The community Swap Shop initiative is going national. Following great success in the East Midlands, the creators behind the platform have made the decision to launch a UK-wide version.
The free-platform will enable charities and small businesses to swap services and support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The original idea for the venture comes from the much-loved Multi-Coloured Swap Shop children’s TV programme, broadcast between 1976 and 1982, in which children would exchange toys and collectors’ items.
The Swap Shop was created by three local businesses - bid-writing consultancy Ask the Chameleon, triathlon kit specialist HUUB, and creative and design agency think3. The concept was originally born in Derby during the first lockdown and was an instant success. It then went onto be rolled out in both Nottinghamshire (NCVS is a Nottingham champion of the project) and Leicestershire. The platform now has over 500 members and counting.
Rachel Hayward from Ask the Chameleon said “We have been overwhelmed with support for our Swap Shops in the East Midlands and seen a positive response from small businesses and charities alike. We were contacted from businesses across the UK, from Kent, Peterborough and beyond, wanting to know if we were launching a Swap Shop in their areas. When Lockdown 2 took hold, we knew we couldn’t wait any longer. We had to launch a national Swap Shop.”
Tracy Harrison from Safe and Sound, a charity that supports at-risk and exploited children, was one of the first to be a part of the swapping revolution, she said, “I am lucky to have been able to swap multiple times, I originally offered safeguarding advice in return for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. I managed to get a response for help with a CRM without having to swap anything in return. Swap Shop is about helping each other and being flexible.”
Gaz Jones from think3, the creative agency responsible for designing the platform, added, “This national free-to-use platform is the ideal place for charities and small businesses across the UK to connect and support each other, opening up new and exciting possibilities from all over the country. Through the Swap Shop platform, we are proud to have built a way to get through this pandemic together."
Create your free account on the UK Swap Shop now, click here to get started.
PICTURED RIGHT: The original team behind the Swap Shop platform