Mondays are always a good day in the Hub. We look to the week ahead, plan what we will be working on, stat getting excited about who will be coming through the doors, catch up with members. Just generally get ready for the next 5 days!
This mornign I’ve been doing some space tidying – this is how we usually start the week. It’s great to come in after the weekend as your eyes are so fresh and you see things you didn’t notice before! We’ve had an influx of new members lately so they all need storage space – this means telling a few current members to tidy up a bit! I also signed up a member who is just about to finish a business plan for a participatory video project. She wants to tell ‘stories’ of people in the community, but real stories that will then be shown on TV or the internet. The example she gave me was of a black bus driver who got promoted quite quickly once he started the job. He also got outcast by his colleagues and fired quite quickly. Purely because of his colour (this happened in 2008!). She wants to tell his story, filming at the locations it happened in and maybe even interviewing the people involved. Her biggest problem is finding funding to build a website which she feels would really help her move things forward. Funding is one of our members biggest issues I think.
There is of course the Unltd’s out there and the Big Lottery fund quite a few people, but I think one of the biggest issues is around timescale. You do the application, you wait a month to hear if you’ve got it, you submit a further proposal, then you find out wahey! you’re in! then it’s another month before you see any cash. Quite a long process! Not that I’m complaining, it’s just frustrating I think because so many of our members deal with issues that need solutions NOW! Or yesterday more precisely. Climate change, social inclusion, sustainability, community buidling. They’re all urgent things and if you wait four months to be able to act on them, lots can change. Of course, it is important not to depend solely on funding though and I’m always amazed at how dedicated people are to what they believe in and the sacrifices they sometimes have to make – financial, emotional or otherwise.
Today I need to finish off the report from the AGM – a bit of evaluation and next steps – and circulate it to members. I want their honest feedback but I’m never too sure on what the best forum for this is. We are launching a members council in the coming weeks which will meet once a month to share knowledge, ideas, thoughts and feedback so hopefully this will work well. One of the things that came out of the AGM though was having a vairety of ways to engage for members so that whatever suits you – whether you’re a techie, a talker or a drawer – you can get involved.
I’m also following up from an exciting meeting I had on Friday with Tal from Seeducation – he’s organisaing a one year development course for young people who will be paid to take part in a new curriculum that creates leaders in social enterprise and activity. The Hub wants to develop a programme that engages with more young people and ideas we talked about were an internship programme where Seeducation students could do an internship for relevant Hub members, the students being able to study in the space and on a separate note, Seeducation hosting the space in the evening and weekends (when most of their students will be working).
To end on an exciting note, we had a visitor from Madrid over on Friday who wanted to see a Hub in action before h decided whether to invest in Hub Madrid or not. We must have done something right because he chose to invest! Congratulations Madrid 🙂 The drinks are on you….