So, we started this crazy experiment in February 2012. We didn’t know that it was crazy, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. Bob’s original idea evolved, blossomed, changed, became something that none of us could ever have imagined. There’s no getting away from it though, without Bob, there would be no MakeItWorkShop. He was the founder. He was the one who made it so. Without him, we would not be and for that, all of us will be forever in his debt; and for those who follow us (if we survive) we will always make them aware of this: that it is upon his goodness and upon his heart that we are built.
It was tools for Africa that got us started. We needed a place to be and it was Bob who stumbled across the Healthy Planet bookshop in the old Sainsburys store on Eastbank Street. It was he who asked them if we could share their space. From that inspirational idea has come what we now are, and the potential of what we could be, for Southport, for our community. We took books-on-cardboard-boxes and with Healthy Planet’s support and our energy we created a beautiful bookshop. We created a fundraising shop. We created a company; a real, pay it’s taxes, pay it’s rent, pay it’s rates, pay it’s own way, Southport company; and we started with nothing. Just an idea.
And we did tools for Africa, three times we did it. And, we gave money, also for Africa, for those who have little or nothing but their energy and a will to survive that few of us will ever understand in our country of privilege and riches. We volunteered ourselves and OUR energy for Bob and his mission to do something honorable, something absolutely good. There have been over 50 of us during that time who have been a part, both small and large but always significant, of what has now been created (how long has it been? 2 and a half years? My goodness, where did that time go!?) And, it’s been hard work but it’s been fun and it’s been immensely fulfilling I guess for all who have taken part and done this wonderful thing, created this small but significant gathering of people-energy, people-action. Through the ups and downs of personal lives and collective lives, we are still here. How? Well I suppose we’ll never know that, but we ARE still here and we do still have dreams and we do still have passion, some old, some not so old and some new. Even if we fail, we will at least have tried and of that we can all be proud.
Thank you everyone but especially thank you Bob. Thank you.