Social wellbeing

Very often initiatives that support our environment also help us to be more resourceful with our money.

Take a look below at some of the ways you can be green and savings savvy.

Community fridges

Community fridges offer surplus food from supermarkets and other outlets. The food is all perfectly edible and in date and you can pick up whatever you like in exchange for a small donation.

There are locations across Surrey, including:

Food waste cafés

Using donated surplus goods alongside fresh ingredients means that food waste cafes can keep food out of landfill. It also keeps their prices down, tackling food poverty as well as food waste.

Food waste apps

Food waste is a big issue. It is estimated that between a third and a half of all food produced ends up being wasted.

Waste can occur at all 4 stages of the food supply chain – producers, processors, retailers, and consumers.

The good news is that there are now several apps and websites that are helping to tackle the issue by allowing retailers and consumers to sell or buy perfectly good food at a fraction of the cost that you would normally need to pay.

Food banks

Food banks provide emergency food and household supplies for people experiencing financial hardship. They rely heavily on donations from members of the public, supermarkets and local businesses.

Of the 2,000-plus food banks in the UK, around 1,200 are run by anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust, with support from around 40,000 volunteers.

Food bank vouchers are given following referral by Citizens Advice, a social worker or a GP.

Repair cafes

Repair Cafes are community-centred workshops where you can take items in need of repair and work with volunteer fixers to get them mended.

Repairing in this way will save you money and resources, reduce CO2 emissions and you get to have fun along the way.

Bike repair community projects

Bike Project Surrey teaches people how to look after and service their bikes, or to get career skills in working with bikes. A mix of mechanics, students and volunteers recycle bikes and their parts to make them road or off-road worthy again.

According to TfL there are over 27,000 bikes abandoned every year in London alone. Bike Project Surrey in South London take in second-hand bikes and refurbish them. The bikes are then donated to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, with some being sold for cash to the public. A great place to donate an old bike, buy a refurbished one, learn new workshop skills, or befriend a refugee through their bike buddy programme.

Libraries of Things

Why buy when you can borrow? Libraries of Things hold a small collection of useful tools and items for loan to library members.

Re-use shops

Every year the shops divert almost 1,000 tonnes of waste back into good use.

We have four Revive re-use shops in Surrey where you can donate or shop.10% of proceeds goes to charity and the rest of the money is used to offset the cost of running the community recycling centres.

Related links

Be informed about your pension before making changes to it - The Surrey Pension Fund home page.

Be aware of scams - Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards.

Visit our Health and welfare section.

  • Reviewed: 01 Nov 2022