Make:Shift Get Together 17 October 2013

Last night several intrepid Make:Shifters met at the Light House to drink coffee, eat cake and share their ideas for changing their street, their community and their city . It was a well attended event and once again we had some brilliant ideas that we all discussed.  The scope of the ideas ranged from quick wins that could be delivered fairly quickly and easily, to medium term projects requiring a bit more planning, through to some really quite big long term ventures.

First up, Fortune explained how his group is establishing friendship through families in Heath Town. The group is addressing various issues in the area and have now grown to the extent that they would like premises to meet in. Fortune explained that his group would like some support with obtaining funding.

Kevin and Andrew talked about their plans to bring a disused church in the heart of Finchfield back into life. They would like to involve the wider Make:Shift community in their plans, to offer advice on how this venture develops.

Next up was Sylvia. Sylvia is an artist currently working with schools. She would like to establish a temporary (pop up) creative space for children with story tellers, dance and other creative activities. The group suggested that she made contact with the University. Sylvia would like Make:Shift to help her obtain funding.

Elliot (who developed the free organic gardens idea last year as part of Make:Shift), would like to establish a cooperative business  that reclaims furniture and uses the materials to make new furniture. He would like to incorporate people with a flare for design in the idea. He would like support to obtain premises either through the local authority or by linking with the private sector.

Jerome would like to set up a book crossing event. This is when people leave a book in a public space and invite other people to take it free of charge. He was unsure whether to set up a one day book shop where anyone could drop off or pick up books , or whether to have a series of smaller book crossings across the city. If he chose the former he could turn it into a festival of words, with attractions such as children’s story time, poetry, a guest local author or a Haiku wall. Jerome would like help to sort out any insurance required and identifying appropriate premises and venues and potential volunteers.

Matt’s idea is called ‘Off the Grid’ and is a proposal to create a sustainable building – something like a mini version of Centre for Alternative Technology. This could be a temporary or permanent structure and would appeal to a wide range of people, bringing people to the city. The group could think of lots of people that could potentially be interested in supporting this idea. Matt also shared his idea of creating a Wolverhampton carnival – something that brings Wolverhampton’s diverse communities together and celebrates them, using scrap materials to make costumes and sharing street food from around the world. 

Donna from the CAB shared her idea of establishing a series of ‘sky pods’ in venues around the city. The sky pods would enable people to access a range of advice agencies from a place that they regularly use e.g. their local community centre, without having to physically visit the advice centre.

That’s a brief synopsis of the ideas discussed last night. So now over to you. What do you think of these ideas? Are there any that you like or don’t like? Why? Which ideas would you want to get behind? Don’t be a bystander as all these exciting ideas develop. Help to drive them forward. Book for ticket now by going to 


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