Viewing posts categorised under: Updates
29Jun
MAKE students launch their brand ‘Out of the Woods’
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Written by make willow artist and MAKE student Ellen Mulcrone (see her work here)

We are a group of nine 17-28 year olds who have taken part in a 3 week course called MAKE at Edventure (The Welshmill Hub in Frome). Having never met before we have learnt how to design, make and sell collaboratively in preparation for a stall at The Frome Independent Market on Sunday July 2nd (located outside the Share shop on the bridge).

Having chosen to make only from ‘junk’ wood, we have scavenged and salvaged from all corners of Frome, unwanted hidden gems which we have repurposed into beautiful bespoke gifts and bird boxes.

With the aim to inspire people to remake, reuse and to bring some of the woodland magic in to town, we have named ourselves ‘Out of the Woods’.

The MAKE course currently runs 3 times a year and has included woodwork, textiles and a food project. This MAKE course is not being funded by its usual funding stream so we aim to raise £500 to cover the costs.
Instead of traditionally pricing each item we will be exploring a new payment approach, in which people pay the price they feel the product deserves – “pay as you feel”.

We have been meeting for 20 hours each week at Edventure in Frome, working with a skilled carpenter, gaining insights from a variety of local entrepeneurs and making use of the workshop/remakery space set up here (which is now also available to the public!).

Come and say hello on Sunday 2nd July and help us to raise the funds for towards running these free courses!

Find more about us here:
www.instagram.com/outofthewoodsfrome

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26Jun
The Remakery Frome… Set up by ‘Start – Up’ students
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What it is

The Remakery is a shared workshop equipped with tools to enable making, fixing and up-cycling in Frome. People can use it for their hobbies, projects or to incubate a making business. Our vision is bring people together to inspire each other, repair more and enjoy making.

How it works

Members can drop in anytime between 3-8pm Monday to Friday, and in the morning whenever there is no workshop or class running. The cost is £15 a year plus £3 each time you drop in (concessions available).

Remakery Repair Festival

We celebrated the launch with a week long festival of repair and up-cycling. Events included table making with Stu from the Chisel and Grain, textiles up-cycling with Louis Montero and Stina Falle and finally PC TLC with Allen McClaren.

The finale of the week was our official launch party where we presented the Remakery to the community at its current stage (there is still a lot of work to do!).

We put on an exhibition of upcycling featuring the work of local designers and craftspeople including a dress by Haley Trezise of Raggedy and jewellery by Christina. Local artist Sarah Godsill captured the proceedings through beautiful sketches (see more of her event illustration here) with photography by Finley John and myself

Edgy Veggie laid on a delicious vegetarian feast with lentil burgers, roast potatoes and mixed veg and we had the pleasure of hosting young musicians Evey hunter and Kane Pollastrone to play for us.

We hosted an open workshop in the Remakery where we invited members of the community to help us with the final touches to the space while Sophie from Yssabeauchet ran a crochet workshop.

In the afternoon we ran a World Cafe around the subject of our relationship to ‘stuff’. Participants sat together in an informal Cafe setting to discuss the value of the stuff we own individually and as a collective. The conversation looked forward to how our perspective might change in the future. It was a great opportunity for reflection and exchanging insights about the value of sharing, repair and education. At the end of the session we came together to summarise our opinions and make some resolutions for the future.

All in all the day was a great success. It was incredibly rewarding to see the community respond so positively to our work and to see people engaging about the subject of a repair economy in Frome.

Interested to find out more about the Remakery? visit our website or email welshmill@edventurefrome.org for a free trail session.

Want to set up a community enterprise like this? Applications are open for Edventure’s next ‘Start – Up’ course. 

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14Jun
Apply now for our edventure: START-UP course and gain a professional qualification in Entrepreneurship
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Applications are now open for our next edventure: START-UP course. The course will begin on September 4th and will run for 10 weeks plus you will have the option of 6-months of  follow-up support.

A team of up to 10 students will be set the challenge of starting up a community enterprise initiative, gaining hands-on start-up experience, transferable skills, a supportive network and the option to complete a Level 3 professional qualification in Enterprise & Entrepreneurship.

The upcoming challenge for September will be to start-up an initiative integrated into SHARE – a library of things, with the aim to enable more ‘sharing’ in Frome, tackle throw-away culture, and help make SHARE a financially sustainable social enterprise.

