Hi Eva, can you tell us about your social enterprise?
Share Salisbury is a not-for-profit venture that will give Salisbury access to a Library of Things to borrow either on a one off basis or at a reduced cost with membership plan. Sharing instead of buying new promotes a circular economy whilst providing the community with access to items that may have previously been unaffordable, required for single use only and/or impractical to store at home… A library of things is similar to a normal Library but instead of being full of books, it is full of other useful items ranging from DIY tools to musical instruments and camping gear to children’s toys… plus so much more! This is by no means a new concept and there are other successful Libraries popping up all over the UK including Frome, Oxford and Glasgow to name a few.
Love it! What inspired you to start?
I had heard of the successful one in Frome and really loved the concept as it helps both people and the planet simultaneously. I had planned to go visit Spring 2020 but sadly was unable to get there in person due to lockdown restrictions. I was then put on furlough from my job so found myself with a lot of free time to dream and plan setting up a Library of Things in my own community. After a few months on furlough I was made redundant. I saw this as the sign I needed to turn my lockdown dreaming into reality – that’s when things got serious!
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the early days of the project?
There have been a few hurdles to jump along the way such as learning web development to keep costs down and facing fears of public speaking but it turns out the biggest challenge so far has been attempting to open a bank account…Who knew?! We had hoped that we would be able to open an account with an ethical bank like Triodos (that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels) but unfortunately, due to the pandemic they have stopped all new business applications. To keep things progressing we are in the process of opening a temporary account with the intention of moving to a more ethical option when able to do so.
How have you adapted during the coronavirus pandemic, what lessons have you learned?
While the Pandemic has delayed the Library of Things opening to the public it has been a silver lining as it has given us a little extra time to get everything ready for when we do open up. Another benefit I found that lots of learning sessions and workshops have gone online meaning we have been able to attend far more than we ever would have been able to pre-pandemic although as lockdown lifts it is just as important that we remember not everyone is online and zoom can never replace real social interactions.
What has been your highlight in running the project so far?
The #1 highlight of the project so far is getting to meet some really great people who live in Salisbury, you don’t realise how many wonderful people there are out there! I am looking forward to meeting all our new friends ‘in real life’ when the Library of Things opens.
How can people support Share Salisbury?
There are several ways in which people can help support Share Salisbury. When we open, come and visit us, have a browse and see if there is anything you would like to borrow! Until then, you can sign up to our mailing list via the website and tell all your friends about the new Library of Things due to open soon!
If you are feeling flush then you might like to consider donating to the GoFundMe Campaign, this will help us pay for rent, insurance, stock etc. you can even pre-order a year’s membership if you so wish! We are also still in the process of collecting good quality second hand items, so if you are having a spring clear out then check out our item wish list first.
For more details visit https://sharesalisbury.co.uk/