Thanks to everyone for attending the Make:Shift get together last week and apologies that it’s taken me a bit longer than usual to get the notes out to you.
The evening kicked off with an input from Mike Harding from the council’s communication team. Mike explained that his team were experts in dealing with the media, graphic design, public relations and marketing and could offer support to the Make:Shift ideas. If you would like support for your Make Shift idea, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Mike.
Elliot Lord from Our Own Future then led a fascinating discussion on how we move Make:Shift forward. He suggested that the Make:Shift network was made up of three different types of people/organisations:
- People with ideas
- People with experience
Elliot explained that he saw the potential for Make:Shift to develop into a huge network where we all support and learn from each other about things we might not know about e.g. business planning and project management and create synergy between the various ideas. He suggested that we should meet monthly so we can feel like we’re connecting; keeping the momentum going and learning from each other.
Following Elliot’s presentation we had a discussion and the following points were made:
- We could have a short presentation on a topic we want to know more about
- We should incorporate regular feedback on how the ideas are progressing and any help people need
- We should map what skills we have as a network, and what we would like to know or to be able to do
- Can the various ideas champions work together to ‘trade’ with each other and save money (i.e. co-operate and collaborate rather than compete)
- Where could we meet? Somewhere free would be good (or would people be prepared to chip in a pound or so?). Needs to be central and on a bus route. The Light House, Quaker’s meeting room and Lych Gates pub were all suggested. If anyone can suggest or offer a venue please let me know
- It was suggested that we didn’t necessarily need to physically meet. We could Skype instead of meeting or live stream meetings, or Tweet to widen inclusion.
- Accessing funding is a hot topic for the group. Sam to send the WVSC newsletter (with details of funding opportunities) out to everyone so they can subscribe if they wish.
So let’s get started let me know what you’d like to learn about at the next meeting and also please let me know what skills or knowledge you have to share with the wider group. Do you have social media skills to share, or are you a project management expert or a business planning wizard? We all have things to share and things to learn. Don’t be reticent in letting me know what you can offer and what you’d like to learn.
The ideas champions gave a roundup of where they are up to with their ideas:
Elliot explained that his furniture upcycling idea is ‘on hold’ whilst he develops the free organic gardens network further. He wants to develop the idea of supplying the soups kitchens with free food, by offering opportunities to the soup kitchen users to work in the gardens and receive training
Kathleen explained that since Make:Shift she has developed the Art On the Move concept further. She has designed a logo and is busy attending events to build support for the idea. She has also made links with the Art Gallery. She will be convening a meeting in the New Year to move the idea on.
Julian explained that he is seeking to establish a website for people to contribute their ideas about what should be free. He is investigating offering a streaming service and establishing a Twitter feed.
Rachel explained that she would like to use art to explore anti-racist and environmental themes, by drawing people from all cultures together to build tree sculptures
Kevin shared a progress update regarding the Finchfield Old Church. He explained that group has now allocated roles, for instance one person has been allocated to work with the estate agent. Another member is talking to the church about the covenant on the building. The group are in the process of applying for Heritage Lottery funding
Hiran gave an update on the Social Steam Engine. The group have designed a draft of their logo and are sorting out their governance arrangements. The Black Country Chamber of Commerce have approved the group’s business plan. The group have recently been approved to work in the local psychiatric hospital and are developing a number of social enterprise ideas. The next step is to access clients. It’s planned to target people with mental illness who have a low take up of direct payments.