‘SHARE – a library of things’ was set up by Edventure students 2 years ago, and was the first ‘Library of things’ in the UK. Share has now over 500 members in Frome and it has inspired similar initiatives in other towns. It now needs to stand on its own two feet and become independent of grant funding – a challenge that many initiatives face in the time of austerity.

Our students will have the opportunity to design and implement an additional enterprise project (trading arm) for SHARE and learn how to run a crowdfunding campaign.

Besides going through all the steps of starting a community enterprise (e.g., market research, ideas generation, business planning, marketing and outreach), this challenge provides lots of hands-on and creative opportunities – such as designing a shop front, creating a brand, building a shop interior, reaching out to the local community, and coming up with new products for SHARE.

This course will be a particularly useful experience for people who want to run a ‘Library of Things’ or similar initiative as well as anyone who is interested in working in a social enterprise, community initiative or small business.

We are looking for a team of diverse young adults 18-35 years old. You don’t need formal qualifications or previous experience to apply. If you have experience in any aspect of the course we will help you to take your learning to the next level.

We are looking for young adults who are up for a challenge, who learn best by doing, and who want to gain experience for making their own ideas happen – whether this is starting a business, self-employment, community project or social enterprise.

 

Click here for more information.

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14Jun
We won Community Enterprise of the Year 2017
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We are very happy to have been awarded the Community Enterprise of the Year Awards from the Mendip Business Awards 2017. Mendip has some incredibly exiting businesses – its great to be part of this community! Thank you to all the staff, volunteers, students and community members who have build Edventure over the past (almost!!) 5 years in Frome.

www.mendipbusinessawards.co.uk


 

 

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14May
Job Vacancy: Office Manager – Apply until June 1st 2017
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We have successfully recruited – thank you all for your interest in this position.

***

Hi,

thank you for looking into this job opportunity.

Click below to download the job description, person specification, and information on how to apply.

Please note that applications are open until June 1st 2017, and interviews will take place on June 5th.

Download Office Manager job description

 

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08May
Remakery Festival – celebrating upcycling and repair
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Edventure students have been working on launching a Remakery in Frome – a shared workshop for fixers, doers and makers that can be used by individuals and groups or for classes. The space will be launched with a festival celebrating upcycling and repair: a series of free workshops, events and a launch party of course. All events are taking place at the Remakery, which is part of the Welsh Mill Hub, Park Hill Drive, Frome, BA112LE.

Click here to find out more about the Remakery.

View all events on Facebook

Remakery Launch Party – Sunday May 28th

An afternoon of celebrations to launch the Remakery Frome, including an exhibition, presentation, food, music and open forum to talk about the future of the Remakery.

12.00 Arrive and drink coffee

12:30 Presentation by the Edventure students who created the Remakery.

13.00 A delicious community lunch for a small donation.

14:00 World Cafe Forum to discuss our throwaway culture, potential solutions for a greener future, and to come up with ideas for the future of the Remakery. For the kids, a Makeshift musical instrument making workshop.

16.00 Live music, Open workshop session at the Remakery. Until 6pm.

A project in partnership with Edventure Frome, The Men’s Shed, SHARE – a libary of things, funded by Awards for All.

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08May
Bringing ideas to Life; Edventure Week 5
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Taking action and making decisions in week 5 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course written by student blogger Abigail (Abi’s blog)

Getting to work

Equipped with skills we have learnt in the first half of the course, this week we divided into smaller teams and dedicated our time to specific areas. Our roles included; branding and business concept, festival and communications, workshop and planning.

 The Workshop

Harry and Josh made steps towards transforming the workshop into a multi–use space. This involved getting to know the potential and limitations of the physical area and researching what equipment might be needed.
Thomas came to help out and surprised us by bringing us each a candleholder he had made from petrified wood. The candleholders looked great and their simple design made them easy to produce. This inspired me to think of the potential of our project. It would be amazing to see the space being used to make items such as these as way of teaching basic woodwork skills.candles

The Festival

Louis and Allen put their minds to visualising the Repair Festival which is due to launch our project in the last week of May. They led a brainstorming session with the group to find out what we would like to see at the event and reflected on our user research. They also began compiling a list of local people who might be interested in being involved with the set up or running of the festival. If this interests you please get in touch!

 The Business Concept and branding

I worked with Van on defining the direction of our project and came up with some initial brand names. We would love to hear your opinion on our shortlist – please leave a comment below.

