The first UK Community Fridge that Edventure set up over 3 years ago in partnership with Frome Town Council is now saving a whopping 90.000 foot items a year from landfill. The new impact report is telling a very inspiring story about carbon savings, help for people in poverty, and a tangible community spirit. Well done to all the volunteers who are running it now.
Edventure: Frome have opened applications for our flagship Edventure Start-Up Course. The course is well-known internationally in the social enterprise sector and has attracted participants from as far afield as Vietnam, Switzerland and USA – besides of course Frome and surrounding towns.
If you’re aged 18-35 and up for a challenge, it might be just right for you. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve finished studying at University or dropped out of college, whether you are 18 or 35 years old, whether you are unemployed or want to make a career change.
The course will run part-time for 10 weeks from 2nd September, and includes a 3-day residential trip. It’s a free opportunity for young adults (aged 18-35) to work together as part of a team to actually start-up a community enterprise.
Amelia Parisian, Edventure’s Programmes Lead says, “There’s nothing quite like the feeling of making something happen in such a short space of time with a group of people you’ve never met before. Start-Up offers daily opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and achieve things that you never thought possible.”
The most recent team are responsible for creating MAKE:SHED – a weekly group meeting on Thursday evenings based on the Men’s Shed – but for young people to work individually or collectively for themselves and our community.
Charlie Whinton, part of the MAKESHED Start-Up team says, “This Start-Up is a dynamic adventure – a lesson from start to finish. If you’re interested in rich, experiential learning, speak to Edventure!”
Start-Up is not like anything you may have done at school – and we are seeking team members who up for a challenge, who learn best by doing and who want to make ideas happen.
Are you are…
interested in starting a business or social enterprise
keen to work within the community sector
wanting to develop leadership and facilitation skills
up for trying new things and making something positive happen.
Our second week with the ‘SHED’ start up team was the Discovery phase.
The weeks brief was to eventually present the findings of primary, secondary and case study research. We were handed multiple bags of research tools as well as meeting with some aptly brilliant minds.
The working team taking on case study research met with the ever cool Patrick Abrahams. Patrick is the founder of the Frome men’s SHED as well as the affable host of the ‘SHED Happens’ radio show on Frome FM. Not only did we collect the nuts and bolts of how to structure a business plan for such a project, we also discovered that Patrick himself is an invaluable library of knowledge.
At the same time, the secondary research team were engaged with the ingenious Jenny Hartnoll of Health Connections Mendip. As service lead at HCM, Jenny has helped provide a framework of person centered care. She is connecting groups, services and organisations which promote health and well being to people that need them most. The HCM alongside the Mendip Symphony project have reduced unplanned hospital admissions by 30% by means of social prescription.
We were also introduced to design thinking processes and market research tools by the excellent Edventure managing director, Johannes Moeller. His detailed presentation style feeds the academic mind and wills a creative, pragmatic direction.
Michael Matania of Tough Cookie delivered us a mindfulness and meditation workshop . The message taken from the workshop was that everyone is susceptible to negative emotional behavioral patterns. We were introduced to some practical ways to develop our own resilience. Driving
The meme illustrates how reactive behavior limits our opportunities to live enriched lives.
We will always have adverse conditions that challenge us. How we respond to them and what we learn creates greater awareness and an opportunity to grow.
Altogether, some great discoveries to take away from the week.
A story by Cassie, a member of Edventure’s 12th Start – Up team.
A team of 9 students are working on a challenge to start a SHED equivalent for young adults. This new Edventure initiative will be a weekly event for young adults focused on productivity and creativity.
Sitting in the ‘thoughtbox’ at 9 o’clock, we wait to see who else will arrive to complete our team. Who knows what everyone else is thinking, but for me, meeting new people can be a real anxiety trigger.
A chronic health condition has meant that I have been unable to work for a number of years. With my symptoms recently improving, l’m on a journey to rebuild my confidence and preparing to return to what I love – working in the community and making a difference – it’s a mixture of nerves and excitement.
