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By Kasia Bishop

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Mobile Bike Workshop! Start Up15. Week 1
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Building a community around an idea.. week 1 of pop up community bike workshop start up.
Last week was the beginning of our EdVenture adventure! Arriving Monday morning not knowing what was instore and new to Frome was exciting and a little daunting.. we quickly introduced ourselves, and sat down to begin, this is the team for the next 10weeks.
We have been given the task of creating a mobile community bike workshop that is to be transported around Frome packed into an electric cargo bike, ideas were whizzing around my head but first we had to become a team and build our own start up 15 community.
Our first team task was to imagine Frome in 2030, which we soon found out was a long enough timescale to dream big. This is what social enterprises are all about, the power to change our future, hopefully for the better!

After coming up with lots of ideas we then talked about what was possible, illustrated some of our ideas and presented them imagining we had achieved and implemented our plan for a super green Frome. This was a great way to think positively and expansively about what was possible. It also brought us into working together, communicating ideas and presenting as a team.

Tuesday morning brought colour, creativity and some closer team bonding by sharing some of our personal journeys of how we got to this point in life. This highlighted how different everyone’s story is and also how connected we all are through humanity, hard times and good.I really enjoyed this task as it brought us closer together as a group and gave me a chance to do some drawing and colouring (something which was long overdue!)

Wednesday turned out to be a big day. We had 5 hours to design, plan and put on an event, that evening, for 30 people (who luckily had already been invited) it seemed like ALOT of pressure. The excited energy in the room was palpable and we harnessed it well, using various tools that we had been taught during the previous days. Fast forward a few hours and there we were 5.30pm moving tables around and eagerly anticipating the arrival of our guests.. this event was to start building a community around our project, for people interested to meet us and to share some more information about what we were planning to do.

After a presentation of our project and Q&A session we all sat down to eat some delicious curry from Mahesh. The general chat was about bikes and all things cycling, we gathered information, met local supporters and had a bright, successful evening. Quite an achievement for a days work!
The next day the team was buzzing, with a positive event experience under our belts we had definitely bonded our start up 15 community. This was affirmed by group discussion and feedback on our ‘performance’ praise all round! I ended the week on a high, looking forward to what was instore…

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Time for a New Edventure? Voluntary Director Position
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Apply by 30 Oct 2020

Introduction to Edventure

Edventure Frome is an award-winning community enterprise based in Frome, Somerset. As a school for community enterprise, we run programmes for young adults and courses for people of all ages, as well as several community initiatives and satellite enterprises, such as The Welsh Mill Hub and Share – a library of things. What we care about is contributing to a strong community, growing meaningful livelihoods and building ventures as part of a sustainable, net-zero carbon economy that works for all.

Role overview

We are a Community Interest Company, overseen by a board of 5 voluntary Directors and a paid Managing Director with a team of 7 staff. Our existing board is diverse in its range of skills and experience, and we want to grow it to be genuinely representative of the wider community in Frome. This is part of a long-term strategy to increase our diversity in terms of race, age, sexual orientation and background. 

Board members get involved with the strategic development of the organisation and may take on additional roles to support the staff team. We are specifically seeking people with skills in any one of the following: social enterprise, HR, marketing, diversity & inclusion, finance and fundraising or experience of being a student on one of our programmes.

Click for more details and info on how to apply

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A green & healthy future… Frome in 2030.
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How can we combine the two of the top issues that people care about in the UK and Frome – the climate and health?

Edventure Frome CIC, Frome Medical Practise and Frome Town Council are initiating a partnership to tell a new story of how healthy people and a healthy planet are linked. We want to explore how everyone in Frome can work together to come up with solutions to enable us to reach our target of net-zero carbon by 2030 at the same time as increasing health & wellbeing in our community. 

It would be great to hear from you if you are interested to get involved and please sign up to our newsletter if you want to stay in the loop about this. We are currently in the process of applying for funding from the Climate Action Fund, and hope to start work by January 2021 at the latest.  

Below are a three short videos with more information on where we got to and the bid that we are preparing:

Thanks for reading and we hope we can work on this together with you soon. The Partnership Board

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Help us set up a travelling community bike workshop on an electric cargo bike
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Do you want to help start a pop up community bike workshop for Frome?

This will be the challenge for students on our Edventure:Start – Up course, a free, part time 10-week training in community entrepreneurship.
You can apply now to join the team or if you want to be involved or stay in touch in other ways, please sing up to our community launch event, the edventure Soup, on September 9th.

COVID 19 has led to a huge rise in cycling in the UK, and for many people cycling has become the safest way of travelling. This is the perfect time to start a cycling initiative to help people care for new bikes and fix up old ones..

