Central UK Summary - January-May 2017

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Freegle UK Central: Summary of items of interest

January – May 2017 (1,644 posts)

Posted on Central 15th June 2017 [1] and sent out to group owner addresses 17.6.17.

Made-up usernames

(message number 62042 and following)

A member wondered why @users.ilovefreegle.org accounts have a random username that bears no relation to the person’s real identity and Edward explained that it was to help users who wish to remain anonymous.

‘Muting’ members

(62102 etc)

There was considerable discussion about whether it was acceptable (even if technically possible) to prevent known re-sellers responding to offer posts. One option which people seemed to like would be to have tick boxes when an offer is posted saying whether the offerer was happy or not for the item to be sold on. There would then be clear evidence if it was discovered that the recipient sold the item against the wishes of the person making the offer, and they could be ‘muted’.

Prolific Freeglers’ stories

(62109, 62256 etc)

For a while members have been able to submit stories of their freegling experiences. Those with three successful freegles are also now being asked (but only once!) if they’d like to tell their story. These appear in modtools and can be released by moderators for publicity, or kept private. Sample stories appear on the site landing page (what you see when you are logged out). They are also sent weekly to Central group members to vote on which to include in the members’ newsletter.

General Data Protection Regulation

(62205, 63262, 63550)

This is an EU regulation which comes into effect in 2018 and will apply to Freegle. A team has been put together to consider the implications and a pro bono lawyer has been found by Mhairi (Freegle volunteers’ support) who will give legal advice – excellent news!

Group mods have now been asked what personal data they keep, with 21 responses covering 40 groups returned. Still live is a similar survey of members who perform central roles – go here for the survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QP8DPHM . There is a small Freegle GDPR group for anyone who wants to get involved https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/freeglegdpr/info

Rewards for volunteers

(62225 etc)

Mhairi wondered what people thought in general about the notion of rewards/thank yous for volunteering, perhaps in the form of vouchers for theatres, sports centres etc. A lively discussion ensued with many views expressed which cannot be summarised here. On balance, it was felt (I think!) that volunteering was its own reward but there may be scope for further consideration.

Posts mentioning borrowing

It was generally agreed that such posts should be rejected or edited, but providing the poster with an explanation (the possibility of items possible being lost, damaged etc).

It is now possible to add a picture to a community event

As it says in the title!

Admin for ‘going native’

A suggested admin to be sent to yahoo members before a group moves totally to Freegle Direct can be found at message number 62343.

Business cards

It is now possible for members as well as moderators to request business cards promoting Freegle.

Streetlife merged with Nextdoor


Some members had had useful and productive links with Streetlife, but there was general disappointment that it had merged with Nextdoor, which seems to be more prescriptive and controlling.

Groups requiring an offer first

(62407 etc)

A small number of groups require members to make an offer before making a wanted request. This generated 63 posts-worth of discussion, mostly about group autonomy versus common requirements. Subsequently the whole issue was considered by the Development group which came up with some best practice guidelines – for further info, see the Development Report for May http://wiki.ilovefreegle.org/Development_Group_Report_2017_05

Untangling overlapping Default Posting Areas (DPAs)

(62547 etc)

This was and still is a big and complicated task. Freegle Direct allocates new members and posts to groups by post code, to the nearest DPA; consequently they should not overlap. At the time (in February) moderators were asked to review their areas and eliminate overlaps, and at the time of writing this (June) Freegle Support are contacting groups whose mapping still needs attention.

Adding photos to approved posts

This is not possible at the moment although Edward intends to add this function to FD later in the year. You can however send a photo in chat so members can share photos that way.

Uber contact

The Board decided not to pursue the initial contact with Uber, given the bad publicity they were (and still are) receiving.

Invite a friend

There is now an option (top right of FD) for members to invite their friends to get freegling. Edward will report back on how many invitations are sent and how many accepted.

