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This is for sharing ideas for SHARE FAIRS in Cambridge (or nearby). SHARE FAIRS are best when they gather lots of ideas and enthusiasm from lots of people before and on the day. So we hope this page might be helpful.

Queen Edith's SHARE FAIR:

We are having one at Wulfstan Way shops, on Saturday 8 September 2018 - around 10 to 4 pm (tbc). Contact Rebecca Jones (i.e. via the contact page on this website) if you'd like to be involved and, especially, if you have some fun ideas.

Who we are working with so far:

  • 28th Cambridge Cubs;
  • Cambridge City Council (City Housing; City Ranger; Recycling Champions; Streets and Open Spaces Volunteers);
  • Eden Project;
  • Friends of Rock Road Library;
  • Maggie's Wallace Cambridge - meet their volunteers and take part in a fun activity to help them raise funding next year.
  • Master Composters from Garden Organic;
  • Nightingale Gardeners Group;
  • Parent volunteers from Queen Edith's Primary School;
  • Queen Edith's Community Forum volunteers;
  • RHS outreach;
  • The local Wildlife Trust;
  • and individual enthusiasts - like a SugarSmart cooking demo.

What are SHARE FAIRS?

SHARE FAIRS are a new type of regular social event. 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.

Seven SHARE FAIR ingredients

Every SHARE FAIR is different, reflecting the uniqueness of each community and location but they all have these seven ingredients:

  1. 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.
  2. Pop-up Place-Making: ordinary walk-through spaces are turned into places to welcome people. This avoids hire fees too.
  3. Following the Footfall: SHARE FAIRs go to the people. This reduces promotional costs too.
  4. Completely Collaborative: everyone at a SHARE FAIR is a contributor and equally valued. This builds community.
  5. Endlessly Flexible: if it’s legal, safe and free, it can be shared.
  6. 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.
  7. 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:

  1. Market: usually monthly
  2. Fete: can be quarterly or biannual
  3. Festival: usually annual
  4. Pocket: a mini SHARE FAIR tucked into a bigger event
  5. 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.

Why SHARE FAIRs for Cambridge?

SHARE FAIRs could be a novel way to develop community in areas with low social cohesion and places with new communities. Also, a new way to do things for stronger communities.

Some ideas for 'areas' and activities, including at the Queen Edith's one:

  • Abundance: produce and preserves swap and share; 
  • Book, comics and magazine swap;
  • Craft and art area: swap and share materials and making for all ages; 
  • Metal Matters: metal collection for charity; 
  • Chill-out zone with snacks to share from around the world: comfy places to sit and connect. Maybe some gentle music? Nail parlour, by children?
  • Play area: swap and share toys and games. Join in activities, including giant bubbles. Teddy bears picnic? For all ages;
  • Skills swap: tap into local talent - could be bike maintenance; knitting; languages; making magic carpets; musical instruments; needle felting; photography; small repairs; wood whittling; yarn bombing;
  • Swap shop: small item ‘bring and take’ (no electrical or petrol-driven equipment, for safety reasons).
  • Volunteer area: learn about ways to volunteer for your community. 

Useful links

Last updated: 24 May 2018