Queen Edith's SHARE FAIR
Thank you to everyone who came along. Despite the intermittent rain we had fun - and also did a lot of sharing and swapping!
Who we worked with:
- 28th Cambridge Cubs;
- Cambridge City Council (City Housing; City Ranger; Recycling Champions; Streets and Open Spaces Volunteers);
- Cambridge County Council: Play Streets;
- Cambs Fire prevention;
- Cambridge Sustainable Food - new Veg Cities campaign.
- Friends of Rock Road Library;
- Local churches...
- Maggie's Wallace Cambridge.
- Master Composters from Garden Organic;
- Nightingale Gardeners Group;
- Parent volunteers from Queen Edith's Primary School;
- Queen Edith's Community Forum volunteers;
and individual enthusiasts - like people who like doing creative and performance activities in company - and, at the other end of the spectrum, Speedwatch volunteers.
What are SHARE FAIRS?
SHARE FAIRS are a new type of regular social event. They were conceived at the Eden Project. They are like a market or fete but instead of buying and selling, people swap and share in a pop-up, money-free zone.
Alongside sharing and swapping items such as clothes, games and books, people also share skills, stories, ideas, information and, above all, company.
Instead of making financial capital, a SHARE FAIR is about creating community and social capital. They are now running happily and regularly in several places in the UK.
And they keep things out of landfill!
Seven SHARE FAIR ingredients
Every SHARE FAIR is different, reflecting the uniqueness of each community and location but they all have these seven ingredients:
- Absolutely Free: No money changes hands – not even to raise funds. Everyone can join in and take part. People can explore new experiences without commitment, learn a new skill and have fun. They can dip-in, relax and connect with others. If there are costs to running the event, they are tackled beforehand by requests for donations and sponsorship but especially by sharing, borrowing and ingenuity.
- Pop-up Place-Making: ordinary walk-through spaces are turned into places to welcome people. This avoids hire fees too.
- Following the Footfall: SHARE FAIRs go to the people. This reduces promotional costs too.
- Completely Collaborative: everyone at a SHARE FAIR is a contributor and equally valued. This builds community.
- Endlessly Flexible: if it’s legal, safe and free, it can be shared.
- No Agenda: SHARE FAIRs don’t aim to convert anybody to anything – but they can demonstrate by their actions values such as sharing, creativity, recycling and connecting with people.
- A little bit of Magic: the old is mixed with the new to make something special!
Five models of SHARE FAIRs:
So far, Eden have identified five models of SHARE FAIRs to fit different communities:
- Market: usually monthly
- Fete: can be quarterly or biannual
- Festival: usually annual
- Pocket: a mini SHARE FAIR tucked into a bigger event
- Step-by-step: gradually adding SHARE FAIR ingredients to an existing project
Why SHARE FAIR?
- When we are free from money, even for a short time, we discover different ways to value what we have, what we do and who we are - joyfully. Whoever we are, whatever we do and however we live, we need joy in our lives. When we relax and share joyful experiences together we strengthen our sense of community.
- The stronger our communities, the more able we are to tackle problems such as reducing waste, alleviating poverty and addressing loneliness with creative, imaginative, locally relevant, sustainable solutions.
- They work, and people like them!
Who makes SHARE FAIRs?
Anyone and everyone. Before the event, as a SHARE FAIR Group, and on the day by visiting and actively contributing.
- Eden Project SHARE FAIR info: 'Blog: 'The power of pom poms'; YouTube video: A market without money; Twitter: @SHAREeFAIR
- Examples: Hardie Park in Essex;
Last updated: 9 September 2018