‘Free Stuff Salford’, a Facebook Page established in July this year, is full of people gifting and receiving items in our community.
With eight thousand members, the rules state that ‘all items on the site must be free’, and the page has helped the people of Salford acquire the items they need in a financially-difficult year.
Margaret Barrett, who has been a member since September 2020, said: “I was having a loft clear out so I put most of it on the site, and the whole lot went within a day.”
“I’ve met so many people.”
Margaret explained that she was gifting an item a couple of months ago and her son’s old school friend arrived to collect it:
“I was having a chat with her for ages and it was such a nice surprise.”
The page’s admin, Kira Leigh, said that it helps a lot of people in Salford: “The amount of thanks and feedback we get daily is amazing.”
Bernice Kelly regularly uploads items to the page, and said: “We have gifted quite a few different items such as Christmas decorations and clothes. It’s great for people who are struggling, and the admin do a great job behind the scenes if people don’t like to ask for items publicly.”
Many items on the page are collected and up-cycled. Elena Manukyan, member since July 2020, transformed an old piano stool to match her Salford home.
Some have gone as far to say that it has changed their life: “You have literally saved my life. Yesterday I felt so ashamed to ask for anyone’s help but it was my only option. I was so hungry and worried when I only saw £1.45 in my account.
“I had so many amazing messages on this page from so many wonderful people that it actually made me cry. I don’t have a large freezer, just a few draws, but it is full now. This group has opened my eyes to the amazing people in the world. If anyone needs help once I am back on my feet, don’t worry I will be there for you also.”
Sinead Hulme, mother of two, said that the page is perfect for getting baby clothes:
“They grow out of them so fast! That’s why there’s always baby items on the page. It means I can just nip up the road and collect what other parents no longer need. Everyone is helping each other out in difficult times.”
However, old televisions and Christmas trees seem to be the most popular on the site. She said: “You have to comment quick on things like that.
“They will be claimed within seconds.”
Free Stuff Salford varies from a charity in the way that individual items continue to be re-gifted when someone no longer needs it.
Margaret Barrett said: “It’s good to see the same items re-appearing, it means they’re getting their full usage. I do give some items to charities, it depends what it is.
“The page is different, people who are struggling don’t have to go to charity shops to find cheap clothes for example, they can get it from Free Stuff.”
You can join the page here.