Social entrepreneur running recycling website
204. Sam Stephens
A social entrepreneur from Fulham runs an innovative website that lets people share useful items and valuable skills.
Sam Stephens, 37, created the Streetbank website attracting nearly 60,000 members from 81 countries across the world in the 4 years since it began. Users register and post items and skills which they would like to share or give away, or request things that they need. Used goods and skills worth over £1.5 million have been traded, creating stronger community connections and minimising waste.
Streetbank is now the largest website of its kind with over 60,000 members sharing over 60,000 things, from cups of tea to lawnmowers. Through sharing, users are able to save money, make friends and reduce their carbon footprint. With over 1,500 members meeting and sharing every month, the site has been able to save 184 tonnes of waste in 2014 alone. Membership has expanded from London to right across the UK and the site now reaches people in over 81 countries across the world.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Sam has created a unique way to let people to lend a helping hand to their neighbours. Streetbank’s 60,000 users have traded everything from lawnmowers to cups of tea and, since its launch, the site has expanded into an incredible 81 countries. Sam is a great innovator and I am delighted to be naming him a UK Point of Light.”
“I’m honoured that Streetbank.com is being recognised with a Point of Light award. On behalf of the Streetbank team I’d like to thank our 60,000 members for their generosity – for the way that they freely give of their possessions and their time to their neighbours – enriching those around them and improving their communities in the process.”