Library of Things Opening in Cheltenham

Cheltenham

Venue: Create on the Square

A new initiative hoping to help tackle the climate emergency opens in Cheltenham this week, at the Create on the Square shop on Coronation Square. “Share Shop Cheltenham” will host a variety of projects to encourage reuse of everyday items, and thus reduce waste.


The first reuse project will be a ‘Library of Things’, where people can borrow everyday items for a small fee rather than buying new. Libraries of things are becoming popular across the UK as people recognise that buying new items can be detrimental to the environment. The idea is to encourage more sharing and reuse, by enabling people to rent everyday items, instead of buying them, and thus help address the climate emergency.

The library of things is being run in collaboration with local sustainability champions Vision 21 as part of the Planet Cheltenham initiative.

“Libraries of Things are such an awesome way of connecting communities and reducing our consumption as a society. If you only use a tool maybe once a year, why not share rather than own?! The sharing economy is such a powerful way to fight the climate crisis and increasing access to useful stuff whilst also building community resilience. It is so great to see a Library of Things coming to Cheltenham and we're so happy to be collaborating to bring it to life. Let's get sharing Cheltenham!”
Raechel Kelly, Planet Cheltenham.

Vision 21 have been championing sustainability in Gloucestershire for 26 years, running the Reclaim furniture reuse shop, Repair Cafes and community gardening projects across the town. Most recently, Vision 21 has been instrumental in collaborations designed to lower carbon emissions, including the Cheltenham Zero network with Cheltenham Borough Council, and a new project called 'Planet Cheltenham', which aims to empower local communities to tackle the climate crisis.

The Share Shop Cheltenham library of things has a large selection of items, which are currently being added to an online catalogue. Once the catalogue is published, local people will be able to become members of the library of things and rent out items at a small charge per item. Membership and rental fees will help keep the venture sustainable.

More donations of suitable items, such as DIY & gardening tools, outdoors equipment and games are welcome, but only by pre-arrangement. Anyone who has items to donate should email: hello@shareshopcheltenham.org

The library of things will open on Fridays initially, but is looking for volunteers to enable it to open on more days. Anyone interested in being involved in the project should contact: hello@shareshopcheltenham.org.

The Share Shop Cheltenham project marks the return of Create on the Square, which has been shut since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The social enterprise, set up by local residents of Hesters Way in 2015 to encourage regeneration in the area, had to stop most of its activity on Coronation Square in March 2020, but reopened last week and has been busy getting the library of things set up since.

“We are very excited to be back with the brand new Share Shop Cheltenham initiative and hope it will have a positive impact on our local community, as well as the environment generally. It has been great to see some of our older projects, such as the Community Activities Team and Escape Rooms Cheltenham, move on successfully as independent enterprises over the last year, but we’re really looking forward to seeing new ideas grow in the years to come”.
Tanya Harrison, Share Shop Cheltenham Coordinator

More details about Share Shop Cheltenham, including the library of things catalogue (which will be made public on 13 Nov), are at ShareShopCheltenham.org.

 

More details about Library of Things Opening in Cheltenham (External Link)

 

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