On June 11, over 140 residents across Tunbridge Wells, Langton Green, Rusthall, Southborough, Hawkenbury and High Brooms went outside in the sunshine to sell just about anything, from children’s toys to garden furniture, through the Tunbridge Wells Yard Sale.
Nourish Community Foodbank was named as the event’s partner charity, with the option to donate any earnings to them or a charity of choice. The aim was to also encourage a sense of community. Ingrid Pope, who runs professional coaching business Creating Space, started the yard sale project in 2017 and ran it successfully each year until the two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.
She said: “We sent out about 15,000 leaflets because we wanted to raise awareness. It’s less about the money and more about awareness, we need to regularly remind people about these kinds of charities.”
The yard sale chose the children’s charity Tree of Hope as partner in 2018, and social action organisation Imago in 2019. But the effect of the event is wider than just one charity, with more and more people getting involved over the years.
Ingrid said: “I think the recent Jubilee celebrations encouraged people to get to know their neighbours and then get together as friends and join in with the sale.
“It’s also a good way for people just walking past to get chatting, having interesting conversations with someone you wouldn’t regularly talk to and also discovering new parts of the town.”
Local businesses also got involved in the sale, including vegan restaurant The Plant Base and burger restaurant Roddyburger. Ingrid’s business is based on the philosophy of decluttering our lives in order to stay on track and look after ourselves. She was originally drawn to the idea of a yard sale as a fun way for people to declutter their homes.
She said: “When we have too much clutter it really affects all aspects of our lives, our wellbeing and mental health.
“Putting it in the diary helps people to focus and something to work towards. When faced with these tasks we put them off, but a start is better than nothing.”