Luckily I’ve been here before, two weeks ago. I completed the ‘MAKE’ course at Edventure. This time I have an idea of what to expect. Its amazing how much less nervous I feel just these few weeks later.
The team at Edventure and at the Welshmill hub provide fertile ground for personal growth and a sense of community support which is infectious. Having previously worked in roles that made me passionate about working towards a more inclusive society, finding ways to create social equity, being here I’m reminded of what is possible when people get the right support at the right moment in their lives – I feel re-energized – back in touch with what drives me as a person. I feel inspired.
Our course leader, Amelia, will undoubtedly use her facilitation wizardry to bring the team together, enabling us to grow as individuals.
I know two of the other team members too; Leah and Lucinda were also on the most recent ‘MAKE’ course with me. The experience of learning new skills together whilst developing products to bring to market has built a friendships of a depth you wouldn’t expect in a little over a month. We have laughed and cried together.
Six more people arrive by 9:15 to make up the team of nine – we each share a little snipppet of why we’re here and are almost immediately thrown into our first challenge.
It involves blindfolds, water, a unicorn and a hula hoop… The ice is broken.
Wednesday morning continued our getting to know each other and we started to learn more about effective teamwork. Thrown in at the deep end, we prepared for ‘Edventure Soup’. Five hours to organise how to present the project to around forty people. All hungry to know whats going on. All hungry to share thoughts and ideas and soup!
Diversity within the team was immediately and evidently advantageous as we broke off into working groups – although nerve-wracking for a lot of us, it was a beautiful experience to feel the community start to come together in support of the project…. What an experience.
Thursday was a chance for us to reflect on an intense few days – laying the foundations of trust required to quickly form a productive team.
In review of what we put together in one morning, having only met the day before, our eyes were opened to how much can be achieved when a group of motivated and passionate people come together to make something happen. If we can make that happen the day after meeting, imagine what we can achieve in 10 weeks.
As we sat in the dappled shade of the trees, we set our own personal goals for our time on the course. It was a much needed moment of shared calm and quiet. We returned to the Hub and each shared a goal so as to be able to support each other in working towards them. We closed the day by sharing a little more of our personal stories. I leave feeling privileged to be part of a diverse team brought together by a common goal.
And that was it… the first week was over and our journey had begun.
I hope you’ll join us and follow as we work together to create a ‘SHED’ for young adults in Frome. We are ready for the challenge.
So, let me briefly introduce the team (bearing in mind I only met some of them two days ago of course!):
Rosie is another previous ‘MAKE’ student (last year) and an Artist. She is pursuing her dream of making a living from her art – I’ve met her around the Hub and she came along and supported us during our course – that’s the kind of community that exists here.
Chloe has come to Frome especially for this course, she is living with a host family during the course (arranged with support of Edventure). She brings a calming presence and sense of serenity to the group and is choosing her own path towards a meaningful career.
George lives in Frome, is a professional Forager and within the team already, a lifter of spirits and a creator of smiles and laughter
Charlie is staying in Frome for the course. He was in Iceland the week before we began ‘just’ climbing a Volcano. He embodies a sense of unhurried calm and modesty.
Felix has recently moved to Frome from Ghana – he is a bundle of positive energy with infectious enthusiasm for learning.
Leah also lives in Frome. She worked as a chef, is a talented maker and is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Nothing will stop this woman when she is on a mission.
Beth has come all the way from America to attend this course – she has an interest in community building and alternative education. She is witty and bright.
Lucinda – another powerhouse of a woman. Mother, artist and blessed with an aptitude for creative and original thinking that I could only dream of.
I could wax lyrical about these people all day long and I’ve only known most of them for three days.
And then there’s Cassie – that’s me. I took on the task of documenting our first week. For the duration of the course, one of us will be documenting our journey, no doubt in increasingly creative and surprising ways…
Edventure Frome is looking for up to two, new non-executive directors to join our board with specific expertise in finance and business development in the social enterprise / charity sector. As with a trustee in a charity, the non-executive director positions at Edventure Frome CIC are voluntary. Below is more information about the board, the roles, how to apply and some official guidance on what it means to be a director.
