Latest Event Updates

We stayed closed today…..

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Not! Me and Lisa ‘manned’ the shop. And we took some more funds for the week, and so much more importantly we gave Eddie that old 1950’s phone back, that wreck of a phone that he is so emotionally attached to. We gave it back to him, fully working and purring away wonderfully. We even polished it for him. She’s a beauty: made by ATM in Liverpool, probably back in the 40’s originally. They were an amazing company who likely dominated the world in phone manufacture for nearly 30 years all working out of the Edge Lane complex. ATM were part of the the AT&E company of America but the parent company never got close to the success of their British child. It was probably the empire that did it. The world market was huge and the yanks never had that. We did.

And what about the lady, who has cataracts. The medical people kept her waiting 11 months for a 3 month appointment. She needed a magnifying glass, so she could read again. it was under our counter, waiting for her. Not even for sale. But it was just what she needed. £2.50 of funds for us and for her? She can read things again. Life is easy until it isn’t. It was amazing.

And a neon phone (do you know how hard it is to get real neon now!?) The gentleman wanted a land-line phone. Something unusual. We gave it to him and by buying it he invested in our cause. It’s beautiful to see that happen. A happy customer and a thriving social enterprise. Thriving? Well, we are still here, for yet another day…..

A Good day

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It’s been a good day today. The shop did well. And my goodness we need those funds, we really do! A couple of weeks back we were hit with a huge utility bill that nearly put an end to us. We paid it and it cleared out the bank account but, we are still here and we have no debt. It’s like beginning again: We have little but we have no debt. It’s an old ideal, to have nothing but to owe nothing, but it’s a good ideal, one that we are proud to adhere to.

We made some people happy today and they in their turn helped us to carry on what we are doing. Like we say in MakeItWorkShop: “no one BUYS anything from us, they INVEST in us and we give them wonderful things in return for their help and support”.

Thank you Southport for helping us to be. Thank you!

Byng & Buy: Byng House (Royal British Legion)

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MIW_Byng&Buy_Leaflet_ver2_20Jun14 1
Byng & Buy: Raising funds for the Royal British legion

Our new Charity Crafts Centre opened Monday this week. The first group to use the Centre, Byng & Buy (what a name!) has been set up to raise funds for Byng House the military charity based here in Southport on the promenade. Lynn, Chrissie and Margi are heading up a team of 7 who create cards, jewellery and other hand-crafted items and, now that they have a firm base to work from here in the Walk, are eager to receive donations from the community of clothing and/or bric-a-brac that they can use to help with their fundraising efforts.

You can find the MakeItWorkShop Charity Crafts Centre at No.18 Cambridge Walks, adjacent to our Furniture Centre and the Main Shops lower down in the Walk.

We look forward to meeting you!

….. And here’s another couple. New ones.

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We came up with these for the Byng House Project. The one on the right: Enterprise IN, Charity OUT. A partnership.

Tell us what you think?

Don’t want to lose this…..

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ImageWe stumbled on this image back in the early days. It forms the header for our website but we’ve cropped it now to show just the heads of the people and it loses something as a result. The full image is posted on the large section of wall above the counter in the main shop. We’ve reproduced it here because we think it ‘says’ something about us. Even as just a silhouette it’s a powerful image. We like the way in which it shows young people, with attitude and pride, standing together as a team.

Young people and their future; when it comes down to it that’s what we are all about! What else could it be?

So, if you are young and want to make a difference in your immediate world or EVEN older but still have the energy to! Come and join us. We need you but we can’t make that difference for you. You have to do that; Make It for yourselves and for your town

Where We Came From & Where We’re Up To…..

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Well, we have now been in existence for almost 2 years (officially). We were registered as a CIC in mid-August 2012. The first 18 months was, how shall we say, turbulent, to say the least. It’s interesting though that some of the advice we received back in 2012 and early 2013 has been so very instrumental in our evolution so far, we even go so far as to say prophetic. The initial idea of setting up a workshop to refurbish tools for Africa is still very much part of what we are about but now built around that is a true Co-operative. Despite some who may have had difficulty with that concept to begin with, a few of whom have now left the company, we have soldiered on.

Our business model is an interesting one to say the least. The Core Company has one purpose and one purpose only, to support and fund projects. Projects run by it’s members. A colleague of mine recently came up with an interesting visual that describes how the model works: picture an up-turned umbrella; the fabric of the umbrella supports and is in turn supported by the spokes; each spoke is a project that relies on what it creates and sells to strengthen and grow. The ‘Core’ funds each project from the outset, as well as provides the framework within which all the other projects exist. The analogy falls apart from hereon in but suffice it to say, some projects will succeed whilst others will not, at least not financially. Some of course have to, otherwise what they feed back into the core will be lost and thus the core itself diminish and be unable to support the rest.

Failure of a project in MakeItWorkShop is however a moot point. As one of the founder members of UK Men’s Sheds, any and all activity be it financially successful or not, is an achievement and a focus for those engaged in it; and who knows who will join us going forward? A failing project remains as an activity that can still be re-engaged financially in the future. Nothing is lost and nothing is wasted.

Projects can be in-effect viewed as small business in their own right. Each keeps account of it’s own finances and each is responsible for it’s own development (or lack of it!). Each project feeds 1/3rd of it’s proceeds back into the core that supports it. And, projects can of course interact, and do, to develop joint ideas to the mutual benefit of both the core, and each other.

Well, that’s the theory.

We’ve taken a big hit of late, financially. After our first ‘turbulent’ year, it’s like starting over. But we are still very much here and very much alive. We have taken on-board some pretty amazing people of late and our future truly is in our own hands (well, more or less anyhow 🙂

So what have we achieved so far?

Read the rest of this entry »


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Apologies. The first consignment of tools for Africa via TFSR went out last year at the end of August. The second, in March this year.

Meanwhile we are still on the lookout for partners so let us know if you can help with this?