Cafe Groups - General Info
The Freegle site provides the chit chat facility for all members to contribute to, and you can receive notifications of those chats via email to keep you in touch with conversations.
As a Freegle moderator or owner, though, you may choose to separately create either a local cafe group for your own community, or combine with other local moderators to create a combined area cafe group.
A separate Cafe group might be useful so that issues and items which are not suitable for the Freegle platform can be redirected elsewhere, although will take extra work to moderate.
You can link to your cafe group from your main group guidelines and provide a link from your homepage - that should be sufficient to let members be aware of its existence.
It would also be useful to send out an admin announcing your cafe group on the main Freegle group once it has been created. If you have an automatic signature on your outgoing emails to Freegle group members you could add a link to the cafe group and also include it in your welcome message from the main website.
What Can Cafes Be Used For?
Cafe groups are useful for allowing those topics which are not generally allowed on the main Freegle group.
Request Information, Services or Help
Members may want to request information about local services and ask for recommendations for local tradespeople. They may wish to advertise local community events or ask for volunteers to help out. They may wish to ask for help (perhaps moving a large or bulky item) or get information about where they can buy a particular item or get a particular service.
Advertise Businesses and Services
You should decide whether you want to allow members to offer their own services and advertise their businesses directly on the group. You may prefer to ask that members place their adverts in a database or the links section of the group instead. Find a template database here.
Borrowing and Swapping
You can allow borrowing and swapping if you wish, but may like to make it clear to members upon joining that you will not get involved if there is a problem encountered. Furthermore, there are potential liability issues for lenders (see Lending Liability so you might feel that to safeguard them it is best not to allow borrowing via your group.
If your main Freegle group allows pet offer or wanted messages, it would be wise to make sure your pet moderator (if you have one) is also a cafe member.
If your group does not allow pets, be aware that the issue may be raised in the cafe. Provide a list of animal rehoming links, and also links to local animal charities too. A list of national links can be found on this page here.
Vouchers and Coupons
As these items are not technically able to be saved from landfill, or they may require further spend in order to be used, you may wish to ask members to offer/request vouchers and coupons on your cafe group.
Cafe groups are chat groups; this means that unlike the main Freegle group where emails from the group are sent directly to members, the messages should go onto the list.
To do this, ensure your group settings are as follows:
Click on the Yahoo! group Management link
- Group Settings
- Posting and Archives (edit)
- Who Can Post
- [All Members] This ensures the group is a chat group
- [New Members] You may wish to moderate new members upon joining to ensure they are not spammers and then unmoderate after their first message to the group
- [Exclude from site and emails]
- Spam Filter
- [Choose whichever option you prefer]
- Archive Options Access
Note : you may wish to limit who has access to uploading files and creating links on the cafe group.
Auto Send Files
Please find below a number of files that you can use for setting up your own cafe group.
- Cafe Group Guidelines - send out upon joining and then monthly thereafter
- Cafe Group Disclaimer - send out upon joining and then how ever often you prefer
- Cafe Group Businesses Database - send out when you like if you wish to use this option
- Cafe Group Leaving Letter - send out upon leaving the group
List of Cafes
A (probably incomplete!) list of Freegle cafe groups is held on this spreadsheet