Keep yourself in the loop

Image by Önder Örtel from Pixabay

You may have noticed that you’ve not heard much from us on this blog for a while now. This is because Make:Shift has integrated with Wolverhampton for Everyone. We’re working towards Wolverhampton becoming a people-powered city – a place where Make:Shift is every day.

We’d love it if you came and joined us over there and signed up for regular updates.

Hope to see you there.

Make:Shift 2019 is here

Make:Shift is back! On 16 November we will be meeting up at The Workspace, All Saints, for Wolverhampton’s annual ideas festival.


This year we’ll be focusing on “Small Change. Big Difference” i.e. the small things we can all do that don’t require a huge time commitment or a massive effort, yet can make a major difference to our communities.

All the stuff you know and love will be there – inspiration, excitement and encouragement come as standard at Make:Shift. We’ll also be revisiting our successes from previous years, looking at overcoming barriers and, of course, we’ll be eating lots of fresh homemade cake.

Watch out for sessions on Push Through Play, Inspiration Station and an opportunity to see some of the talks from TEDxWolverhampton earlier this year.

By the end of it all we hope you’ll feel sufficiently motivated to pitch an idea of your own and, of course, we’ll be getting behind you to make it a reality.

Tickets are entirely free but it would be useful if you could book one just so we can make sure we get enough cake.

You can nab yours free here.

Please tell all your friends and contacts. This is too good to keep to yourself!

Make:Shift 2019 date announced, and we need you to help us plan it


I am, delighted to announce that the date for Make:Shift 2019 will be Saturday 16th November 10:00 – 13:00 at The Work Space, All Saints Road, Wolverhampton.

Last year’s event was amazing, with loads of energy and ideas. We want this year to be just as amazing, if not better, and that’s where you come in. We’re asking for people to put themselves forward to help to co-create Make:Shift 2019.

So if you think you can help us to recreate that old Make:Shift magic then please get in touch by emailing

Some of the original features will be in place – people sharing their vision of changing Wolverhampton with an idea is an essential ingredient. And cake, there must be cake.

The rest is up to you…

I can’t wait to hear from you.


Wolverhampton to start its own Repair Cafe


What do you do with a broken toaster? Or with a bike when the wheel is broken? Or with a sweater full of moth holes? Toss it? No way! Wolverhampton For Everyone is organising the first Repair Café at Gatis Street Community Space, Gatis Street, Wolverhampton. WV6 0ET on Saturday 23 March 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.




Starting from 11:00 am and ending at 1:00 pm, Wolverhampton for Everyone would like to introduce you to Repair Cafes where everything centres on making repairs. We will tell you all about Repair Cafes and how you can get involved in the next one either as a ‘fixer’ (someone that helps people do repairs) or by bringing things along to be repaired. Various volunteer repair experts (or fixers) will be available to help make all sorts repairs with you free of charge. Tools and materials will also be on hand. People visiting the Repair Café will bring along their broken items from home. Toasters, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bikes, toys, crockery… anything that is broken is welcome and can more than likely be repaired. Our Repair Café fixers usually have the know-how and will work with you to repair your items. 


By promoting repairs, Wolverhampton for Everyone wants to help reduce mountains of waste. This is absolutely necessary, according to Adam Billington, who is part of the group leading the initiative. “We throw away piles of stuff in the United Kingdom. Even things which have practically nothing wrong with them, and which could easily be used again after a simple repair. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can have things repaired. Wolverhampton Repair Café wants to change all that.”


Repair Café is also meant to put neighbours in touch with each other in a new way and to discover that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home. Adam added that, “If you repair a bike, a CD player or a pair of trousers together with a neighbour you didn’t previously know, you will have something in common the next time you see them. Jointly making repairs can lead to so much more than doing the repairs themselves. This is at the heart of our approach”

Bill points out that repairs can save money and resources and can help minimise CO2 emissions. “But above all, our Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.” 

Wolverhampton Repair Café is a partnership of local organisations which includes Gatis Community Space, the Hope Community, Wood Saints, Newhampton Arts Centre, Ashmore Park Hub, local individuals, Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and City of Wolverhampton Council.


Make:Shift 2018 is going to be awesome!

International speaker Tom Llewellyn from Shareable

As we prepare for Make:Shift 2018 (on 17 November 10:00 am – 1:30 pm) we are thrilled to be able to announce that we have managed to secure Tom Llewellyn from Shareable as a speaker at the event. Tom is renowned for his story telling so is bound to be a compelling speaker. Tom has written two books, spoken across the world and is Strategic Partnerships Director at Shareable (an organisation dedicated to all things related to the sharing economy).


