Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Freegle - definately worth using


I've just received a press release in my role as councillor alerting me to the benefits of Reading Freegle and that the network, of which Reading Freegle is a part (also on facebook with a really easy to use app), has been short-listed for a Climate Week Award for best community initiative.

I don't need to be converted as I'm a keen 'freegler' myself - in the last couple of weeks I've been having a clear out and found takers for both an office chair and a pile of plastic folders!  The freegle cafe group is also a source of al-sorts of useful info as well as mostly very friendly debate on a range of issues (I lurk as they terminology goes but enjoy reading it)

Press release below:

Freegle has been named amongst the country’s low carbon leaders after being shortlisted for a
prestigious Climate Week Award.

Selected as a finalist in the category of Best Community Initiative, Freegle will join other finalists
and eminent individuals at the Climate Week reception at Lancaster House, London on 12 March,
when the winners will be announced.

The Climate Week Awards recognise the very best of what Britain has to offer in combating climate
change, including outstanding achievements by individuals, businesses and communities. The Best
Community Initiative category is given in association with Tesco.

Taking place on 12-18 March, Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign and is
backed by the Prime Minister and Sir Paul McCartney. Last year half a million people attended over
3,000 Climate Week events across the UK that showcased positive solutions to climate change.

One of four organisations shortlisted for Best Community Initiative, Freegle impressed Climate
Week. Freegle is a network of local groups enthusiastically facilitating the reuse and recycling
of household goods. Users sign up to a local Freegle group and offer unwanted items to other
members of that community. There are now 330 groups, including the local Brighton group, all run
by local people and 1,000 volunteers who are helping to establish groups. Its total number of users
has risen by 25% since 2010 to a huge 1.27 million, and the number of local groups has risen 48%.
The national group has also established links with government bodies concerned with recycling. All
this is achieved on a shoe-string. The central group is run on just £800 of annual donations to cover
IT overheads. It supports the local groups with promotion and other tools and resources including
open source apps. Local groups harness social networking sites such as Facebook to attract new
members at almost no cost.

The winners of the Climate Week Awards will be announced at the launch of Climate Week on 12
March. The panel of eminent judges includes activist Bianca Jagger, Paul Gilding, former CEO
of Greenpeace International, Tony Juniper, Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales’ Charities, Sir
Robert Watson, the government’s chief climate scientist and Tim Smit, founder of the Eden project.

Climate Week's Headline Partner is Tesco and its four Supporting Partners are EDF Energy, H&M,
Nissan and SodaStream.

Commenting on the shortlist, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Executive Director (Corporate and Legal Affairs),
Tesco said:

“If we’re going to deliver real change we need inspiring leadership and breakthrough innovations.
Last year’s winners of the Climate Week Awards have inspired an even higher quality of entry this
year. We’re proud to be the headline partner for Climate Week 2012.”

Catriona Fletcher, Freegle representative and volunteer from Brighton, commented on the Climate
Week Awards: “It is a huge honour to be considered for this award alongside so many inspiring
entries. We can all do our bit to help combat climate change and Freegle volunteers are thrilled to
be recognised for our work to reduce waste across the UK.”

For further information about the Climate Week Awards, visit www.climateweek.com/awards