Thank you for looking into joining our team!
Edventure Frome CIC was set up just over 6 years ago, and has grown from a volunteer run organisation to a social enterprise which employs 6 staff and additional project workers. We have ambitious plans to develop our organisation in Frome and beyond, and are looking for board members who can support our next stage of development. The board consists of a group of local people who bring a high level of expertise and guidance to Edventure. Each board member has one or more specific roles based on their professional background, and assists the staff team through advice and guidance besides attending board meetings every two months. The role of the board is to provide strategic guidance, big picture oversight, and maintain effective internal controls. The non-executive board does not get involved with the day to day runnings of the organisations, and delegates to the MD, staff team, or external working groups/partnerships.
Role & person specification
We are recruiting to fill two roles, which may be filled by one or two people depending on their background and expertise. Besides specific skills, we are looking for people local to Frome who are passionate about our community, social/community enterprise and supporting young adults.
Finance Non-executive Role
The role involves leading on supporting & challenging financial projections, monitoring & improving financial systems, and evaluating financial decisions. The role would be appropriate for people with experience as an accountant, finance director or MD / CEO who has been responsible for managing a turnover/budget of over 100k.
Business Development Non-executive Role
The role involves bringing entrepreneurial experience to the board, helping to evaluate and advise on business development and start-up projects within the organisations. Its purpose is to enable the organisation to increase its trading income and decrease its reliance on grant funding. The role would be appropriate for an experienced entrepreneur or MD/CEO/leader of a (social) enterprise / charity who has helped grow trading income within the organisation.
Are you interested?
1. Please email our MD Johannes Moeller ([email protected]) with some notes on why you are interested in one or both of these roles, and a CV or information on your background (before May 12th) – or if you have any questions before you apply.
2. We will invite you for an interview with the Chair and MD of Edventure.
3. A 6-month trial period would then start with the first board meeting you can attend. Edventure Frome CIC, March 2019
What does it mean to be a CIC director:
For more information, please click here to view the guidance from the Government Department for Business, Innovations and Skills, and see the specific extract from this document below.
The role of the Director
As with any other company, the directors of a CIC occupy an important position of trust and general company law imposes on them a range of duties to the company and other responsibilities. The directors (and in some circumstances the secretary) are also responsible for ensuring that the company meets its statutory and other obligations. In 3 Chapter 9 some cases the company can hold the directors personally responsible for defaults and can be prosecuted or subject to disqualification proceedings. In addition to these general responsibilities CIC directors (and, when they take collective decisions about the company, members) are also responsible for ensuring that the company is run in such a way that it will continue to satisfy the community interest test. In practice, this will mean having regard to the interests of the community the CIC is intended to serve, and in some cases giving more weight to those interests than to generating financial returns for investors in the company. In most companies the day to day management of the company is in the hands of the board of directors although certain functions may be delegated to specific directors, such as the chief executive or financial director, or reserved to the members. As a company gets larger the direct control of daily activities by directors becomes more difficult and functions have to be delegated to employees. It is essential to good governance that the directors clearly establish the lines of delegation. The authority and responsibility of those given delegated power need to be established and systems of control, including where appropriate internal audit, must be set up. It must be remembered that the term director includes anyone who performs the role of a director whether formally appointed or not. A person who directs the policy and makes major decisions with regard to the company may therefore be regarded as a de facto director or a person upon whose instructions the appointed directors act (excluding those giving professional advice) may be regarded as a shadow director. It is therefore particularly important with CICs where stakeholders are encouraged to participate in running the organisation to clearly establish people’s respective roles (see Chapter 9.2). It is also important not to take on the role of director lightly; it is not a matter of status, but a commitment to take on an important role and obligations. In particular, it should be noted that, while it is often a good idea to have “non-executive” directors, who do not work fulltime in the business, but who have particular skills and experience and can contribute an independent perspective to the management of the company, if things go wrong (particularly if they have not performed their duties diligently) they may well be held equally liable for any consequences with the “executive” directors.
