In 2008, four of our members visited Pickering Civic Society to investigate their Give or Take event. As a result of their investigation, our members were so impressed that they decided to organise a similar event in Whitby. A sub-committee was formed by the late Doreen Wort (President) assisted by Maureen Eves (Secretary) Elizabeth Cheyne (Chair) and Libby Thompson (Treasurer). They were later joined by Heather Wort and Pam Whitlam.
Members of Whitby Civic Society
Elizabeth Cheyne provides some musical entertainment
The theory behind a GOT event was that someone's unwanted goods may be of value to someone else; donating unwanted goods, free of charge and possibly finding something of value for yourself to take away. There was no obligation to bring items in exchange for re-homing others.
As a community event begun at the time of the financial crash, it was realised there was a need to offer this service as well as to re-use items and avoiding them finishing up in landfill. The Society received a small grant from North Yorkshire County Council's re-use scheme to help pay towards the cost of the events. Many donated items were stored in the conservatory and spare room of Dennis and Doreen Wort's home who good-naturedly looked after the items for weeks before each event, as well as keeping the sub committee supplied with tea and biscuits.
GOT events were held twice a year in March and November and offered items that were good enough to re-use. Each session was supported by Civic Society members and their family and friends. Initially, the venue was the West Cliff School but was later moved to the Metropole Ballroom where the larger space was soon filled with extra stalls.
Advertising in the Whitby Gazette, posters, and “word of mouth” meant the GOT events were soon attracting in excess of 100 people who would queue at the door waiting to donate or obtain a bargain. In March 2013 there were 140 people through the door in 2 hours.
The tables offered different categories of goods; textiles, clothing, electrical, gardening, toys and games, soft furnishings, furniture, hobbies and sports equipment were all represented. The largest items re-cycled were a three piece suite and an electric organ.
The goods were weighed as they were taken away in order that we could estimate how much we were helping the environment by avoiding land fill. Items left at the end of the day were given to charities and nothing was thrown away. Give or Take days were very busy days, a lot of hard work, but also very enjoyable for all who joined in. The public always looked forward to the day and asked when the next one was planned for. The project ran from 2009 to 2015. In the current climate, do you think a similar scheme would prove popular?
From October 2015, "Thank you so much for featuring Whitby Civic Society's autumn Give or Take Day in the Gazette. We recycled approximately 355 kg of household goods, toys, books and bric-a-brac. The event was held in the Metropole Ballroom and 109 people visited during the morning and there were 11 helpers on the day. This year's generous donations included a ladder, a flat screen TV, a Christmas tree and a hose pipe reel. All the disused items found homes with new owners and a new lease of life. One man's waste is another man's treasure!"