Here are some notes from the Members meeting on the 7th of June. 

Starting orientation announcement 

  • A Big welcome to all with open arms!
  • What is this meeting about? Who is hosting it (Mick founder and a coordinator) & Volunteering to help the meeting Caroline (Steering group) & Nicola (Volunteer coordinator)
  • Explaining – why do we make decisions based on the input of members? It’s part of being a Community Interest Company. Also the project relies on volunteer donated time, so should be led by them.  
  • Let’s celebrate that this project is going really well – a quick update on progress being made including Judy taking on the role as chair of Directors. The Makery is getting more organised because it needs to apply for larger funding bids.
  • Update: Mick is stepping down from being a director and from coordinating areas. So more people are invited to take some some of those roles.
    • For example, tech and tea, keeping a overall track of repairs, co-ordinating the work-bench and electronics area and buying parts.
  • If you are interested in how and where other decisions are made, steering group, project coordinators, special working groups, for funding applications there is more information online  

Discussion / Info gathering: 

Volunteers gathered the following  points on post-it notes – Red, Yellow, Green

Green: What do you like about the Makery?

Free refreshments
Social/ friendly
Repairs / advice concept

Yellow: What would you like it to do more of? 

Library of things
Record keeping ( log)
Clear and communicated policies
Marketing and outreach
3d printer – recycling use of plastic
There is good information on the website,it would be good to promote it betterSpecific person to ask for on entering – an obvious host
Bigger suggestion box
Bigger premises – to be able to deal with white goods
Tool library – it could be good to make it digital with a spreadsheet system
Better outreach

Red: What could it do better?

More signage
(dis) organisedCan be a bit ‘maley’ – male focused – on entering the workshop
Maintenance of testing equipment  x2
Update of electronic test equipment eg oscilliscope
Not clear what is available
Also putting that most of groups are FREE TO ANYONE unless it’s stated otherwise.
I think that there could do with a bit more information on leaflets such as to whether you need to be a member to borrow tools and also do you need I.d.
no children allowed unless a family event
Say how much for membership cost

Makery News 

This is a chance for updates from Nicola, other coordinator, and other active members

Documents .Information given about the location of membership, policy and health and safety documents for members- including the new ‘Donations and Repairs Log Sheet’ and ‘Register of Competent Persons for Woodwork’.

Hosts. It was explained that one is required at each drop-in session and that any new hosts would be welcomed.

Orientation. Series of sessions have begun to attract new members and volunteers, also to refresh current users.. 

Outreach. Update given on outreach events given and fundraising undertaken in previous six months. Sustainability Festival 6th /7th July at the College, a stall planned to bring visitors to the Makery.

Upcoming workshops. 4 x funded workshops, patchwork and quilting planned late Summer/!early Autumn.

Expansion. Wood Shop next door setting up currently, hoping it will be free to use for Makery members at woodwork drop-in times.

Gaz shared about on appearing on Phoenix radio to talk about men in sheds (unfortunately that recording is no longer online)
Erin on tech and tea more info is here –

Mick is stepping down from coordinating tech and tea and so looking for a volunteer to coordinate it.

The Makery as a Principled / Welcoming space & important info

We are working on a “living” equality and diversity process which is based around the idea of a principled space – Jayne Mugglestone will share more about this at a future meeting but couldn’t be present today. 

Mick tried his best to explain the idea of a principled space The main idea being that you are explicitly about the kinds of values you want the space to follow, and talk about how to make this happen for all people. 

Mick shared A couple of practical examples of work in what might got into creating a principled space in terms of positive events and processes that help people feel welcomed and directly but gently challenging people’s behaviour. 

The next section gathered ideas of how the Makery is a principled space and positive things happening as well as things we could do better. 

About complaints and feedback. If something is not right – please fill in a complaints/ feedback form in person and / or talk to Nicola / Judy / Mick / Jon about it.

Or you can do it online

There are other things you should know about the Makery which live online here – 

Gathering ideas for outreach and activities for the Makery that would support continuing to widen the range of people using the space. 

Guidance for information gathering activity 

  • What would make it easier for people to come in?
  • As an example, recover and remake workshops helped people who were less confident to take part in drop ins.
  • What are possible barriers?

Results of information gathering activity gathered on post it notes

More volunteers to meet and greetMore opening times in the evenings and weekendsExterior step not accessible
Quiet time but not at a drop in Inviting Andy’s Man’s club and other groups to visity like u3aTo help neuro diversity – more quiet sessions – what else can we do
More specific marketing to target under represented groupsGet funding to run activities for teenagersMore women only groups
Information in different languages on publicityOrganisations coming as a group, e.g. Kindness / Basement ProjectThere are not many south asian heritage people currently using the space so that could be a barrier
Skill swap eventsMasterclasses from professional people Personal stories of members of using the space on Radio / TV
Electronics training for skills – (especially for young people)Power tools safety eventsCollege entrance more welcoming

More signage at the frontDo a survey – what stops you from coming to under represented groups

Setting expectations on what happens with these suggestions

We will work with these ideas to build a principled space process but suggestions you make now may not happen with limited paid time by Nicola but members empowered to try to make them happen and to ask for support. This is normally done by paid team staff, So it’s great that as a volunteer based organisation we are thinking about this. It’s important to say also we value all the existing work by volunteers to make people welcome

What next? 

We will send out this feedback from this meeting and an update of news items to the member discussion list (These notes)

Caroline has a whatapp group for a working group on doing outreach events. Contact her if you want to join

Keeping in touch Make sure you are signed up as a member to get email updates If you are a regular volunteer, or want to do that, there is an email ist of 

Time or questions and group discussion over lunch 

This was not minuted but was probably the most useful and productive part of the meeting. 

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