The student team’s challenge will be to set up a travelling, pop-up community bike workshop on an electric cargo bike. The aim is to run outdoor bicycle repair and maintenance workshops across Frome’s estates and neighbourhoods, and a repair service for those who cannot access existing commercial services.

We want to play a part in helping people to get around safely in the age of COVID 19 and gain skills for looking after their bikes. We also want to cut carbon emissions and create meaningful employment opportunities.

During this programme you will be guided through the basics of setting up a social enterprise, putting what you learn into practice. Your team will build a community around the idea, carry out research and design a business model based on this research. During the final part of the programme, you will be supported to create and carry out a project plan, turning the ideas into reality.

Other things you will have the opportunity to learn include fundraising, facilitation, giving presentations and organising events.

This programme begins on the 7th of September and runs for 10 weeks till the 12th of November. Attendees are expected to be at Edventure: Frome Mondays – Thursdays, 9.15 -2.30pm.

Click here for more information and to apply.

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Job opportunity at Edventure: Start-up course lead
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Apply by July 26th 2020. We are looking for an team entrepreneurship facilitator & trainer with experience in course management and social enterprise to deliver and grow our 10-week flagship course in community entrepreneurship. The aim of this job is to enable young adults to step towards a livelihood that matters to them and build initiatives and enterprises that make a tangible difference in local communities. We are looking for an approachable professional who can guide our teams through the ups and downs of a start-up journey. As well as helping the students to succeed with their project, the facilitator’s role is to support students with their learning and development as they go through the process.  

Click to view information on how to apply

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Student Reflections: Adapting and Creating
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Hello! It’s Tammie here. After having been a student on the last Start-Up project (setting up the community plant nursery in Mells) I’ve come back to assist with the facilitation of the current course.

The original brief for the team was to create a community bike workshop for Frome, and it was great to see such enthusiasm and interest from everyone who came to the SOUP event on the 11th of March.

Sadly but understandably we have now had to postpone that plan due to the impact of COVID-19.  Recognising the role edventure plays in supporting the community, we have been looking at how we might adapt to meet the present and evolving needs we will be facing over the coming months. We have transitioned to continue delivering a reshaped version of the Start-Up course online, with facilitated project focused and personal development sessions, skill sharing and mentoring.

The wonderful group of humans who make up the Start-Up student team have been working on how they might create initiatives that will support others and themselves at this time, (while navigating working remotely and relying on digital communication…I am sure many of you can relate to the challenges of this!).

One project that has come out of this is a Frome community Exhibition- ‘creation from isolation’, an opportunity for people to create something over this period of isolation that will be showcased at a community art exhibition once we are able to come together again. Stay tuned on our social media networks for more updates and how you can get involved.

This unprecedented situation we are in is causing a lot of hardship, and I recognise that the impacts look different for everyone. What I hope, and what I have seen, is that people coming together on projects like this is creating a network of support that will help ease the struggles we face, and as we navigate what is unfolding, create connection and give purpose.

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What Do We Most Need Right Now?
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It feels as though, in the last few days we have all been forced to take a step back from our ‘normal’ lives and plunged into an unknown. In that space, we at Edventure have been reflecting on how we can continue to can come together (even if not physically) to work towards our mission.

We are following official advice to avoid social contact and beyond that, we also want to re-orient ourselves to be of service in these unprecedented times. We are exploring ways to support social connection whilst socially isolating. We are re-focusing all our courses, events and projects towards what is most needed now.

We welcome your suggestions, comments and thoughts. Please email [email protected]

  • Our flagship Edventure Start-Up Course will not continue with the creation of a Community Bike Workshop. Instead, the team is exploring ways to help with the current situation. They are listening to what people most feel they need here in Frome. Please do comment here with your suggestions.
  • Our upcoming short courses will be moving online until further notice, and this also means that we are able to offer them to everyone, worldwide, for free. You’re welcome to sign up to any/all of them. 
  • MAKE: Shed Frome has been postponed until further notice. We are seeking ways to create an online space for young adults to meet and create together. 
  • SHARE – A Library of Things is now closed. Our team are exploring ways that we can continue to support SHARE-ing in Frome throughout the coming weeks. Your suggestions are very welcome.
  • Community: Fridge Frome is now closed. The volunteers who run it are committed to continuing pick-ups from local supermarkets and are currently exploring how this food can be distributed locally – we will update you in due course. 

Many of us are experiencing this as a time of loss, grief and endings. Can we also come together to create new beginnings and new ways to support each other?

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I wouldn’t be where I am today without Edventure
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Ben Goodey shares his story:

When I first joined Edventure I had made the decision to change my path in life from one of sitting in an office, bored, to one filled with things that I was interested in and passionate about and ideally one that had a positive impact on other people.

