Have you got any spare Things?

Do you happen to have a carpet cleaner or pressure washer you don’t really use? We could use your help if so! 

In May 2023, Share Bristol celebrated two years of operation from our library of things in Kingswood. We started slowly, with local people not always realising how useful a resource the library could be, but that has certainly changed over the last few months. 

The number of borrowers each month has quadrupled since December, meaning there is high demand for some of the most popular things in the library catalogue. We just can’t keep up with the demand for certain things, with the most popular being reserved months in advance by people who are super-organised! And with another library due to open in Bedminster later this year, the need for good quality items that people want to borrow is ramping up.   

So, we’re putting out a plea for donations of our most popular things. Our carpet cleaners have been loaned out 26 times in the first six months of the year – although sadly one was stolen from a member of the library when it was on loan, increasing pressure on the remaining ones. Pressure washers are also proving popular at the moment, with 19 loans in the last few months. Do you know anyone who might be willing to donate one?

Share Bristol really needs the kind of things that people use just a few times a year. We know that people have them sitting in their garages and under the stairs, so we are hoping that people will be willing to have a bit of a spring de-clutter and clear out and donate their unwanted things to Share Bristol. The best bit is that you can always borrow them back if you become a member of the library!’

Anna Perry, a volunteer Director with the Share Bristol team

If you have something you are willing to donate, please email us on with the details and we will get back to you in a few days.

Kingswood Bedminster

Opportunity to double your impact

Our story about Share Bristol bringing a Library of Things to South Bristol certainly generated a lot of interest last month – if you shared our posts on social media or told your friends, thank you. Now we’re offering you a unique way to join our club, and either become a Member for the first time or renew your Membership. 

We have secured a ‘match fund’ from Aviva Community Fund, meaning that for every pound you donate, Aviva will also donate a pound. But this isn’t just a donation that will help make sure that Bristol gets a library south of the river, there’s also a clear benefit for you. 

Annual membership of Share Bristol usually costs £50 per year, and then everything is free to borrow. However, we are offering gift certificates for a year’s membership for every £50 donated. So if you want to join the Library, you can donate £50 through the crowdfunder page, receive a gift certificate to start your membership whenever you choose and Share Bristol will receive £100 in total! This will make a real difference to our funds, help our Kingswood library be on a firmer footing and help us open our BS3 branch. 

But one of the principles behind Share Bristol is that borrowing should be affordable for everyone, so Concession memberships for people receiving benefits are £20 for a year, and every £20 donation will also attract a £20 gift voucher – enough for a year of membership for someone on a low income, or a down payment for a Standard Membership. 

The takeaway from all of this is: if you’re going to join Share Bristol, please donate through the Crowdfunder page, as we will get double the income thanks to Aviva. 
You can find out more and donate here:


Broken records at Share Bristol

February 2023 saw nearly all records being broken at Share Bristol, following a huge amount of interest in a second library in BS3.

Last month we shared the news that we are hoping to bring a Library of Things to Bedminster. Our press release certainly caused a stir, with the email inbox getting a bit busy! Sorry if it took longer than usual for us to respond, we were a bit overwhelmed with all the attention for a little while, as we are just a team of volunteers plus our 15 hour a week Library Manager (Abi).  

We have been looking for new volunteer Directors to join the team though to give us a bit more capacity, and the level of interest prompted quite a few applications (keep an eye on the About Us webpage for news on that soon!). We’re still looking for a finance lead and a marketing expert though, so do pass it on to anyone you know with those skills. 

We were so pleased to see the reaction to the possibility of a Library of Things in Bedminster – we received offers of help, volunteer applications, donations of things, even people offering premises! We know the Library of Things concept makes sense on every level, but it’s always wonderful when other people agree! 

The surge in media attention also brought more people to our existing Library in Kingswood. 

February saw a record 129 people pop in to see the team to find out what it’s all about, and 35 new members signing up – smashing the previous record of 26 back in July 2021, shortly after we opened. The Library now has well over 200 members, still small but growing every month, who borrowed more items last month than ever before.

Bizarrely, the most popular items borrowed in February were cake stands! One member (one of our volunteer Directors, Anna) borrowed all nine of them for a charity cake sale, which ended up raising £4,100 for Great Western Air Ambulance Charity! If anyone fancies running a cake sale like that for us then sign us up now! 

In second and third place were the more traditional drills and pressure washers – usually some of the most popular items. However, carpet cleaners are also in hot demand at the moment – lots of spring cleaning underway! 

