the profile of Freegle in Eden District. Total attendance at the Give and Take events was estimated to be 511 exceeding our target of 200 visitors across all age ranges. The count of messages increased to 5,859 from 5,587 compared to the same period last year, with membership up to 5,279 freeglers and 4 tonnes each month typically kept from going to waste. Latest figures indicate that 85% of offers are taken and 56% of requests are received. Over the course of the year, the blog site has had 16,820 page views from 4,449 users.

The Give and Take events have been well attended and there is a call for more at each location we've used. Publicity pieces have gone into the free magazine Penrith Today every month over the year. Blog pieces have been written over course of the year, including a summary of 10 years of Freegle locally, with each post publicised on Twitter and Facebook. A list of reuse alternatives was produced and has been updated as a result of feedback from users.

The Give and Take events have now started in other parts of Cumbria, following the example set by Penrith and Eden District Freegle. Kendal Freegle has now obtained CWPF funding to run more events and the very helpful Cumbria County Council waste prevention team officers have run Give and Take and swap events across the county.

The lessons learned include:

  • linking in with other community groups can help raise the profile of events
  • your local council waste prevention team may be happy to help at the event and publicise it
  • publicity for the event is as important for spreading the word about Freegle as the event itself
  • important to have charity shop recipients for any left over items for Give and Take events
  • at a stall, having some items to give away helps
  • being able to demonstrate upcycled items helps

More lessons learned below.

In addition to the project work, over the course of year Freegle attended Penrith Show with PACT and CCC, attended a Fun, hope and Community event in Penrith, and ran another Give and Take at Shap that had 121 attendees.

Blog entries, articles and press releases

Local moderator Chris is writing a blog with posts at least every fortnight, usually more often.

Chris is also submitting a piece every month to the free magazine Penrith Today that is delivered to 13,500 addresses in Penrith and many nearby areas - though not the whole of Eden District. There is only room for 200 words and possibly one photo ie quite short. The lead time is long, so the copy date is about a month before the magazines start being delivered.

Occasional press releases will be sent to the local weekly newspaper the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald and various parish magazines, eg to publicise Give and Take events or stall appearances. Note that parish magazines usually only appear every couple of months, so you need to start getting publicity out in good time.

The current active posts tool was used to give people a taster list of what sort of items are available or wanted.

Possible topics for a blog:

  • Stories of recent handovers, ideally with a photo
  • OFFER or WANTED of the week
  • Profile of a Freegler
  • Profile of a moderator
  • What a moderator does
  • List of online resources for those interested in reuse, upcycling, etc
  • Jargon buster - what is the circular economy?
  • Feature on items you've got that have lasted a long time - or you've fixed up

Local group website

The website was revamped for Penrith and Eden District Freegle. This has blog entries and a few information pages. The site uses Drupal 8 but another/easier blogging system can be used.

Note that accounts need to be set up at Twitter, Facebook, disqus, MailChimp, Google Analytics, etc.


The following events are planned as a part of this project:

It is hoped that all events will contain an element of upcycling or similar, to demonstrate ways of keeping items in use.

Other events:

  • Penrith Show on [1] PACT stall] and Cumbria County Council showing Freegle, reuse and digesters - Saturday 23rd July 2016
  • Freegle volunteer Elaine attended the Fun, hope and Community event at the Old Fire Station in Penrith on 2 October 2016
  • Shap Give and Take - Saturday 4th March 2017 - 121 people attended of all ages

Alston Gala

Approx 100 people dropped by the stall:

  • 0-4: 5 (mainly balloons!)
  • 5-11: 6 (Watching baubles and asking about Freegle)
  • 12-19: 12 (As 5-11)
  • 20-55: 46 (Younger families watching baubles and Freegling, older just Freegling)
  • 55+: 31 ( Mainly Freegling, but some (Grandparents?) interested in Baubles)

Lessons learned

  • Very useful to have some general bric-a-brac freebies to give away to illustrate the concept (even though not a full give and take)
  • Nice to have balloons, baubles, upcycled-bags and other freebies to attract kids and families
  • Volunteer: "I did notice the older children at the table were often very confused by the concept-"Can I really take this? How much is this one? Can I have these too? " were frequent questions that I had to explain, and I gave them papers to give to their parents!"

Shap Give and Take

Approx 115 people dropped in at the Give and Take:

  • 0-4: 3
  • 5-11: 12
  • 12-19: 5
  • 20-55: 50
  • 55+: 45

Approximately 400 items were handed on including two bicycles, begonias, electric heaters, step ladder, lamps, trampolines, pots and pans, electric planer, runner beans, shoes, sherry glasses, many books, magazines and clothes and a pram.

Feedback from our hosts The Old Courthouse: "I thought it went incredibly well - the best one so far. Start thinking of a date next spring for another."

Kirkby Stephen Give and Take

Approx 120 people came to the Give and Take:

  • 0-4: 4
  • 5-11: 12
  • 12-19: 12
  • 20-55: 72
  • 55+: 20

Elaine showed how to make home-made Christmas decorations.

A Brough charity had any items leftover, so we were pleased that every item donated was being used.

Raffle tickets were sold in aid of Eden Hospice at Home.

Penrith Give and Take and PACT Seedy Saturday

Approx 175 people dropped by the stall:

  • 0-4: 10
  • 5-11: 15
  • 12-19: 11
  • 20-55: 65
  • 55+: 75

The Freegle Give and Take happened alongside PACT Seedy Saturday where people were giving swapping seeds, plants, seeds and tools. A veg bag was raffled to raise funds for PACT, those leaving their names for the CAfS mailing list had a chance to win an energy monitor, residents were given a chance to buy a very cheap composter or food waste digester, and Hospice at Home were raising funds in a quilt raffle. Left over items were given to Something in Mind in Shap and Changing Rooms charity shop in Brough.

Lessons learned

  • Doing a Facebook Live broadcast early on helps publicise the event and serves as a record for the future/
  • Like most events, it was busiest at the start, with many things coming and going before the official start time!
  • Like all events, it is crucial to have places to take any left over items, so as to be able to clear the venue afterwards.
  • In this venue, traffic was a problem: there was plenty of parking but people were parking on yellow lines so we needed to direct people into the available car parks.
  • We had donation pots for Freegle and PACT but most money was received at the café counter which had tea, coffee and nice cakes.

Local reuse outlets list

As part of this project, a list of alternative reuse options in Eden District is now available here:

Report on activities

This wiki page is the main report on the outputs and outcomes of this project

Current active posts tool

This tool is no longer available.

Application process

Having seen that the Community Waste Prevention Fund was available, we looked at how this fitted in with what we wanted to do locally and put together a project proposal. The application process involved filling in a form, a breakdown of costs, supplying two quotes for the work and providing various documents: bank statement, annual report and accounts, equal ops statement and constitution - a child protection and vulnerable adults policies were not needed. Chris put together the application, it was digitally signed by the Freegle chair and secretary and submitted by local moderator Elaine. The application was checked by county council officers and in course put to the relevant county council committee, who agreed it and the funds were released a month or so later. The Freegle Ltd board approved their contribution towards the project, including some funds from a restricted donation towards element #3 of the project.

Local Group Initiatives