For those of you who have been watching us grow over the months and years, we have something new and exciting to share with you: This week we opened the doors of our very own Sharehouse!
We’ve been very lucky over the past couple of years; a number of organisations have generously loaned us space free of charge, but we’ve just been getting bigger and bigger and none of those spaces on their own was big enough to accommodate us.
A lot of volunteer time was being spent ferrying items between the various locations, and it had reached the point where we needed our own premises in order to efficiently manage the huge volume of donated food and goods we intercept each week.
There’s still plenty of work to be done, but thanks to the amazing hard work of our volunteers, our freshly cleaned and painted Sharehouse is now ready for use!
So, what exactly is a Sharehouse?
We’ve run boutiques and market stalls for some time, but following in the footsteps of Leeds and Sheffield, we have now gone one step further and opened our very own Freegan Supermarket, stocked full of goods that we’ve diverted from landfill!
Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9am-4pm, the Sharehouse is for anyone to come and browse and help us to #feedbelliesnotbins!
As usual, all perishable items are offered on a Pay As You Feel basis – that means you donate your time, cash, or skills in return; how you choose to contribute is entirely up to you.
If you are a regular visitor to Ladywood Health and Community Centre, it is very likely that you will have met one of our volunteers, Maev Walsh, seen here foraging at Centre of the Earth in Winson Green last autumn.
It is with great regret that we must report that Maev unfortunately passed away recently at home, following a seizure; an event which shocked and saddened us all.
As a mark of respect to Maev and her mum Gillian, and to enable the many volunteers who wish to attend the funeral on the 19th May to do so, we will be cancelling all services at Ladywood Health and Community Centre for the day.
On Friday 19th May there will be no cafés, boutique or freegan boxes.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience, and hope you understand. Normal service will resume the following week.
Our friends Birmingham Friends of the Earth currently have a Community Share Offer to renovate their building, The Warehouse. TRJFPB and BFOE have worked together to create a more sustainable Birmingham. One of the very first TRJFPB’s meeting was in BFOE’s Warehouse. TRJFPB regularly run events for Digbeth First Friday in BFOE’s garden in the Warehouse.
BFOE have had the building for 40 years; it is our hub of which we campaign on environmental issues. As well as this The Warehouse also holds a vegetarian Restaurant, a bike shop and a vegan food shop.The Warehouse is an old Victorian building that needs further renovation. BFOE have worked hard in bringing the building up to a B on an EPC, but further work is needed. The building is also not disabled access friendly, we want to complete this much needed work to the Warehouse.
Once the work is completed, it would allow us to use the Warehouse more efficiently, allowing us to increase our revenues through things like increased office rent. This means that the building would sustainably fund itself, freeing BFOE to work more on campaigning to make Birmingham a more sustainable city.
To raise the capital to complete this work. BFOE have launched a Community Share Offer. Like Community Energy Birmingham, BFOE are a Co-operative, in the form of a society for community benefit.
We want to raise £240,000 of which £100,000 would be match invested from Co-ops UK. We are offering a rate of return, which is higher than most ISA’s. In year 2 we aim to pay 1% interest, year 3, 2% interest and year 4, 3%interest. The rate of return would be reviewed in year 5.
Please check out our crowdfunder page and if you are impressed by our plans and can afford to, invest in the BFOE Community Share Offer.