Monday, April 15, 2024

Hundreds swap skills, stuff or just a smile at the Hardie Park Fair

Hardie Share 1

Hundreds swap skills, stuff or just a smile at the Hardie Park Fair

A market place with no money changing hands, where people shared skills, stories and community spirit, was set up in Stanford-le-Hope with the help of the Eden Project.

Christine Sefton, Community Project Developer at Eden, said that the aim of the event was to bring people together, build confidence and grow talents: “Most of us have things in our homes that we no longer need – good stuff that is sitting unused and taking up valuable space.  This might be books we’ve read, clothes we’ve grown out of and ornaments that we no longer like. All this stuff can be brought to a Share Fair to share or swap.

“We have skills we can share – some of us play musical instruments, or are excellent knitters, or good cooks. Some of us are experienced vegetable growers, dog-trainers or song-writers. Some of us mend things, build things or create things.  All of us are good at something – even if that something is being friendly for half an hour and listening to somebody who is a bit lonely.”
Christine added:  “And we all have a story to tell – new ideas, new recipes, useful information, stories about where we live or projects we’d like to start. At a Share Fair we have comfortable seating areas where people can just sit and chat.”

Rob Groves, founding Director of Hardie Park said, ‘It was great to host a Share Fair in partnership with the Eden Project, one of the first to be hosted in the UK. Hundreds of people visited the event to give, share, swap all manner of things, and it was all free! We even fed people free curry created from donated vegetables. Feedback from the local community has been really positive with some great ideas for future fairs.”

There are a further four Share Fairs scheduled at Hardie Park, with the next one being held on Sunday 21st May. For more information or how to get involved visit Hardie Park’s Facebook Page

The Share Fair programme is funded by The National Lottery’s Big Lottery Fund and is being led by the Eden Project Communities team. This is one of many initiatives supported by Eden Project Communities, all with the aim of improving the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping to build better connected communities. Its flagship project is The Big Lunch, the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours, which began in 2009 and last year saw 7.3 million people take to their streets, gardens and neighbourhoods to join together for a few hours of food, friendship and fun. Community initiatives like The Big Lunch connect people and encourage friendlier, safer neighbourhoods where people start to share more —from conversations and ideas, to skills and resources.

This year Big Lunches will be held over the 17-18 June as part of The Great Get Together Weekend – the biggest community event since the Jubilee. Visit to get your free Big Lunch pack, and share the community spirit.


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