We’re on the WISH team!

We’re very grateful to have received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to join Cherwell Collective’s WISH (Waste Innovation Station) Partnership!

What is WISH?

WISH is a Climate Action Partnership looking to build infrastructure for the first truly circular economy in the UK. Following a pilot phase in Kidlington, supporting outreach and and practical solutions to reduce waste including direct redistribution and repurposing, WISH has now received £1.5m from the National Lottery Community Fund to expand this work across the county.

We are one of more than 30 organisations in the network, including Oxford United Football Club and Oxford University Development, Botanic Gardens, and Natural History Museum. The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund directly supports work by Cherwell Collective, Good Food Oxfordshire, Community Action Groups, Oxford City Farm, Thames Valley Environmental Records (TVERC), Wild Oxfordshire, Oxford Food Hub and us.

Achieving more together

Overall, WISH aims to improve infrastructure and increase transparency to support waste reduction and sustainable consumption. Whilst we will continue to focus on sharing and repair of household “stuff”, the network brings together experts in supporting nature, making great choices on food, creative use of waste, carbon literacy and more and will build an inspiring, more complete picture of sustainable choices we can all enjoy making.

SHARE has been granted £42k over the next 5 years, which we’ll use to:

  • enhance our library of things and repair cafés
  • help open more libraries of things and repair cafés, including reaching communities we don’t currently serve
  • help build a map and calendar to make it easier to find sharing, repairing and second hand services and events in the county
  • share findings with the network and impact evaluation team
  • contribute to joint promotion of WISH work

We are thrilled to be involved and look forward to sharing news from the network over the coming months!


Santa’s Sustainable Toy Swap

This Black Friday, 24th November, from 11am-7pm, we’re running a toy swap at Westgate Oxford. Drop off a good quality toy that’s no longer played with and take home a new (to you) toy!

In the UK, an astounding 25 million Christmas Toys go unused and we were delighted to be invited to join Westgate’s “Wasteless Wonderland” Market to offer something a bit different this year.

The SHARE Oxford team will be on hand too if you’d like to learn more about the Library of Things or Repair Cafés.

We’re grateful to John Lewis for donating some ex-display toys and puzzles to contribute to what you bring along on the day. Any excess donations will be given to local charities to distribute before Christmas.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Right to Repair

You may have spotted plenty of activity at this year’s #RepairDay talking about “Right to Repair”. It’s great to see progress on this issue, which will help communities like us do more for ourselves.

What’s this about?

The main “ask” is for legislators to help remove barriers to repair, for example manufacturers using software to block use of parts. Right-to-Repair Europe summarise this in a neat animation complete with a soundtrack which was presumably produced on a well-maintained 32-year old Atari.

Repair.EU animation about right to repair

Support the UK Campaign

UK Repair and Reuse Declaration

We’re one of more than 200 repair groups, businesses and politicians who have signed the UK Repair and Reuse Declaration, put together over the summer, led by the Restart Project. They explain the background here.

What happens to our e-waste

The declaration acknowledges that in the UK we have one of the biggest e-Waste challenges in the world and asks the government to support those of us working for a more sustainable future. The requests are:

  • Making repair more affordable, through tax reductions and repair vouchers.
  • Expanding the UK’s right to repair regulations to cover all consumer products, strengthen design standards and remove barriers to repair for everyone.
  • Introducing a repair index to help the public choose more repairable and durable products.
  • Introducing requirements and targets for reuse and repair to be prioritised over recycling and providing investment to make this a reality. This should be a key part of amended extended producer responsibility rules.
  • Supporting a new generation of repairers through repair training, accreditation and apprenticeships.

If you’d like to get involved, you can ask your organisation to sign up, or use the online tool to quickly email your local MP. Let’s get Annelise Dodds and Layla Moran’s names on that list!


We’re hiring a Librarian

We’re delighted to announce that we’re recruiting for an additional Librarian of Things. If all goes well, we’re planning to open on Mondays from January, helping make hiring and sharing more convenient for more people.

If you’re interested in the role, please check out the job advert here and get your application to us by the end of November.

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed funds or time to help us get to this point. We couldn’t do it without you.

Finally, if you are able to help spread the word to make sure this opportunity reaches as many people as possible, particularly those who don’t already know about SHARE Oxford, we would be very grateful.


New video guide!

Big thank you to our volunteer Ranulf for putting together a great new video which explains how the Library of Things works. Check it out on the “How to” page for the Library.

What else would you like to see videos of? Would you be interested to share photos or video of the projects you’ve done? If so, please give Ben a shout and he’ll put you in touch with Ranulf!


Repair Day 2023!

We’ve been pleased to see more activity than ever around the 7th International Repair Day coming up on 21st October. Of course, our Repair Café team are in action on Sunday 22nd. Book a slot if you haven’t already!

If you’re keen to find out more, here are a few links to groups all helping make repair available to all.

Talking Throwaway Society with BBC Radio Kent

Ben was pleased to be invited for a chat with Steve Ladner on BBC Radio Kent this week. Have a listen here, or check out BBC sounds for an interesting morning of discussion on moving on from our throwaway society.

The Restart Project

This blog explains the work the Restart Project are doing with the UK Government to help improve repairability, and showcases activity around the UK and Europe getting more stuff repaired. They have also helped set up a new Community Repair Network and we’re excited to see how this can help groups like us collaborate to achieve more.

