July 10, 2023

Spotlight on: Bws Benthyg

Bws Benthyg and the reSource CIC Team

In North East Wales, Wales' first Mobile Library of Things has been hitting the road.

Big, bright and green, Bws Benthyg is hard to miss!

Bws Benthyg visits markets, community centers' and other busy locations, brining borrowing to the people of Denbighshire and Flintshire.

In this months blog, we chat to Janine Cusworth, Director of Resource CIC and the brains behind Bws Benthyg!

Who are ReSource CiC?

Resource is a social and environmental enterprise, committed to undertaking positive climate actions and creating volunteering and employment opportunities for individuals distanced from the labour market.

Bws Benthyg Logo

Were did the idea for Bws Benthyg come from?

The Bws is a collaboration between towns and communities of north east Wales that came together to discuss how across our rural communities we can take positive action through borrowing, sharing and repairing. The mobile library of things emerged as a project to connect our rural communities and to promote engagement in Circular Economy activities.

Four people stand in front of a big green bus at the launch of Bws Benthyg
Bws Benthyg Launch at Mold Market. Pictured (L-R) Dafydd Roberts (reSource CIC), Catrin Wager (Benthyg Cymru), Haydn Jones, Mayor of Mold, Janine Cusworth (reSo

What's the response been like to Bws Benthyg locally?

People in our communities are positive about the project, the vehicle is eye catching and engaging and it is through the seeing the Bws that individuals then decide to visit the Bws.

What challenges did you encounter getting Bws Benthyg off the ground?

The start of the project took longer to launch than anticipated, establishing any Library of Things takes a lot of dedication and work. With a mobile vehicle,  finding the correct vehicle, establishing the vehicles schedule and negotiating where the Bws was going to park up for its loaning events were all challenges that I think we had underestimated originally.

What are the benefits of this kind of LoT model?

The mobile LoT suits are geographic community, small towns with expanses of land and small villages in-between, the Bws was modelled from a similar project covering a similar geographical region. Being mobile the Bws is able to engage with communities that may otherwise be isolated or experiencing transport barriers to access a static Library of Things. The Bws has an every extending catalogue of various items to borrow that we are able to share across the wider region, as well as accept donations to add to the Bws. The Bws is also able to attend events, local festivals and schools, the community enjoys seeing seeing the eye catching project and being able to climb aboard the Bws.

If you had one piece of advice to give to someone thinking of setting up a library of things - what would it be?

Be kind to yourself in the early days, and give yourselves plenty of time - setting up of a LoT is a huge task but is worth it in the end!

Wise words there - diolch Janine!

And remember, if you fancy getting your own Library of Things started, drop us a line to see how we can help - info@benthygcymru.org.