Tom has agreed to talk to us at Make:Shift and host a breakout group for us, which is all bound to be absolutely fascinating.

Get your free ticket now

As always, tickets for Make:Shift are absolutely free but are bound to be in demand. Make sure you stay ahead of the game by booking your ticket now.



Bringing Soup to Wolverhampton

Bringing SOUP to Wolverhampton is an invitation to come along to find out more about SOUP (not just the tasty meal version). We are hoping that by sharing this community crowdfunding idea, which started in Detroit, you will feel inspired to be part of the Wolverhampton SOUP organising group!

You can book your free place here


To make SOUP a reality in Wolverhampton, we will need a diverse group of people to help make it happen. Those who can promote events on social media, find artists to showcase their work, organise the food, encouraging people to pitch their idea and many more roles. Basically, if you live or work in Wolverhampton and want to help make it an even greater place to be – please think about coming along to this session!

We will provide some light refreshments, information on what it takes to organise a SOUP, a guest speaker with direct experience and an opportunity to connect with others who have an interest in making positive change in Wolverhampton.
SOUP’s mission is to promote community-based development through crowdfunding, creativity, collaboration, democracy, trust, and fun.

What we hope Wolverhampton SOUP will bring:
• Empowered residents
• New relationships and connections created
• Promote action and change
• Foster critical dialogue
• Create pride in our City or neighbouhood

We are very please to welcome John Goodman, from Dudley SOUP, who will be our guest at the informal session, he will give some insight into the successes and learning from being involved in Dudley SOUP and answer any questions. If you recognise the name, yes it is the same John Goodman who works in Wolverhampton for Big Lottery.
There are successful SOUPs all over the country and we would like to test whether the idea will work for people here in Wolverhampton.
We hope that you are able to come along and find out more!

A trio of treats


The Real Junk Food Cafe

In this blog we’ll be bringing you up to date with three fantastic initiatives:

  1. Crowdfund Wolves 

Well things have certainly moved along at a pace since the launch of Crowdfund Wolves at Make:Shift back in November 2017. Since then we have launched the site more formally at the Light House Media Centre in March. We already have four projects live on the site. You can check them out here. They are all fantastic projects and would all appreciate your support. You can get behind them for as little as £2:00.

We also have a number of other projects in the pipeline. Because interest is so high, we have arranged a special free workshop for anyone with a project idea now or in the future. The workshop will be a practical session going through everything that you need to know to set up a successful crowd funding campaign of your own. It will take place on 1st May at 5:30 p.m. at the Newhampton Arts Centre and you can get your free ticket here. 

If you really can’t wait for that here are some other events to whet your appetite: 

Royal Society of Arts Online Crowdfunding Workshop Thursday 19th April 18:00-19:00 

Our partners in Crowdfund  Wolves, Spacehive, are taking part in an online workshop run the RSA, on crowdfunding. Spacehive will provide an overview and introduction to crowdfunding and will be joined by crowdfunding expert Chris Romer Lee who has successfully run two crowdfunding campaigns. The RSA will also highlight how they can support crowdfunding projects. This will be an interactive event with online breakout sessions! 


 Spacehive’s Webinar: How to run an awesome crowdfunding campaign. Wednesday 25th April 12:00 – 13:00 

Join Spacehive’s Project Success Manager Aggie Morris for her monthly webinar on how to plan, run and deliver a great crowdfunding campaign. In this webinar she will walk you through the steps from creating a project page, to launching and successfully running a crowdfunding campaign. With time for questions and project exploration, this will be an informative and interactive hour.  

 Book HERE


2. The Big Lunch 

On 21 March about 30 of us gathered for a delicious three course vegan meal prepared by the Real Junk Food Café to hear more about the Big Lunch. Diana from the Eden Project gave a fantastic presentation and we shared ideas for things we were planning within our own communities. If you’d like to register your event, you can receive lots of help and resources to do so. 

3. Playing Out 

Working with the Voluntary Sector Council, we are hoping to support local people to arrange activities for children and young people to safely play outside their own front doors as part of the Playing Out initiative. Watch this space for further details. 

Funding News 

Grants of up to £500 are available for events that bring different communities and generations together, and that promote health and wellbeing.



Energy and Inspiration

Energy and inspiration were available in seemingly limitless supplies as over 60 people turned up to enjoy Wolverhampton’s Annual Ideas Festival, Make:Shift.

Participants were treated to an exclusive launch of Crowdfund Wolves, Wolverhampton’s brand new crowdfunding platform. They learnt that any project can be submitted that improves places and spaces in the city and that already four funders have lined up to back projects in Wolverhampton.


