A Return to Community - Virtually

Streetbank aims to reduce poverty and tackle loneliness




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The creators of a new website which allows neighbours to lend, give away or share items are urging residents in Ealing to join in too.

Streetbank, co-founded by head-hunter Sam Stephens and IT consultant Ryan Davies, is described as 'the people’s bank', which aims to build community links, encourage sustainability and save people money through borrowing, giving away and sharing.

Residents wanting to take part need to sign up, enter their postcode, add one item they would be willing to lend or give away, and see all the items available within 1000 yards of their home. All for free.

There are already around 25 members of Streetbank in Ealing - most people will be able to see about ten of these.

So far, Streetbank users throughout the country (streetbees) have lent each other vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, Lonely Planet guides and Batman costumes, they’ve given-away microwaves, sofas, rabbit-hutches, pianos, hedge-trimmers and freshly baked bread and helped each other to move house, weed gardens, apply for jobs and learn French.

“I think community can achieve the end of poverty. Nothing less than that,” says co-founder Sam Stephens.

“I genuinely believe that - we can have access to the things we need and tackle loneliness if we’re just willing to cooperate with each other. If we act independently, we only have what we own and what our bank balance allows. When we cooperate the sky’s the limit!”


JUNE 2, 2010



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