SOME in Penarth may have noticed a rather strange looking bike in the area recently and questioned what it was and why it was there.

The bike is called an 'e-cargo' bike and is used by a sustainability community group called Benthyg to deliver items from their 'library of things' that people have ordered and to collect donations.

Benthyg Penarth is part of the Benthyg group, which has libraries where people can donate items they don't need and borrow other items that they do need.

It is located in Rowleys the Jewllers on Glebe Street and has been open since April 2021.

The library of things contains more than 200 items to borrow for a small fee and the catalogue can be viewed here.

Ella Smillie, one of the founders of Benthyg Cymru, said: "Most of the items have been donated from the community and there's a real wide range of stuff.

"We've got children's dressing up outfits, we've got children's games, we've got disability aids, so we've got a wheelchair.

"We've got DIY and gardening equipment, we've got household equipment, a pasta maker and a food processor.

"So we have a really wide range of stuff that people can borrow and hopefully just make make people's lives easier."

The e-cargo bike is used for large items or for people who are not able to visit the shop in-person so need to have items delivered or collected.

The bike is available for bookings on Wednesday afternoons, though Benthyg are looking to expand this in the future.

Ms Smillie said of the bike delivery service: "It's not supposed to be like a Amazon type service and there is a little bit of a human approach to it, just kind of dropping someone an email or something just to check everything's okay.

"We're improving it as we go along and our approach with everything to do with this project is: 'let's just do it'. 

"Everyone has the idea of sharing resources and borrowing what they need when they need it and giving it back.

"Let's just make it as easy as possible.

"Hopefully we'll just make it even easier as time goes on."

All volunteer bike couriers are given training and another training session will take place soon for anybody who would like to volunteer.

Benthyg Penarth offer other training courses, such as Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) training.

PAT is for electrical appliances that can be moved to ensure that they are safe and Benthyg offer training for this for a qualification that can be used in job applications.


Benthyg Penarth is also on the lookout for people to take part in a project called 'Penarth borrows' which involves ambassadors from the community to blog about their experiences and perspectives on social media.

The ambassadors will be allowed to borrow as much as they want to for free over three weeks.

To get involved, email or visit the website here.

On Friday, January 14, Benthyg Penarth will be running a Christmas gift exchange at the Food Pod on St. Luke's Avenue.

Residents are encouraged to unopened or unused gifts to the exchange to receive tokens.

Participants should then bring these tokens to the Food Pod on Friday, January 21 and use them to pick a different gift to take home.

Alternatively, if there is nothing that they want, they can use the token to borrow something for free from the library of things.

Benthyg Penarth have pledged to donate any gifts that are left over to local community groups that will find the items useful.