I had always wanted to start my own social enterprise, so I started looking for ways to make that happen. Edventure was the first step towards that goal for me. I was recommended the course by multiple people who had said it was a great way to get involved with the Frome community, build  confidence, and figure out what you’re interested in. And I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed!

IMG_0849 copy

I wouldn’t be where I am today without Edventure as a stepping-stone. I learned a lot about myself through continuous group work and reflection on our performance. Being challenged by different points of view and experience levels allowed me to grow as a person, and I gained experience in those areas that I feared (like public speaking!)

The best part was that we were able to mould the experience to our own interests. We also had time to reflect further on our path in life, and the Edventure team provided the supportive environment I needed to explore that.

I leveraged the experience of working on our Start-Up challenge to get my first full-time job in London. Where I had the opportunity to work closely with 100s of early-stage start-ups as they went through the challenging journey of founding a company and raising funds.

The Edventure experience helped me reflect on what did and didn’t make me happy at work. I soon knew that I wanted to be closer to the exciting start-up life. I wanted to experience more of what I had at Edventure: being placed in leadership positions, trying to figure out the unknown, trying to fix something that was broken, and having a positive impact on other people.

Edventure 9 - Relaunching SHARE - A Library of Things

I was lucky to stumble across a fantastic early-stage social enterprise in London called Appt Health. It was just the founder working tirelessly alone for the first year, and he had won coveted Innovate UK (the government innovation arm) funding about a week before offering me a job. I’m now in a role I love: product and general marketing, and software implementation. The company has now grown to five people, and our platform is currently used by over 50 GP practices in London!

Our aims are to use accessible digital technology to get more patients into appointments that prevent ill-health (like screenings programmes, immunisations, and QOF reviews) while also reducing health inequalities in our population. We solve the problem of uptake in preventative healthcare by automating the tricky bits for the practices at the same time as making our communications to patients more persuasive and engaging.

Appt Health is entering an exciting stage now as we prepare to scale across multiple prevention programmes and all over the UK, and the Edventure course continues to resonate with me when I’m faced with a new challenge.

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Dr Sam Evans on Edventure: Frome’s Start-Up Support
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Sam speaks about making her ideas for a community plant nursery a reality…

Edventure Short Courses

‘I have been coming to Edventure workshops for the last couple of years. They have been key in supporting me to develop my skillsand to connect with a lot of other local people who are making ideas real. These connections have helped me to integrate into the community and I have called on them for support.

Edventure Short Course, “Fundraising for Non-Rocket Scientists”

For example, I did the Fundraising workshop last month and there were four connections I made that I am following up with that could be potential future collaborations. The Edventure short courses aren’t just about upskilling but they’re are also the best networking opportunities.


Local Entrepreneurs Forum

‘The workshops have led me on to bigger and better things with Edventure being the testing ground for my vision and ambitions.  I participated in the Local Entrepreneurs Forum in June and had mentoring to develop my pitch that was really key in fine-tuning the idea. It forced me to get clear about my objectives and think about practical things like registering as a community interest company (CIC). The idea really became concrete when I had to present 5 slides in 5 minutes.

Dr Sam Evans pitching at The Local Entrepreneurs Forum for Frome

Dr Sam Evans pitching at The Local Entrepreneurs Forum for Frome

Its was a terrifying thing to do but now my elevator  pitch is down to 60 seconds and I am clear about where I am going.

Edventure Start-Up Course

The LEF gave me a cohort of people who pledged support and it also connected me back to Edventure in terms of the offer to become the client on their Start-Up Course.

Edventure Start-Up Student Team who were Challenged to Create A Community Plant Nursery at The Walled Garden at Mells

So, I have gone from upskilling to articulating and developing a concrete business and then to implementing it practically with the Start-Up Course. All 3 of those elements have put me in a much stronger position.

For example, I am now submitting funding applications and finding that they’re really solid – my ideas are thought through and I am ticking all the boxes. I was expecting to get maybe 25% of the applications through but I am actually getting to the 2nd stage on about 80%.

So, I am getting my foot in the door as a direct result of the training, the LEF thought processes and having something tangible to show people as a result of the whole incubation process that has happened with Edventure this year. In addition to some very real and measurable impacts from working with Edventure, the other people I have met and those circular connections are the intangible impacts of Edventures work – I hadn’t fully appreciated those benefits at first but a year on those people are also now running their own projects and I keep connecting and reconnecting with them in all sorts of unexpected ways. From having a vision to becoming a start up CIC Edventures incubation process has been absolutely outstanding.’


Edventure Start-Up Community Plant Nursery – Launch Event


For details of The Plant Nursery at the Walled Garden at Mells, please click here.


Nursery at The Walled Garden at Mells Launch Presentation

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