Streetbank.com gives neighbours the opportunity to offer their time and skills – or lend and give things away – to anyone living within one mile of their home.
Streetbank’s aim is to bring neighbours together – strengthening communities, inspiring generosity and promoting a greener way of living by encouraging people to share their things, time and skills with each other – whether baby gear, power tools or cooking and gardening skills.
When a person joins Streetbank, they’re given their own unique one mile catchment area and will receive a weekly newsletter showing new members, offers, wants and local announcements.
Since its launch in 2010 the Streetbank team has witnessed everything from small acts of kindness such as neighbours giving away tomato plants, to huge displays of generosity, like members getting together to tidy an elderly neighbour’s back garden, donating laptops for children in care and giving away flat-screen TVs.
In October 2013, research conducted by Streetbank found that things and skills worth more than £1m had been listed on the site since its launch.
The site was named as one of the ‘Top 50 websites you cannot live without’ by The Times, and has even been endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said: “I welcome all efforts to empower communities and encourage local people to play a more active role in society. I sincerely hope that Streetbank will continue to grow and I have asked to be updated on its progress in my own constituency.”
In February 2014, Streetbank merged with Freeconomy to become the “go to” website for neighbourhood sharing, under the www.streetbank.com umbrella. This took the site’s membership to more than 34,000, with more than 1,000 members meeting their neighbours every month.
Streetbank’s mission remains the same: to make sharing with your neighbours as normal a part of everyday life as visiting the shops.
Award and follow-on funding
Streetbank was awarded £45,000 in the first round of the Innovation in Giving Fund to make the site smartphone-friendly, integrate it with Facebook and run a national competition for the best stories and photographs of community generosity.
Streetbank was later awarded an additional £200,000 to redevelop the website, adding new features and functionality to increase usability and make neighbourhood sharing easier.
Kate Groves, Marketing Director
Marie wrote to Streetbank:
Through Streetbank I have picked up a fabulous music centre, had my daughter’s guitar strung and offloaded a bunch of baby gear to someone who really needed it. And I’ve met some great neighbours. But, I think the thing that touched me most was the number of people who rustled up VCRs for me when in desperation I contacted Streetbank: My child with Autism fast-forwards and re-winds videos and when they break and we have no replacement ready and waiting she screams the house down.
I have been really moved that so many people were quite so incredibly kind. Similarly when a pal was looking for some urgent advice on NHS dentists, and I posted a query, the response was fantastic. People bothered to reply. That’s the thing. In a world that can be quite bleak Streetbank is quite an eye opener to the possibility that many people have a kind and altruistic side to them.