Monday, April 10, 2017 - 10:45

A market place with no money changing hands, where people will be sharing skills, stories and community spirit, is being set up in St Austell with the help of the Eden Project.

The idea is called Share Fair and the first event this year takes place on Saturday April 15 at White River Place, St Austell, during the Festival of Fun.

Christine Sefton, Community Project Developer at Eden, said that the aim of the event is to bring people together, build confidence and grow talents.

She said: “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 we can bring to the Share Fair and 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. Some of us can draw well, or speak different languages or hula hoop!  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.”

There will be a St Austell Share Fair every third Saturday in the month starting on April 15 at White River Place (in the space outside the lifts to the multi-story car park) between 11am and 3.30pm. 

Christine said: “Everyone is welcome so please bring your stuff, your skills and your stories but most of all just bring your lovely selves.”

The Share Fair programme is funded by The Big Lottery Fund through The Big Lunch and is being led by the Eden Project Communities team.

The aim of the Communities team is to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping to build more resilient and better connected communities. Its best-known project is The Big Lunch, the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours, which began in 2009.

In 2016, 7.3 million people took to their streets, gardens and neighbourhoods to join in for a few hours of community, friendship and fun at over 90,000 events. The Big Lunch connects people and encourages 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 weekend of June 17-18, part of The Great Get Together – the biggest community event since the Jubilee.