Jewson - Building Better Communities

From Hitchin Hackspace
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You’ve got 300 words to sell your project - use them to win us over. We want to know about your big idea and how it’ll benefit your community. We especially like to hear about your innovative and ambitious projects which make use of sustainable products and practices.

Hitchin Hackspace is a group of makers based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. A Hackspace, or Makespace, is a community-operated workspace where you can make your own projects a reality or help others with theirs. Part of the Hackspace ethos is to repair, recycle, repurpose and reuse materials and technology which might otherwise be thrown away. During our weekly open nights members and non-members work on projects, from electronics to furniture making with all sorts in-between. For some time we have been looking to move to a permanent workspace of our own.

We are negotiating with our local council to lease a derelict toilet block. As part of the deal we must renovate the building internally and externally. Transforming a disused, dilapidated structure into a vibrant maker-community hub. The renovation will be funded by member contributions and external sources. All restoration work will be approached with a Womble meets make-do and mend attitude to reduce costs, recycling materials wherever possible.

We have demonstrated our recycling skills with our recent projects: A bicycle powered blender for a local community group. “bighak” a ride-on version of the 1970s toy bigtrak.

Bighak included in its raw materials; satellite off-cuts, an old bed frame and leftover household insulation. We have taken bighak to several public events, including Makerfaire UK and Derby mini-Makerfaire, promoting the Hackspace movement.

A permanent space would allow our members to :- Encourage STEM subjects and 'making' within the North Hertfordshire community. Get involved in outreach work with local schools and youth groups. Invest in, and house, equipment - from woodworking to digital manufacturing tools, like laser cutters and 3D printers, which are beyond the budget of individuals. Provide access to tools and knowledge that would otherwise be unavailable.

A grant from Jewson and Persimmon would help us achieve these goals.