Kirsty Kenny from Spacehive launches Crowdfund Wolves

We were lucky to have Diana Vogtel from Eden Communities at the event. She talked about the link between getting involved in your community and being happy.


Diana Vogtel from Eden Communities

We also had local musician and artist, Alex Vann, uniting us all in a participative and lively performance. Alex performs his own material about local characters, current and historical, and he encouraged us to join in with him, even teaching us some British Sign Language along the way. His performance culminated in renditions of George Harrison’s ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and Yusuf Islam’s ‘Wild World’.


Alex Vann in full flow

Alex challenged Make:Shift participants to become his choir and, as you can see from the picture below, quite a few of us rose to the challenge.


The Make:Shift Community Choir

The rest of the day was action packed as people discussed ideas that they would like to turn into reality in more detail. We’ll be sharing these with you as they develop, suffice to say at this stage that there is no shortage of brilliant community ideas in the city.

Indeed many of these were showcased throughout the day, including the Real Junk Food Cafe; Maker-Centric, the Zero Waste Project and Action For Happiness.


The Real Junk Food Cafe


The Zero Waste Project



Participants had the opportunity to take part in some Qi Gung energy exercises or watch inspirational TED videos.

All in all it was an amazing day, fuelled by the inspiration and creativity of the people in attendance. It will be fascinating to watch the various ideas come to fruition over the coming months.

I probably forgot to mention this …

I’ve probably forgotten to mention it, but this Saturday 11 November is Make:Shift., Wolverhampton’s annual ideas festival. 

Don't forget

It really is an event for everyone – if you’re passionate about Wolverhampton; if you’re excited by new ideas; if you have new ideas; if you enjoy networking then this is the event for you. Better still, it’s all free and that includes lunch and all your other refreshments throughout the day.

If you would like to ‘Change Wolverhampton with an Idea’, or would like to hear about other peoples’ ideas then please do come along on Saturday.

Anyone can pitch an idea as long as they are prepared to drive it forward themselves. Great ideas from previous Make:Shifts include the Wolves in Wolves project, The Free Organic Garden and Gatis Community Space, to name a few.

What’s new for 2018? We’ll be launching Wolverhampton’s fantastic new crowdfunding platform – Crowdfund Wolves. If you think you know about crowd funding you might think again when you see this one.

In a major coup, not only are the Eden Project going to be there, we also have fantastic local performer, Alex Vann, doing a performance with a difference. Plus we have the Crafty Gardener, the Wolverhampton Zero Waste Project, 100 Masters and Maker:Centric, all doing some practical afternoon workshops.


Following on from our highly successful Make:Inspiration sessions, we’re going to have a room dedicated to TED and TEDx talks, followed by intriguing discussions and there will be an opportunity to have a go at some wellbeing exercises or find out more about Action for Happiness as part of our all new Make:Space sessions.

As always there will be the chance to pitch your idea, or find out about other peoples’. 

The tickets are free. We’re even throwing in a free lunch and refreshments throughout the day.


The event is on Saturday 11 November. It starts at 10:00 a.m. and finishes at 4:00 and is at the Bob Jones Community Hub, Bromley Street, Blakenhall, Wolverhampton.

Book your free ticket today and don’t forget our amazing Make:Inspiration session at Wildbytes Café on Thursday 9th November 12:00 for 12:30 where once again we will enjoy a fab TED or TEDx video over a coffee and, very possibly, a piece of cake.  


Make:Shift is shaping up to be wonderful

0398 facebook banner with date FINAL

I can’t believe how brilliantly Make:Shift is shaping up for this year. Not only has the city suddenly become alive with some incredible, fantastic and creative ideas (and you’ll have to turn up to hear about them), we also have the launch of Crowdfund Wolves, Wolverhampton’s new crowdfunding platform, plus a glittering array of very special guests. (That includes you, by the way). Not only are the Eden Project going to be there, we also have fantastic local performer, Alex Vann, doing something a bit different for you. 

As always there will be the chance to pitch your idea, or find out about other peoples’. 

We have also recently confirmed that 100 Masters, Maker:Centric, the Crafty Gardener, the Zero Waste Project and Kindness Rocks will be there. And because we care about you, we want to make sure that you’re taking the time to look after yourself. So you can take part in some Qi Gung (it’s a bit like Tai Chi) and Meditation sessions as part of our all new Make:Space sessions. 

As if that wasn’t enough, the tickets are free. We’re even throwing in a free lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

So what are you waiting for? Book your free ticket today.


Frankly you’d be potty not to, if you don’t mind me saying so.