New Freegle app created in Eden

Date: Friday 24th April 2015
Chris Cant (left), from the Penrith and Eden Freegle group, demonstrates the new Freegle app he has developed with support from Cumbria County Council and Sustain Eden, to Judith Bradshaw, from the council’s waste management team.
Chris Cant (left), from the Penrith and Eden Freegle group, demonstrates the new Freegle app he has developed with support from Cumbria County Council and Sustain Eden, to Judith Bradshaw, from the council’s waste management team.

A NEW smartphone app for the nationwide Freegle service was launched in Penrith on Saturday, after being developed in Eden.

The app was created by software developer Chris Cant, of PHDCC in Shap, who is the volunteer moderator for the Penrith and Eden District Freegle group, with support from Cumbria County Council and the Sustain Eden project.

Across the UK, Freegle has two million members who offer things they no longer want or ask for items they need but this is the first smartphone app the volunteer-led network has introduced.

“The app makes it quick and easy to use your local Freegle group to offer or request items,” said Chris. “If there’s something you want rid of, you can now take a photo of it and post it on-line through the app, and people can respond to you within the app or bye-mail.”

Chris hopes the app will make Freegle more accessible and attractive to younger users, as well as reaching new people of all ages. “Freegle very much needed this app to keep pace with how people use services on-line nowadays, and the funding from Cumbria County Council gave the extra support that was needed to make it a reality,” he added.

The app is currently available for Android phones on the Google Play Store and is coming shortly for Apple. Although it is available nationwide, it is initially being promoted only in Eden as a pilot.

“I’m hoping that smartphone users in our area will test out the app over the next few months and we’ll use their feedback to make any necessary improvements before it’s promoted nationally,” added Chris.

The app was launched at a “Bring and Take” event on Saturday run by the Penrith and Eden Freegle group, hosted by Eden Arts at the Old Fire Station, Penrith, in partnership with Cumbria County Council. Several hundred people dropped in during the day to give away goods they no longer needed and pick up some things they could make use of.

A chicken coop, furniture, a bath, computer equipment, books, clothes, ornaments and toys were among the many items which changed hands. The goods which were left over after the event were offered to a local charity shop.

“Along with the Freegle website and now the new app, the events help people get things they need while also reducing the amount going to landfill. We’re extremely grateful to Eden Arts and Cumbria County Council for their help with the event.”