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They started as a way of doing the right thing by vulnerable neighbours during the pandemic: WhatsApp groups asking if anybody along the street needs help, for example with shopping.
A year and a half later, these community groups continue to thrive and have evolved into a means of swapping and sharing goods – offering everything from spare dog food to a free car.
It’s a picture mirrored across the country: community connections made in the peak of the pandemic helping to create unofficial swap shops. This sharing culture has exploded since the onset of coronavirus, according to a pre-WhatsApp website dedicated to giving away items for free. Postings on the Freecycle Network, a non-profit platform started in 2003, increased by 50% in June 2020, its executive director Deron Beal has revealed.
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