A new community initiative is being championed that enables charities and small businesses to swap services and support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. It is a partnership between Business & IP Centre Nottingham (part of the Nottingham City Council Library Services) and the Nottingham CVS.

The Notts Swap Shop, which launched on 12 August, is a free platform that allows organisations and individuals in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to connect with and help each other by swapping skills and services online. Now more than ever, local charities and small businesses are in need of extra support for a wide range of reasons. The aim of the platform is to make it as easy as possible for them to join forces, build new partnerships and help each other to thrive and survive.

The original idea for the venture comes from the much-loved Multi-Coloured Swap Shop children’s TV programme broadcast between 1976 and 1982 – in which children would exchange toys and collectors’ items.

The concept was born in Derby during lockdown and was an instant success, securing 200 registered members in its first three-months. The Derby Swap Shop has since gone on to be named as one of four shortlisted companies in the Midlands ‘entrepreneur for good’ category at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The web platform has now been rolled out in Nottingham by the Derby Swap Shop team (Ask the Chameleon, HUUB Limited and Think3) with support from NCVS and the Business & IP Centre Nottingham.

The first swaps for Nottingham are now live on the Nottingham Swap Shop website (www.nottsswapshop.co.uk/), these include:

  • An award-winning photography/video service, in return for SEO/keyword optimisation for a website
  • Free system for compliant contactless check in (track and trace), in return for support with paid social media advertisements

The platform is flexible and if an organisation is in need of something but isn’t sure what they can offer in return, they can leave their request open to offers.

Jules Sebelin, Head of Business Development & Deputy Chief Executive at NCVS, said: “We are really excited to be part of the Notts Swap Shop!  It will create an ecosystem of mutual support and skills sharing between charities and small businesses that we haven’t been able to achieve before. Usually, charities are on the receiving end but in this instance, they will also have valuable things to add to the swap.”

Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and IT, said:“I’m pleased that the Nottingham Libraries service is working with NCVS and a local East Midlands business to deliver the Swap Shop for Nottingham. It will enable the people of Nottingham to further develop their businesses by utilising their own personal and professional skills in exchange for skills that their business will benefit from. I am excited to see the successful swaps, and hope that it will not only enhance the businesses and their offering, though also help bring communities closer together throughout Nottingham.

Ruth Hawley, Library Lead at the Business & IP Centre Nottingham, said:“At Business & IP Centre Nottingham our aim is to support entrepreneurs and businesses at all stages, and we’re really excited about the potential for creating community in our city and county through Notts Swap Shop, enabling people to share their skills and knowledge and gain the support they need to help their businesses flourish!”

To join the platform and start swapping, you will need to register for a free account on the Notts Swap Shop website, follow this link.

You can also follow the platform on Twitter @NottsSwapShop to see the latest swaps and read the latest success stories.