Olio Stories: How unwanted items can inspire the future generation

Olio Stories 3 min read

When Karen, a preschool manager, first downloaded  the Olio app  she had no idea the impact it would have not only on her own life but also the families in her community. Intrigued by the idea of reducing waste and finding useful items, she began her Olio adventure.

Karen first spotted a vintage phone on Olio, sparking the idea that it could be a fantastic way to help children at her preschool develop their numeracy skills.  Soon, she found herself regularly browsing the listings to explore the wide array of items available.

It’s really brilliant for the children to have real life items, but naturally I don’t want to go to Argos and buy a 40 quid phone if I can potentially get stuff like that for free off Olio whilst also helping to prevent waste.

Through Olio Karen was able to obtain real-life objects for the children’s play and learning, whether it was envelopes for making letters, phones for numeracy exercises, or books for arts and crafts. Olio became a real opportunity for Karen to enhance the children’s learning experiences whilst also alleviating the strain on the preschool’s limited budget.

It’s just amazing seeing the joy and excitement from the children who are using the resources that I’ve managed to get and of course it helps stretch the preschool’s limited budget too.

It only took a matter of weeks before Karen signed up to become a Food Waste Hero, collecting and redistributing food from a local Tesco that would otherwise go to waste. In turn this has helped to spread the word around the community about Olio and offer a helping hand to any families in need. Karen encouraged struggling parents to explore Olio’s surplus food section and also to share clothes and items their children had outgrown with other families in the local community.

I often share some of the food from my collections with the parents and staff. They’d ask where it’s coming from and I’d explain – they think it’s amazing.

In a world where waste and limited resources are pressing issues, Karen’s story exemplifies the power of sharing; enabling a preschool to thrive, strengthening community connections, and spreading the spirit of sustainability. It really goes to show how your unused or unwanted items can be so gratefully received by someone else – or a whole preschool!

Favourite thing about Olio?

Oh gosh. One thing. I guess just enabling the children to experience those real life objects, to enhance their play, further their development, and generally engage them throughout their learning.

Favourite Olio item?

I picked up an exercise bike, which is just great – I couldn’t believe an item like that was being shared for free!

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