Edventure 2012 – 2013 has started September 23rd with a new crew of 7 apprentices.
Before everyone is starting with their own enterprises and projects in January, we have an exciting and challenging set of projects lined up until Christmas – an opportunity to gain basic skills in social entrepreneurship, to generate income, and make a positive contribution to Frome. Right now, the apprentices are working to set up the Edventure Hub based at the Welshmill in Frome. We have over 2000 sq. ft. to play with to create
“a place which helps to strengthen the community in Frome by offering an informal, creative environment for young adults to pursue their own passions, projects and enterprises, working alongside other businesses and organisations that are dedicated to building a more resilient Frome”. Or as a couple of our apprentices put it: “a marvellous, making, sexy, slick thinking, with famously food in a funky fusion, all combined in a pot of twisted events and workspace”.
In the last few weeks, we have been busy with a broad range of activities – business planning, market research, building coffee tables out of old industrial fans, renovating, training in group leadership, conflict resolution and team building. Yesterday, we had a Graham Burgess – a town councillor and architect – help us with the design of the space, and help us think through how we can build a professional work, learn and meeting space with natural and recycled materials on a very low budget.
On Monday 21st, we will be starting with the “Community Build” of the hub – anyone who is interested in helping with the design and building of the hub is very welcome to join in – free lunches provided. Email us on [email protected] if you would like to get involved!
Challenge #3 The Hub Build
Reflections by Ebanie Powell
Who was the project manager of this Challenge:
Once we made home, the task became looking at ways of designing and building the larger spaces in a way which would eventually allow us to open them up for others to use and generate a long-term income for Edventure. During this process we collectively developed places to ‘Make, eat, work and meet’ giving some love to the Welshmill building through two intensive weeks of lime washing / floor sanding / wall constructing / wall demolishing / painting / plumbing / cleaning and cladding.
Our budget for this was incredibly limited which pushed us to discover creative ways of sourcing materials which were often recycled or donated. We also learnt to find value in the available resources left from the building’s industrial past (a heavy metal fume cupboard lovingly transformed into a tea station, a ventilation unit finds new life as a coffee table).
I have a background in Architecture and was really excited to be given the opportunity to take a lead in this project and manage the hub build. Besides the seven apprentices, we worked alongside around twenty other volunteers who came in at some point to offer support and to learn some skills. It felt really good to open the challenge up to the wider community of young adults in Frome and also to develop the space alongside the people who would be using it.
As a project manager, I felt really challenged by the skills required to manage tasks and the time of the volunteers. It was interesting to take myself out of the position of focussing intently on my own tasks (as I was used to working at university or as a trainee in an office) and instead to step back and hold an overview of the whole project – being a perfectionist I found my largest challenge in this was to let go of a lot of the detail and trust the rest of the group to take care of it. Having gone into depth with the architectural training and design, learning how to project manage felt like a great supporting skill to explore and I now feel I have a much better understanding of what it means to work within a group and feel better equipped to put myself up for these positions in the future.
As a team we had to quickly develop ways of working effectively together, learning when to play to our strengths and when to take a chance and learn something new. The build project was an opportunity to make connections with local professionals with experience in the fields such as woodwork, design, business and project management. These have been developed into lasting relationships with the apprentices, who have been offered continued supervision and support in their own personal projects.
During market research and also speaking to many of the volunteers who came in, it became clear that there is a real need within the town for a place where young people can work in a semi-informal environment which is what we have intended to make. The larger social impact of this space will hopefully become visible over the next years, and I personally feel really proud to leave something great for future Edventurers.