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Mums flock to Swopshop

PUBLISHED: 16:47 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:39 23 August 2010

INTERNET HIT: Sarah Butler, Michelle Varnham and Clare Knowles with mum Julie Swanborough.

INTERNET HIT: Sarah Butler, Michelle Varnham and Clare Knowles with mum Julie Swanborough.

MUMS crowded into the first official Swopshop meeting to exchange items from toys to bouncy chairs following the launch of an online sensation. The meetings, run through social networking site Facebook, are the brainchild of young mum Clare Knowles Sinc

MUMS crowded into the first official Swopshop meeting to exchange items from toys to bouncy chairs following the launch of an online sensation.

The meetings, run through social networking site Facebook, are the brainchild of young mum Clare Knowles

Since their launch they have attracted more than 1,200 members. Parents post photographs of the items they no longer need and arrange to meet and swap.

The first meeting last Wednesday at Riverview Scout Hut, in Whinfell Way, Gravesend, drew more than 60 mums.

Mrs Knowles revealed that branches have sprung up in Bromley and Bexley, and across the River Thames in Essex.

She said: "I can't believe how successful it has been. I am thinking about trying to sort out putting together our own website once we get better known."

Supported by her friends, Sarah Butler and Michelle Varnham, Mrs Knowles, 36, charges £1 entry to cover hall hire costs and is looking at advertising opportunities with local businesses. Meetings have been arranged for Swanscombe, Dartford and Strood in the next month.

She added: "My husband keeps asking me: when is this going to make you any money? I'm not sure it will ever be profitable but we are breaking even and having so much fun.

"This is more about creating a community, though of course it would be nice if we could make a business out of it."

To join the group, visit www.facebook.com and search Kent Mums and Dads Swopshop.

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