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

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ImageImage

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?

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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?

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Correction

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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?

MIW and the Tools Project

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In October last year we sent our first consignment of tools and sewing machines via one of our then supported charities Tools For Self Reliance, destined for Africa. At the same time we made a substantial donation to the same charity to help them with their work. In April this year we sent a second (though smaller) consignment via the same charity. Unfortunately our relationship with TFSR has now come to a close and we are busy trying to connect with other similar organisations (such as WorkAid and Tools with a Mission) to continue this support into the future.

We would be extremely happy to hear from any other groups involved in or supporting tools for Africa initiatives as this remains an important objective for MakeItWorkShop and those who are engaged on our Tools Project.

We did it!

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We achieved one of our main objectives. Bob’s vision of helping to support far off communities less fortunate than ourselves with tools and sewing machines to help them build better and stronger enterprises of their own.

Bob&TFSR
Bob hands cheque for £1025 to Ian Limbrick of TFSR (along with a few sewing machines!)

A week or so back we sent our first consignment of tools and sewing machines via one of our supported charities Tools For Self Reliance, destined for Africa. These items are “likely to head to Sierra Leone in our next shipment” said Ian Limbrick of TFSR. To read the full article and to see MIW Founding Director Bob Jenkins proudly handing over a significant cash donation to TFSR to add to the tools haul, please nip across now to the TFSR website.

It is a very proud moment for all of us at MIW but especially for Bob, whose original vision first formed back at the beginning of 2012. Just to show that working together can make a difference, our collaboration with charities and other CIC’s in the local area has produced something quite unique… and let’s not forget this was all started from nothing but a simple idea!

Our heartfelt thanks go out to Healthy Planet, Exsel CIC, TFSR and especially to Dove Properties (our landlords, who have supported us the best they can since the beginning – see! not ALL landlords are bad.) plus to all and everyone else who have contributed to our achievements so far… Keep it coming folks!!

MIW have gone from strength to strength, diversifying into all manner of socially enterprising activities and now supporting a staff of around 20 volunteers. As a CIC however, i.e. a fully functioning company in all respects except the ‘profit’ part (thank goodness), we continue to work very hard in the hope that one day we will be able to financially support even in a small way paid work opportunities for our staff. We will never be rich. Perhaps we never should be… for it would change the nature of what we set out to do and that very passion that drives our team on towards better and better things… and we mean better for ALL.

Oh my goodness!

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…I’ve left a huge chunk of our story out!

After that last post I scrolled down to read the previous one only to find it was massively out of date… I am so so sorry… Anyhow, enough guilt tripping… suffice it to say we have now got our own workshop premises. We are renting a building at the far end of King Street, where, all being well we shall build our long awaited workshop(s)… My reference to Furniture in that last posting relates to the retro furniture which, as I write, we are creating in the fledgling work-area that will go into creating a ‘distinctive’ and we hope unique furniture shop two doors down from the MakeIt Shop in Cambridge Walks.

So, wish us luck and we hope to see you there in the very near future… watch out in the local printed press, as we are planning to organise some more promotion as and when we are ready.

Bye for now… and once again apologies for that glaring omission.

R