Update as of 17th April, we now have an anonymous local benefactor who will cover the cost of flights to and from Switzerland. So, the sponsorship now covers full board, lodging, conference and training fee plus flights to and from Switzerland.
Applications are open for Start – Up, a free 10 week course for 18 – 35 year old’s where students learn by setting up a community enterprise in a team.
Starting April 23rd, students will work on a challenge to set up an initiative inspired by the Frome mens SHED. Our new initiative aims to bring young adults together to connect to others whilst making products, crafts and art in the Remakery workshop.
The idea of this new Edventure start up is to:
Provide an inclusive and welcoming space for all forms of creativity and productivity.
Support mental health – we know that things like depression and anxiety are helped through connecting to others, being a part of something and keeping busy in positive ways.
Give people a platform to begin selling things they make and moving towards a meaningful livelihood.
Provide an ongoing, regular activity at Edventure for anyone aged 18 – 35 including past MAKE and Start – Up students.
The Frome mens SHED is based in the building where we run our Edventure courses.
Through coming together to do practical activities, SHED members meet others and get to feel a part of something.
“Mens SHEDs are community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. The activities are often similar to those of garden sheds, but for groups of men to enjoy together. They help reduce loneliness and isolation, but most importantly, they’re fun”.
The Frome SHED has inspired us to set up an equivalent for young adults. The student team will research young people’s needs locally as well as similar projects in other places. With this information they will design and set up a weekly event.
We imagining that during these events our community workshop and co-working space will be filled with people doing things like woodwork, metal-work, clothing upcycling, screen printing and painting.
Although the initiative will not be directly focussed on mental health, we would like it to support mental health. Most people through their lifetimes experience some form of mental health challenge, in particular young people. We would like this space to be somewhere where people can be open about what is really going on for them in their lives.
Edventure also wants to support people to create livelihoods that matter to them and we know that there are many young people who dream of making an income selling the things they have made. Part of the students team challenge will be to find avenues for the makers to sell their creations.
Through this challenge, students will get the opportunity to go through the stages of setting up a social business – from market research to business planning, from generating ideas to project planning, branding and launching the idea. All of this whilst learning to work in a team and step into leadership.
We are looking for 18 – 35 year olds who are up for a challenge and want to make this idea happen. To find out more and to apply click here. If you’re interested in this project and would like to get involved in other ways please email [email protected]
“As we shift to the post-industrial economy new types of businesses will succeed, new types of leader will take charge and a new world will emerge. Hold onto your hats… it is going to be a wild ride… and we are all part of the change that is happening”.
We are glad and grateful to be part of that wild ride and we’d like to invite you to join us. Our upcoming initiatives are all themed around the new economy that’s emerging. We can all participate in helping to create the kind of world we want to live in. As the article says
“These extraordinary times call for each and every one of us to stand up and do what we can for our home planet”
Please join us.
All the best, Edventure: Frome
Tackling the Big Issues Together
We’re looking for people who want to actively transform their local economy. If you have ideas and want to get involved with tackling the big issues facing our planet, then please join us for this trio of short-courses hosted by deeply experienced activists…
The New Economy in Practice
Tue 5 Feb: Explore ways to draw on our existing skills, knowledge &
connections to build the practical initiatives required to face the
ecological, economic and social challenges of the 21st Century. With Tim
Crabtree of Schumacher College.
Edventure Facilitation & Course Design
Tue 4 & Wed 5 Mar: Our action learning approach is rooted in our
local community. This is for people who would like to do similar work in
their communities, either by replicating our work or using our learning
as a building block to design their own courses and initiatives. With
Johannes Moeller, Edventure Co-Founder and MD.
Become Part of an Edventure Team
Gain skills and experience to step towards a livelihood that matters to you, and learn how to trackle the issues you care about.
