Running an Info Stall
Information stalls are probably the easiest way of raising the profile of your group, as you can run one yourself without any other volunteers (provided that you don't need frequent toilet breaks, which can be tricky in cold weather!)
Although not as complicated as running something like a Give and Take stall, your information stall will be more of a success if you put in a bit of planning. This spreadsheet  covers all sorts of events, but is worth using where relevant for your stall.
As a minimum, you’re likely to want a table, a chair, a banner and a load of flyers to give away. If you have one or two large-ish posters (A0 size is good) explaining what Freegle is and how it works (perhaps with the same wording as is on your flyers), that’s also handy, since the posters will grab the attention of people who might otherwise not have stopped at a small stall/stand. You can get banners made professionally, especially if they're made of a recyclable, woven material which is pretty much waterproof, they fold up small and are light.
If you can lay out a bag or two of Freegle goodies (collected from your own group) on the table with a notice saying they’re free to any takers, that can make quite a bit of difference to how many people actually come over and grab a flyer or ask you about the group. Or have items to demonstrate the variety of goods that are offered and say they will be freegled the next day, so why not join the group to get them and other stuff like them. Don’t be surprised to find that quite a few of your visitors have trouble getting their heads around the idea of good stuff just being given away – it’s a common reaction!
Your choice of spot to set up will vary depending on where you live. In a large town or city, the entrances to shopping malls on a Saturday morning/afternoon can be great, as you’ll get loads of people going in and out. Obviously, you’ll need to get permission before you set up, so call your local council - they should know.
In smaller towns or villages, you might be better off at a church hall or outside the Post Office (if you’re still lucky enough to have one) - basically, anywhere there’s a decent flow of people.
If there’s a local school/church/town fair or fete, you can of course try booking a slot for a stall there, as you’ll be pretty much guaranteed visitors. If you explain to the event organisers that Freegle is run by volunteers, and that everything offered on the group is free, you’ll often find they’re prepared to give you a free plot on the day. If they won’t, then you need to consider how you might finance the cost of the plot.
If you want to (or your location requires to you to) cover yourself against any claims, Freegle has a central policy for Public Liability Insurance. Have a look at Insurance to see what is required and if you can use that.
Note: Freegle Ltd is not responsible for and has no liability for events held in the name of/using the name of Freegle.
Weekends, especially Saturdays, tend to be a good day for running a stand/stall, as that’s when the largest number of people are out and about shopping. It's best to avoid days when major sporting events are on though – try it on the day of the world cup final, and you'll be just about the only person outside!
You could spend a good few hours handing out flyers if you’re up to it – 11am to 4pm wouldn’t be unreasonable, though not everyone will want a flyer, and you’ll need to get used to a degree of rejection from passers-by who aren’t interested. Even a couple of hours is likely to be time well spent, and you may well end up giving out 200+ flyers if you’ve set up in a busy area.
How To Give Out Flyers
Please bear in mind that not everyone is going to want a flyer from a group they’ve never heard of before, so don’t force flyers on people. On the other hand, if you stand mutely behind your table all day, you won’t dole out as many flyers as you would if you were to take a more active approach.
Probably the most effective way to distribute your leaflets is to try and catch the eye of someone walking past (especially if they’ve already seen your banner or posters) and say something like, ‘Free stuff, get your free stuff.’ That gets the attention of most people, or you can opt for a different phrase like, ‘Local green group, help the environment and have a clear out.’ Basically, it boils down to whatever sensible alternative you think works best.
Although you might initially feel a bit self-conscious or uneasy giving out flyers like this, it is a perfectly reasonable way of doing it, and you’ll get used to it quite quickly. While it can feel quite daunting the first time you run your own info stall, you'll soon get used to it, and it's a good way of taking the first step towards a fully-fledged event complete with volunteers and lots of stuff to give away. (such as a Give and Take event)