Social Media

Andy Britnell, founder of Seeamanaboutblog came to talk to us about how social media can be used as a tool to grow public interest. We learnt about the various forms of social media from Facebook to GooglePlus and how we can use them to communicate with our target audience. Andy talked through ways of keeping professional and adding value, credibility and visibility to our project online.

Something to take away…

Andy’s check list for successful social media.

  • Content

What information do you want to share with your followers?

  • Platforms

Which platforms are you going to target? Which platforms are most popular with your target audience?

  • Target Market

Who is interested in your project? Who will your ideas affect?

  • Influencers and thought leaders

Who is already working in your area of expertise? What strategies do they use.

  • Supporters 

Who might support your project? Try to get yourself featured in blogs and magazines focused on your area of interest.

  • Media Type

Which form of media will most appeal to your target audience; text, image or video? or all three.

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08May
Future Thinking, Edventure Week 4
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A time for reflection and planning in Week 4 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course. Written by student blogger Abigail (Check out her ethical fashion blog)

Making Space

The week began by clearing the workshop with Thomas. We used the time to organise materials and visualise how the space could look. Our aim is to create a workshop suitable for multiple uses with features for woodwork, crafts and textiles.

 

A Library of Things

On Wednesday we met with Aliss and Helen from The Share Shop to discuss how our projects can support each other. The Share Shop already runs many interesting events around fixing including regular Saturday morning repair sessions. Find out more here.

Charting a Course 

Johannes helped us to form clearer intentions for the remaining weeks using the GROW model. GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Will and is a simple structuring method. By breaking down our task into these four categories we were able identify the necessary next steps and formed a plan of action. We defined our individual roles and began dividing responsibility.

Finding Answers in Nature

We took a day out of the office on Thursday to explore our surroundings with Jez and Amelia.

Jez encouraged us to appreciate the visible signs of the
Spring as we walked while Amelia foraged for interesting plants for us to try. Together we lit a fire and thought about the things we wanted to move on from as we progressedthrough the course. We ate a feast of toasted bread and wild garlic that we found in abundance along the way.

Thinking Funding

 On Friday Edventure hosted a talk on Crowdfunding by Andrew Denham; Head Teacher at the Bicycle Academy. Andrew shared his experience of using crowdfunding to raise £40,000 in order to turn the Bicycle Academy into a reality. He kindly explained the basics to us and advised us on the necessary steps to take. Reward based Crowdfunding is a method of raising money for a project through multiple contributions. Usually an entrepreneur or business will post a project they need help funding with a target amount and set deadline for raising the funds. Interested backers are then offered rewards based on the size of their donation as incentive for investment.

Something to Take Away…

 Andrew’s top tips for successful crowdfunding;

  • Tell a compelling story; involve your prospective customer.
  • Do the legwork before you launch; get your message out there, use social media.
  • Hit the ground running; make sure you have built up enough interest in plenty of time.
  • Know your customer, target your publicity to the right people.
  • Be prepared for hard work; make sure you have time to fully engage with the process – before and after.
  • Be open and honest; What can you realistically achieve.
  • Be realistic; make sure you can follow through on rewards.

Van’s poem of the week;

Week started slowly we uncluttered the abundance of all things unneeded,

inspiration still unmet,

what is it we work towards,

finalising our places in focusing on the time to come festival and fun after solid working strong,

walking long in wilderness inlooking and expressive,

an experience of overwhelming freedom let loose all stress and pain even if only for a few irreplaceable moments,

contemplative pictures painted do we understand who we are,

real world comes a calling.

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27Apr
Putting Plans into Action, Edventure Week 3
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Business strategy and user research in Week 3 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course. Advertisements, Making money and making a difference

Written by Student blogger Abigail with contributions from poet Van Wajsblum.

We began the week with business planning. Johannes and Adam introduced us to three different social enterprise models;

External: When business and social activities are separate. The business may or may not be related to the social enterprise.

Integrated: When a business is created as a funding mechanism to expand and enhance a social mission.

Embedded: When a business and social programme are one and the same, i.e. the business was created for a social purpose.

Johannes also presented ‘The Ladder of Social Engagement’, a way of visualising the interest of your target audience.

Van perfectly summed up the first thought-filled day with the following poem;

Monday

Sunshine beams goals we dream

Tantalizing future visions

Fixing ourselves, through expressive creation

Conversations and well informed talking

Form restless and sleepsome minds

Seeking the clarity of whatever we can achieve

Potential

Harmonious, Contemplative, Potential.