23 Apr-27 Jun: 10 students – 10 weeks – 1 challenge – to set up a community enterprise. (Watch a typical challenge in the video below). Our course in community entrepreneurship is about turning ideas into reality. It’s free & part-time.
18 Mar – 8 Apr: 3 weeks from the woods to the market. Learn to MAKE ethical products with your hands using green wood. And learn how to make a making business. (Watch a short intro in this video). Its free & part-time.
Experience Edventure for Real or on TV!
We’re working to grow enterprises & initiatives as part of a sustainable economy that works for all…and to support others to do the same. Here’s a couple of simple ways to learn more about our work…
Join us for a walking tour of our local initiatives. Meet our team, ask
anything you like and get honest, warts and all answers! Continuing
chat afterwards over lunch at The Good Heart. Valued connections were
made at our last tour – we’re looking forward to seeing who we’ll meet
BBC Countryfile: Please watch us on Countryfile Diaries in Feb. Jen Gale
visits BBC Countryfile presenter Paul Hewitt and does a sustainable
lifestyle audit on his home. She brings him to several Edventure
projects find creative alternatives for items that would otherwise end
up in landfill. As soon as we have the final date, we’ll announce it here
Come to our Local Sharing Community Events
Our local initiatives are designed to help create a stronger, more resilient, sharing community.
SHARE Repair & Upcycle Cafe
Sun 10 Feb: Bring your broken things. Our volunteers fix them and share
their skills with you. You take your items back home. Together we
prevent things from going to landfill; save money; learn new skills;
make connections with like-minded local peeps; drink tea and eat cake!
The Frome Wardrobe Collective
Sat 16 Mar: A sustainable, affordable and ethical alternative to high
street retailers – get a whole new wardrobe instead, for the price of a
cup of coffee! Dig out last years jeans and get ready to swap till you
drop – there’ll be food, music and community spirit!
But how about the young adults who have come on our courses or received mentoring – what difference has made Edventure to them? We commissioned Lauren Goodey to follow up with students from the past year, and interview them. We were particularly interested to hear if and how we support students to step towards a livelihood that matters to them – which is our aim. Here are some of her findings:
said Edventure helped them to step towards a livelihood that matters to them. 16.7% said they were not sure. 5.5% said Edventure did not help.
were in employment, self-employment or in the process of starting up 3 month+ after the course
Help us do more of our work please!
A quick tangent and unashamed plug: We have a good chance to win 18k to help finance our FREE courses for next year. Can you spare two minutes and vote for us here? Just click below, select the South West, Select Edventure Frome & click vote. All you’ll need to do is to put in your email address.
We were of course also interested in what we do that helps students to step towards a livelihood that matters to them. Here some soundbites of what students said:
“Inspiration and support to create a meaningful livelihood”,
“Using Edventure as evidence of work experience” “support from the Edventure staff, opportunities”
“Confidence in what is possible to do in three weeks”
“Reflections on creating ethical business”
“using the Edventure hub space”
“Learning about starting-up”
“encouragement to take on leadership”
“learning how to work with others”
“A sense of moving forward”
“feeling accepted and welcome, making great friends, self reflection”
“Introduction to community in Frome”
“meeting new people including people running local businesses”
“learning innovation and coming up with ideas”
“marketing and branding, experience in leadership”
“Financially accessible, life changing, exploring life purpose”
And finally some numbers to quantify this: Between Sep 2017 and Aug 2018, we supported 76 young adults through our main courses and 1-to-1 support. With our student teams we created the Frome Remakery and set up Edspace Living Ltd. In addition, we have run 10 short courses for 160 adults, and had a total of 8223 users of our initiatives, including 1049 attendees of our community events.
Simon Williams resigned from his voluntary, non-executive position on the Edventure Board of Directors as of Tuesday 12th March 2019.
Simon served Edventure with great skill, knowledge and integrity. At no point during his involvement did we have any concerns about his behaviour, or his motivation to be part of our organisation. To clarify, Edventure has no link with Universal Medicine.
We would like to thank Simon for helping Edventure make a positive difference in our community.