Swap Shop goes national

East Midlands business swapping website goes national to reach more small businesses and charities during the pandemic.

With Lockdown 2.0 already taking hold and understanding the specific needs of small businesses and charities, the Swap Shop phenomenon created in Derby is now available across the UK.  Created by three local businesses – bid-writing consultancy Ask the Chameleon, triathlon kit specialist HUUB, and creative and design agency think3  – the platform has had considerable success in swapping  goods and services in order to survive and thrive during the pandemic.

Borrowing the concept from Multi-coloured Swap Shop, the popular 1970s children’s television show, where someone needing something would offer up an exchange, the original Derby Swap Shop was born in May. After great success in Derby, additional Swap Shops were created in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire and the platform has over 500 members and climbing.

Rachel Hayward from Ask the Chameleon said: “We have been overwhelmed with support for Swap Shops in the East Midlands and seen a positive response from small businesses and charities alike to help each other to get through this.  We were contacted from businesses across the UK, from Kent, Peterborough and beyond, wanting to know if we were launching a swap shop in their areas.  When Lockdown 2 took hold, we knew we couldn’t wait any longer. We had to launch a national swap shop”

Tracy Harrison from Safe and Sound, a charity which supports at risk and exploited children, was one of the first to be a part of the swapping revolution. She spoke about her experience saying: “I am lucky to have been able to swap multiple times, I originally offered safeguarding advice in return for a CRM. I managed to get a response for help with a CRM without having to swap anything in return. Swap Shop is about helping each other and being flexible.”

Award-winning BSL Interpreter Sarah Gatford was hit hard by Covid-19, however in true entrepreneurial style she responded by putting her talents to great effect as an NLP practitioner. Sarah has discovered a passion for working with people to address their phobias and anxieties and established a new company, Phoenix Therapies.  Keen to promote her new services, Sarah turned to Swap Shop to help her raise her profile. Sarah said: ‘Swap Shop is such a great initiative. I wanted to build my new venture and being part of Swap Shop is a great way to do that. I help people with their phobias and anxieties in exchange for recommendations and exposure to build my business.”

Over 15 completed swaps have taken place across the East Midlands, including support with social media, coaching, filming and photography, legal advice and testimonials for start up businesses. Any small business or charity can create an account for free, write out their swap on the website and the team then uses social media across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to find suitable matches.

Dean Jackson from Huub, another co-founder said: “ The Swap Shop will build on our experience locally of running area-based swapping over the past six months.  Every day we hear about new partnerships and opportunities arise out of those initial swaps and members are coming back time and time again to see what else is on offer and who they can help.  It goes to show how much we can support each other using a model that plays homage to our childhood”

Gaz Jones from think3, the creative agency responsible for designing the platform, added “This national free-to-use platform is the ideal place for charities and small businesses across the UK to connect and support each other, opening up new and exciting possibilities from all over the country. We are proud to have built a way to get through this together”

Head to https://theukswapshop.co.uk/ and create your free account now.

Do you have a question about Swap Shop? Then email us at [email protected].

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