A New Year Brings New Challenges

Fay and Sarah who run PlantSwap
Fay and Sarah

New Year, new challenges.

For people who don’t know us, hello! We’re Sarah and Fay and we have been running PlantSwap since 2017.

We love PlantSwap, the ethos and the community and happily donate our time and energy.

This year we are asking for your help too with a suggested donation of £3 at our swaps. This will help us cover the costs and expansion too.

Putting down roots

As PlantSwap has grown and developed beyond our wildest dreams so have costs. Expenses that were small for one swap are now significant when expanded across multiple swaps a year. 

Costs include things like paper, printing, photocopying and laminating, web-hosting, stationary and petrol. Then there are the big chunky expenses like insurance, A-boards and wooden signs, aprons, potting mix and grow lights. Currently we meet a lot of the costs ourselves.

Shelving and grow lights for our PlantSwap plant creche
Shelving and grow lights for our PlantSwap plant creche

At the end of last year we realised that the costs involved in running swaps was holding us back from doing as much as we wanted to do and limited our ability to grow the community and events.

When we had 160 people at our September swap it was clear that there was a major demand that we weren’t catering to. We want to be able to support that.

We are going to try to cover those costs with donations raised at each swap. After all, when we were starting out we collected donations for awesome local groups like SAGE to meet their aims. It’s about time we lived up to our potential too!

Why PlantSwap

Not only is Plant Swap fun, friendly and full of plants, we have a serious mission too. Sharing a love of plants is also about breaking down barriers between people, building connections and communication across the city. It means promoting green, environmentally conscious and more sustainable ways to acquire new plants.

By sharing plants, skills and knowledge PlantSwap is building a supportive community, bringing existing plant lovers together. Sharing that enthusiasm and enjoyment with newbies means they connect with nature and develop confidence and enjoyment in plants too!

It has been great hearing from members what the group means to them:

“I used to kill every plant that came into the house (with love, not malice 😄), but thanks to the no-pressure of swapping and the ethos of sharing advice and information, I am now drowning in plants. They don’t all die! To the extent that I expect to be bringing at least 6 but potentially 10! rooted avocados to the next swap.


Our plans for 2020

Every penny raised from donations will go back into PlantSwap. We would like to be able to afford larger venues for busy swaps as well as more swaps in more parts of Sheffield. We also need solutions to store plants between swaps including shelving and grow lights.

We want to help set up local groups in places like Barnsely and Manchester (we’ve had requests!) and get them running swaps of their own. And we have a super secret, exciting swap project planned for the summer!

You are part of that

Most importantly we want you to be part of this too and by donating £3 at the swap you can help great things happen! We want PlantSwap to be accessible to everyone so remember you are welcome no matter the donation you can afford.

We want this to be a community where we support each other. If you can donate more than £3 you would be helping to support someone who can’t.

And if you have any other ideas about how we can make sure that PlantSwap is sustainable as it grows or how we can reach more people, get in touch. We want to do more and make a real difference to bring people and plants together.