Governments at all levels of the United Kingdom are grappling with the effects of austerity. Localities are being asked to deliver more resources to their citizens with less national support. Meanwhile, community and volunteer organizations have the will, enthusiasm, and desire to do more in their neighborhoods, but lack resources – such as buildings, tools and even specific skill sets. These resources are often present in the community, but not readily accessible to those who need them, when they need them.
Comoodle is a way of creating a means for citizens, community groups and local services to share their resources – stuff, space and skills – for the benefit of the whole community. Comoodle provides an easy-to-use website that allows people to borrow and share resources that would otherwise be under-used. By providing an online space for municipal, community (NGO), and private assets to be shared, Comoodle empowers the local authority act as a facilitator rather than only a provider of services. Comoodle encourages citizens and community groups to use public assets, like tools or buildings, to provide community support services that are increasingly outside budget capacity.
Comoodle built a sharing website and a network of citizens and community groups who use it to share resources, skills and spaces across Kirklees. Almost 3,000 people are part of the Comoodle network, and there are over 700 regular users in Kirklees, accessing 2,500 resources that have been made available by the Council and community groups. In total, 1,500 Comoodle trades have been completed, benefitting over 65,000 citizens.
Comoodle fostered stronger community spirit, connectedness and a vibrant and impactful local community. 100% of Comoodle users said that the activities supported by the website had a positive impact on their lives, and that it fostered meaningful collaboration with others.