‘Library of things’ wins big cash grant to boost reuse

Somerset’s first “library of things” has secured a major grant to cut waste, foster repair and encourage reuse of electrical and electronic products.

SHARE Frome will receive £18,020 thanks to a successful bid by Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) to a special fund at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Based in a shop at The Bridge in the centre of Frome, SHARE was set up by a team of young unemployed apprentices working with the Town Council and the charity Edventure.

For a small fee, it loans out a wide range of tools, toys, equipment, sports gear and musical instruments that have been donated or lent to the library.

The aim is for people to borrow what they need, saving money and avoiding the waste of costly items gathering dust, such as the average drill, which is used for just a few minutes in its lifetime.

The new funding has enabled SHARE Frome to promote the reuse of electrical appliances, including its recently launched weekly repair sessions for two hours every Saturday morning.

Expert volunteers help owners to repair items they bring in, from small electrical items like toasters, toys or kettles to tools, gadgets and computers.

A SWP spokesman said: “We are delighted that the bid was successful so SHARE Frome can expand its excellent work as a library of things.

“As well as offering immediate practical help, the repair cafe is an inspiration to us all to repair and reuse what we have rather than throwing items away.

“We hope other towns and villages visit SHARE to see a great example of how to cut waste, reuse more and bring together communities while supporting employment, enterprise and skills.”

Frome Town Council Resilience Officer Anna Francis said: “This grant is an important boost and recognition for SHARE Frome, and will enable it to offer more services to the public that will save them money, cut down on waste and encourage reuse.

“Thanks to this grant and our great volunteers, the Saturday morning repair café is proving a wonderful example of reuse in action; helping people build their skills and confidence in repair, delivering a valued service and keeping items working and so out of landfill or recycling.”

SHARE is open 10am-4pm Wednesday and Saturday, and 12noon-6pm Thursday and Friday at 3a The Bridge, Frome, BA11 1AR. During opening hours, it can be contacted on 07983 639 611.

For more on SHARE’s work, visit its website here, like its Facebook page, or follow @SHARE_frome on Twitter.

And check this SWP web page for more you can do to reduce waste or reuse and repair items.