Demonstrators promoting repairing in our society

Open Repair Alliance

The ORA have some great suggestions of simple jobs you can do yourself to extend the life of your things, and a map of all sorts of repair events going on to celebrate Repair Day.

What’s on locally

Low Carbon East Oxford have been running clothing repair stalls at the East Oxford Farmers’ and Community Market for several months now – offering advice and simple hand-sewn mends. They’ve had great conversations and fixed a whole range of clothes, the odd bag, all kinds. So if your jumpers turn out to be holey, or your coat buttons are hanging off, bring them along. Happy to demonstrate a few tricks and encourage us all to keep fixing – loved clothes last! 

Clothing Repair Stall East Oxford Farmers' and Community market 21st Oct 23 10-1

Cherwell Collective are hosting an Online Repair Café on Discord to celebrate International Repair day. check out the instructions for joining here.

Look out for updates from other local groups on CAG Oxfordshire’s facebook group.

And if you’d like us to link to your event here, do let us know and we’ll update this post!


Sharing our harvest

Since getting involved with SHARE Oxford, it’s been a joy to learn more about all the groups in the county helping us to make the most of the fruit and veg available this time of year. It looks like some of us are in for a bumper year after a rainy summer too!

If you’ve got some excess you’re wondering what to do with, need a hand collecting it, or want to help others make sure every apple, pear and blackberry in the county goes to good use, I hope these are useful groups to take a look at.

Need the kit?

We have some handy bits and bobs for harvesting in the Library of Things. Our long-handled fruit picker was ideal for my plum tree which isn’t strong enough for a ladder yet. And we’ve got various buckets, wheelbarrows and festival wagons to help you transport your haul.

If you’re keen to try your hand at juicing, hopefully you’ll find our community apple press near you soon with a local CAG, or we have a smaller hand one and some electric juicers.

If you’re making jam or chutneys, a big saucepan or thermometer might help complete your kit.

And of course, if you’re pruning or preparing for autumn planting, we have plenty of gardening tools for those bigger jobs.

Need or want to lend a hand?

There are so many groups helping make sure no food goes to waste at harvest time. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few to check out!

Abundance Oxford aim to make sure no fruit in the city is wasted by helping pick excess and donate it to local community groups. Their facebook group has details of upcoming apple pressing and harvesting, or drop them a note at if you have a tree you’d like help with.

Cherwell Collective have a “gleaning” WhatsApp group to get people together wherever fruit needs picking in their Kidlington area. Good Food Oxfordshire have written an interesting blog post on gleaning in discussion with the Earth Trust if you’re interested to find out more.

Finally, CAG Oxfordshire’s member’s listing and facebook group are good places to find your local groups who, if not already helping make the most of the harvest, will be happy to work with you.

…and of course, if you’d like to share details of any groups helping to maximise the harvest this year, do add details in the comments below or email them to!

Seeds to spare?

And a last little reminder, if you’ve got any seeds going spare, drop them down to Christine when we’re open, or leave them in an envelope at our South door letterbox with a note describing what they are, so we can share them in time for spring through our seed library!

seed library

We asked you about clutter…

We’re always keen to do more to help you consume and waste less.

Back in September 2022, we asked about your experiences of sharing and in particular those things you bought that you wished you’d be able to borrow.

We’re really grateful to everyone who shared your thoughts. You’ve given us plenty of ideas to improve what we do now and add more services in the future.

For those who love a bit of analysis, have a read of the below!

We are keen to build up more case studies to show where our Library of Things or Repair Cafés have helped. If you’re happy to have a chat so we can write up a few words and share some pics of what you’ve been doing with Library equipment or what our repairers kept alive, please get in touch with Ben.


Another SHARE Year!

We can’t quite believe we’ve got another year of sharing and repairing under our belts. June is our year end and it’s a good moment to pause and reflect on what the SHARE community has achieved in the last 12 months.

We will pull together a full impact report in the coming weeks, but as a brief taster, here are some key stats on loads of sharing and repairing!

We have been delighted to be involved in collaborations and projects with CAG, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford Wood Recycling, Sustainable Wantage, Bicester Green, Ovada, Marston Community Gardening and others.

This is on top of lots of important work going on behind the scenes including becoming a charity, setting up to hire our first employee, refreshing our policies and procedures ready to grow, fundraising, crowdfunding and so much more.

We are cracking straight on into our 2023-4 year, aiming to expand our library and repairing offers, activate our community sharing group to help others delivering services in their communities and hopefully announce some exciting projects and partnerships soon!

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed and supported us so far. We appreciate it hugely.


More Libraries of Things for Oxfordshire

We’re excited to share details of three new Libraries of Things now open, in Abingdon, Bicester and Wantage!

We’ve been part of project to support this pilot, working with CAG Oxfordshire, Oxford Wood Recycling, Sustainable Wantage and Bicester Green, supported by Oxfordshire County Council’s Waste and Recycling Team.

You’ll find links to all three new Libraries of Things on the CAG Oxfordshire’s Library of Things page

Keen to start your own library?

As part of the project, we’ve also written a resource guide, sharing our experience of setting up the Library of Things, and offering tips we hope will help anyone else starting on this journey. The resource guide and video are also on the CAG page.