Comoodle plans to expand its community

Jon Humpleby, Batley Bulldogs’ Community Manager

Comoodle plans to expand its community

The online sharing platform has ambitious plans to double its sign-ups following an impressive 2017 which has seen nearly 700 exchanges made.

The firm started its ‘sharing revolution’ in the West Yorkshire Borough of Kirklees, getting some 250 local groups involved and saving the community tens of thousands of pounds.

Comoodle is continuing its quest to create a ‘sharing revolution’ across Kirklees by encouraging more businesses and community groups to sign-up to its easy-to-use website and start offering ‘stuff, space and skills’.

The likes of Batley Bulldogs RLFC, St Paul’s Church in Mirfield and Huddersfield Mission have all done exactly that to offer some much-needed shares for the district – and Comoodle wants more to come forward and keep raising awareness of its community project.

Duggs Carre, Comoodle project manager, said: “We have now seen the new website live for nine months and in that time, the offers available have increased rapidly – as have the number of signed-up members.”

“What we can’t measure, but in many ways, is more important, are the new connections that have been made and the increase in collaboration that has been borne out of helping others.

“We expect to grow further in 2018 and more than double our offers and membership. There is still so much more ‘stuff, space and skills’ out there that community groups and businesses can use to make all the towns and villages across Kirklees a better place to live.

“We really do believe in sharing.”

Batley Bulldogs RLFC’s Community team has hailed the impact of Comoodle in helping them to borrow the likes of two BATAK walls, a balance rail, trampolines, sports equipment and spinning bikes to stage active events from its community gym at the club’s Heritage Road stadium.

Jon Humpleby, Batley Bulldogs’ community manager, said: “The fact that we are custodians on the Comoodle platform and we are able to use the equipment for free, is fantastic.

“We couldn’t afford two BATAK walls without Comoodle’s help so it’s allowed us to do things that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.

“From a club perspective, it’s really nice for the supporters to see you doing things within the community because the young people are the future fans of the club so we need to engage them.

“It’s also nice to think you’re making a difference within the community – whether it’s getting people active, building confidence or self-esteem. It fits into our whole community strategy.”

Batley Bulldogs are one of several groups across Kirklees to have signed-up to Comoodle to share its ‘stuff, space and skills’ and help events flourish.

Following a flurry of activity across 2017, the online platform has saved the community a total of £36,000 in expenditures such as venue hire, equipment rental and training.

By opening its doors to the community in the heart of the town, Huddersfield, the Mission has been able to offer its spaces, which can hold up to 260 people, to keep-fit classes, support groups, IT sessions and community meetings.

Kayleigh Proctor, from the Mission, said: “We’ve been able to expand on what we offer for the people of Huddersfield thanks to Comoodle.

“Comoodle is about sharing things that are community resources. There’s no massive fees and no high expectations placed on people. It’s a really useful tool.”

The Comoodle project was a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2014 Mayors Challenge, an ideas competition to inspire bold and creative ideas in cities that will improve people’s lives and that have the potential to spread to other cities.

Building owners, businesses and community groups can put any type of available ‘stuff, space and skills’ on Comoodle – from advertising in a shop window to offering venues, sports equipment or training sessions.

It can either be offered completely free or made available for a small charge or donation to charity.