By Van Wajsblum

Meeting with Gavin Eddy

Gavin is a local entrepreneur who has launched many successful businesses including Forward Space (a series of creative ‘workhubs’ for entrepreneurs) and the Frome Independent Market. We met him on Tuesday to discuss ideas at Forward Space, Frome. It was great to get feedback from someone with such a wealth of local experience and ‘Start-Up’ expertise. He advised us to clearly define our target audience and to consider ways of maintaining interest in our project long-term.

Speaking with Ugo Vallauri

Ugo is the co-founder of The Restart Project, a London-based social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics for longer in order to reduce waste. Ugo kindly agreed to discuss the Restart model and our project ambitions with me over the phone. He explained how ‘Restart Parties’ (community based, free electronic repair sessions) reduce the barriers to learning and help people recognise the value in repair. During the conversation he gave me many insights into running successful repair events. He also mentioned the importance of recreating trustworthy relationships with existing repair providers. Read more about Restart’s research on the matter here.

Talking to the public

Throughout the week we developed a questionnaire to ascertain what kind of repair service people would most benefit from. You can read our full questionnaire here and if you are from the local area please take a moment to fill it out. Your input is much appreciated!

Presenting pitch 2

Informed by the week’s findings we presented a preliminary business plan to the Edventure team on Thursday.

Our mission is to launch a socially inclusive workshop space together with an online platform/mobile app focusing on ethical repair. By empowering people through creative skill-shares, we hope to strengthen social bonds, increase practical skills and reduce the amount of perfectly reusable household waste.

Guided by the initial response to our questionnaire we aim to concentrate on 3 avenues;

Regular affordable, themed fixing sessions.
Weekly, reasonably priced workshop-based classes.
An online directory to connect professional and amateur fixers, makers and doers.
Something to take away…

A poem from Van written on Tuesday when it was his turn to make lunch for us all.

The Sushi Situation

Best laid plans mislead big dreams

Unexpected time frames

Not bad for a first try

Saved by an angel and enjoyed by All

Earlier formation of pitch perfect questions

An air of arrival at what we can be

Morning information from a man

With proven know how

Big ideas on a small scale

We must know who they are

The providers, users and sustainers

Of our world

Cater, nurture and help them succeed.

By Van Wajsblum

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11Apr
‘How might we…?’ Generating ideas in the second week of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Course.
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Written by Abigail – Student Blogger (Abi’s Lost Threads – ethical fashion blog)

What makes a good question?

The week began with a communications workshop led by Amelia and Judy Barber (Author of the book – ‘Good Question’). We learnt how to use an open questioning method to quickly develop ideas. By asking ‘clean’ questions, which focus on the person you are talking to Amelia and Judy demonstrated how we can enable others to see their goals more clearly, simply by reflecting their ideas back to them.

3 day design challenge:

Start an enterprise which…

  • Works with the theme of repair and repurposing
  • Utilises the workshop space at the Welsh Mill Hub
  • Generates revenue and helps to grow a repairing economy in Frome

We began by considering the problems related to repair and then asked the question ‘how might we…?’ address them.
On the second day we began to visualise the workshop with expert carpenter Thomas who helped us define our ideas by asking the questions;

  • Why do we need it?
  • What is it’s purpose?
  • Who is going to use it?

After a final session with Dominic (fellow Hub user and owner of a Tech Start-Up) on user stories we were ready to present.

Our Vision

On the third day we presented our initial vision for the project to a team of local entrepreneurs.

To create an open and accessible workspace and online network which enables skill sharing, engages the community and fosters an ethic of creative repair.

The presentation went well (Josh even managed to fix our flip chart during the pitch!) and we received valuable feedback to work on next week.

Who holds the power?

The week ended with a session on group dynamics led by Lauren and Joana (past Edventure participants). The day began with a team challenge, which we then analysed together. Lauren and Joana encouraged us to think about how engaged we felt, how much we contributed and whether we felt we had power and influence within the group. This brought up a lot of interesting questions that allowed us to be more honest with each other. Louis summed up the feeling of the day by reminding us…

We all hold the influence and power when we feel empowered as individuals. 

Something to take away…

Our six tools for developing ideas;

  • Start with the problem
  • Find Experts
  • Be open to creative chaos
  • Fail Often
  • Stick to time restraints
  • Have Fun!

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