We really hope that interest in Share Bristol and the Library of Things movement continues to grow, as we rely almost entirely on membership income to run. 

This month we’re launching a Crowdfunder with the support of Aviva Community Fund, hoping to raise thousands towards opening the BS3 branch. Each donation can be used to pay for membership of the library in future, and thanks to Aviva each donation is doubled! Watch this space for more details.


Director opportunity

We’re looking to strengthen our leadership team with the addition of a few new directors, and are specifically looking for skills in governance, marketing and engagement, and fundraising and partnership development.

Why be a director with Share Bristol?

In her day job, Anna Perry is CEO of Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, but at evenings and weekends she is a volunteer director of Share Bristol Community Interest Company. But why? Read on to find out, and discover if a director role might be good for you too.

When Judith and Ben, our two founding directors, told me about their plans for a Library of Things in Bristol, I was intrigued. I had vaguely heard about such things before, but it wasn’t something I had ever really thought about. However, I am always keen to reduce my impact on the environment, and often thought I might end up working for an environmental charity. That hasn’t been how my career panned out, so taking on a volunteer role with Share Bristol seemed like a great way to do my bit.

I also know how lucky I am to be able to afford to buy the things I need, and to have a shed and a loft to store them. But so many other people aren’t as lucky, and have just as much need for tools, camping gear and stuff for parties as I do. The Library of Things allows people to have access to about 500 different Things, for an annual membership fee that is affordable for the vast majority of people. It’s such a no-brainer!

Our small team of directors meets every two to three months, so the commitment isn’t big. We might prepare a short paper each on what we’ve been up to, as we each have our own areas of responsibility, and we have to read information in advance on the finances, approve policies and discuss Share Bristol’s strategy and performance.

Share Bristol has one part-time employee, working 15 hours a week. This isn’t much, so the director role can be hands on at times – I generally volunteer in the library two or three Saturdays a month, totalling 8-12 hours of commitment. Other directors do more or less, spread across our three opening days or on tasks at home or out and about. Volunteering in the Library of Things is fun and really helps with a deep understanding of how we run and who we serve – you get to spend time with great volunteers, have chats with members as they come in, explain what we do and who we are to people who drop in, and most importantly pick up and drop off the things you have borrowed yourself!

However, we believe that many hands make light work, so we are looking to expand the team of directors, and are ideally looking for three people who have skills in governance, marketing and engagement, and fundraising and partnership development. This would bring the board of directors up to full strength.

If you have experience in one or more of these areas, have a few hours to spare each month, and want to do your bit for the environment and community inclusion, my question is ‘Why wouldn’t you get in touch to find out more?’

Interested to know more?

Download the Director Recruitment Pack for full details, including the role description, person specification and how to apply.

You can also read about the current team on our About Us page.


Our first birthday

We are celebrating one year of helping people in the Bristol area to borrow!

Back in May 2021 we opened Bristol’s first Library of Things on Kingswood high street, focused on growing a community of borrowers across the city who share resources such as tools for DIY and gardening projects, kit for adventures and parties, and things for cleaning and to entertain.

Over the past year the Library of Things catalogue has increased to nearly 500 things that can be borrowed, through donations of unused things from the local community, and the opening hours have been expanded to be more convenient for more people. 

You can join up with an annual membership and then borrow anything you like for free, as much and as often as you like. 

The top ten most popular things to borrow have been a pressure washer, multi-detector, carpet cleaner, garden shredder, wallpaper stripper, orbital sander, cake stand, projector, strimmer, drill and projector. These are all things that our borrowers only use every now and then. By having these things stored and maintained at the Library of Things it frees up space in our homes, as well as helping our wallets and the planet too.

There’s been a lot of energy, thought and action happening in the past year to make the Library of Things a reality for Bristol, and we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us.  Our thanks go out to our people – our volunteer librarians and thing technicians, those who help behind the scenes and out and about to make sure we’re meeting the needs of the community and running smoothly, and to all those who have borrowed instead of bought, tried before they have bought and given us words of encouragement. This first year also wouldn’t have been possible without financial support from individuals, South Gloucestershire Council, Brevio and Sovereign Housing. We’re very grateful for their belief in our idea to bring this resource to Bristol. So however you’ve supported us – thank you!

If you’d like to find out more about joining or getting involved with Share Bristol visit us at 1-5 High Street, Kingswood or look online at