We’re delighted to announce that Save Preston Market is the 2021 recipient of the Purpose Community Legends Award.
This year, we’re doing something a bit different with the Purpose Community Legends Award. As we enter our fifth year in business, we’re happy to say that profitability has increased beyond those tough make-or-break early years, and the main reason for that is word-of-mouth recommendations.
While we’re currently enjoying an increasing amount of incoming work, the flipside is that it’s becoming harder and harder to offer people low rates for consulting and services. Happily, it also means that we’re in a position to afford unpaid volunteer work for non-profit causes such as Save Preston Market.
In previous years, we gave Award recipients a 1-for-1 deal which basically meant one hour of “free work” donated for every hour of paid work. This time it’s just 100% free work.
We’ve been working on SEO, content and media strategy around the campaign. It’s going well, and with the endless support and hard yards of the volunteers from the Save The Preston Market Action Group, interest and attention in the fight to save the market from short-sighted development and gentrification is gaining traction.
You can find out all about the specific aims and goals of the campaign on the Save The Preston Market website. This is a perfect example of where the personal becomes political, so please excuse a little storytelling indulgence here!
Why We’re Trying To Save Preston Market
When I first moved from London to Melbourne with nothing more than a single suitcase, I thought that the good UK Pound/Aussie Dollar exchange rate would result in a few cruisey months while we found our feet.
Rent and the cost-of-living wiped out our savings and I had to try and find work immediately. I didn’t want to go back to teaching, and journalism was paying less and less as the internet took over. This was the early days of social media, before the free content machines killed quality journalism, but even then it was getting harder and harder to make a living off writing, or music, or writing about music.
My first ever job in Melbourne was working at an organic fruit and veg stall down at Preston Market after a friend mentioned that they might have some hours going. Not only did it provide a crucial income when we were struggling to find our feet, it also meant that we could get our weekly shopping done for between one-third and one-half of the cost of a supermarket. It was also a hub for the vibrant multiculturalism which we’d taken for granted living in Brixton but which we were sorely missing in Melbourne.
How To Save Preston Market From Redevelopment?
Fast forward a decade – we now have a home and children a couple of kilometres away from the market; it’s become a deeply valued part of our home, our routine and our wider community. We meet friends there, we do the shopping there.
And yet, as property development and house prices continue to rage out of control in our adopted home city, we became dismayed to realise that Preston Market would be the next victim of rapacious development which is turning this fine city into just another faceless 21st century identikit metropolis.
So despite being stretched extremely thin between work, kids, creative commitments and trying to having some kind of actual life, it’s a matter of personal responsibility (and a little bit of pride to be honest) that we have the opportunity to use our skills to help something we deeply care about.
The past couple years of this pandemic have brought one thing closer to home than ever before: the only thing we have is each other. Community is everything, and the antithesis to community is the free market neoliberal vision of capitalism which seeks to treat us all as singular economic units in service to an economy that enriches a few at the expense of the many. I’ll put the soapbox aside, but our vision is one of a world in which we lift each other up rather than simply looking out for number one.
This is a David vs Goliath fight with the future of “the people’s market” taking on the weight of millions of dollars of private investment with state government collusion. We don’t know if we can win, but that won’t stop us from trying.
If you’re on the same page, check out the Save The Preston Market Campaign. Even if you don’t have time to get involved, it helps immensely if you talk to people, sign the petition, post about it on your personal / company social media – or even better, do a blog about it and link to the website.