by Eloise Wilkinson
It was a sunny day (19th March) that started early for me. I was speaking about Give and Take on Radio Suffolk at 6.30am! It was nice to talk to someone so enthusiastic and that enthusiasm carried on for the rest of the day. There were fewer collections to be made prior to the event this time round but the homes we did go to were so grateful. One person remarked “I was just going to take that to the dump”, referring to an unmarked but surplus piece of furniture and was very happy that it would see use again.
Being involved in Give & Take has reminded me that we’ve become used to being able to make our waste someone else’s problem. As a little girl I remember seeing rubbish dumped in riverbeds or by the side of the road in these beautiful picturesque places in the mountains of the south of France. I remember struggling to understand how someone would want to spoil a place so beautiful.
It is necessary to provide a system whereby people can take their unwanted large items to a place, or have them picked up and they can find new homes. Charity shops provide an outlet but are often limited by space or resources.
It never ceases to amaze me how bemused people are when you tell them at a Give and Take day that it is all free. Yes! They can come in and walk out with something, not owe anything to anyone and even save something from landfill! It is liberating, satisfying and slightly scary for some. Money and the act of collecting and spending it takes up so much of our living time that more often than not simply giving up unwanted possessions seems strange.
But it feels so good and so it needs reviving! Next time you need a drop of milk for that cup of tea and you think I’ll just drive down the shop, pop round to your neighbours with a cup, have a chat, get your milk and say “is there anything I can do for you?”
Give and Take is back in the Autumn, clear the decks for the cooler months to come, Saturday 24th September.
See you there!