Support for Give and Take Events


To quote – “Some local groups run Give and Take events, and the Board would like to encourage this. Where possible, costs for these events should be covered via local grants (e.g. from councils), and the Funding group can help with grant applications. But in the absence of other funding, Freegle will provide up to £100 per event towards the costs.This must be agreed with the Board in advance, and pictures of the event and a very short report must be provided afterwards for social media purposes.”

Group admins to raise donations


A sample admin to encourage members to donate can be found at message 62721. There was some (inconclusive) discussion about whether these should be centrally or locally sent out.

Hot 100 2016: the shining stars of waste

Freegle had 3 people in the Top 20 of this 100 stars of the UK Waste Industry list. Cat went to the event in the Houses of Parliament in February where the list was revealed. Cat came in at number 4, David Greenfield (our newest Board member) in at 11 and Edward at 17. Well done! You can see the whole list here http://resource.co/article/hot-100-2016-who-are-shining-stars-waste-11706

Rating of no-shows

There used to be a facility on a previous version of FD for members to rate other members using a star system but it wasn’t used much. But, to quote Edward, “I will probably be doing something similar. Fairly soon you will be able to arrange a collection date/time/place. That should make it easier to sort out collections. Once that's in place it becomes easier to find out if people turned up. And then I can start to show that information.”

Volunteer opportunities


It is now possible to post requests for volunteers - either for Freegle itself, or for other people or community organisations. It works in the same way as community events, i.e. with a section on the site and an email digest. The posts are moderated, like any other. And there is the option for groups to opt-out.

Board strategy discussion minutes 17 March


Very briefly, the Board concluded as follows: IT – the need to continue to improve, but hopefully any changes will be less of a shock than the recent radical changes to the whole site. And Edward has to stay.
Volunteers – new kinds of volunteers are required, coupled with better support for current volunteer moderators. This will mean funding.
Income – a fundraiser is required.
Publicity – all types of national publicity need to be stepped up. Stop press! It is therefore excellent news that the Board subsequently decided to contract with Cat to spend significantly more time over the next six months (83 days of paid work spread over that period). The situation will then be reviewed.

Changes to the disclaimer regarding what constitutes waste

(63136 etc etc)

Arising from a query from a member about bags of mixed building waste, the Board looked into what constitutes waste and what legally might require a waste carrier licence to transport it. As a result, the disclaimer has been amended to read:

“When something can be reused for its original purpose, freegling it is fine (it's what we're for!) but if it would legally count as waste (e.g. a mixture of low economic value which would require sorting), you must not freegle it. If in doubt, check here (link to Govt web-site).”

Specific items that should not be freegled

A member had raised the point that certain invasive plants should not be distributed. They have been added to the wiki section on specific items which should not be freegled or where care needs to be taken. The list can be found here http://wiki.ilovefreegle.org/Category:Specific_Items



Savoo is a voucher code site where you can get voucher codes to get discounts on things you buy. When you use the voucher, some money goes to charity. It’s a bit like Give As You Live. Freegle has been set up with it – go here if you want to register and support Freegle http://www.savoo.co.uk/#freegle . You’ll also see it included if you click on the FD donate link.

Freestock 2017


The annual Freestock gathering will be at the Hertford Camping & Caravanning Club Site over the weekend of 11/13 August. Go to message number 63467 to find out more and how to register.

Who’s Who on Freegle nationally?

This spreadsheet tells you -https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1waDLVI8OYjmdgjPZ8Xo4__S28G_-aLldzKIBbpSVh7k/edit?usp=sharing

And finally…

‘The scummers are getting sneakier.’ The spam filter catches known email and IP addresses where they are used to send the post, but there have been apparently legitimate posts that say in the body of the message ‘my email address is..’ and that is the scam one. So the message always is – beware of anything suspicious. Scam items lately have included Mac book air, flat screen TV, embroidery machine and other high cost items.

Working group reports



Freegle Funding

Other reports

Liz S

June 2017