Brits: Make A Vote, Put Cash A Hackerspace’s Way

Those of you who have been involved in the running of a hackerspace or makerspace will know the never-ending struggle to maintain financial solvency, and the quest for sources of income to move your organisation forward. It’s certainly a topic upon which Hackaday’s crew have some experience, more than one of us has helped run a space.

A good avenue to explore lies with community grants: money from organisations on a philanthropic basis to invest in community organisations. These can come from charities, governmental organisations, or even from companies as part of their corporate social responsibility. It’s this last source of grant money that claims our attention today, because we are in the final days of voting for the Aviva Community Fund, in which the British financial and insurance company makes grants for worthy causes across the country. The causes compete to gain as much support as they can, and hope to thus win their prize.

Among the many worthy recipients of the cash are a selection of hackerspaces. First up are Hitchin Hackspace, whose Big Hak full-size rendition of a Milton Bradley Big Trak toy was featured in our coverage of EMF Camp 2016. They are building a new space in what we’ll call a redundant community facility because it sounds better than “Former public toilet”, and winning a grant will help them a lot in that aim.

Then we have East London Makerspace. They have secured an unused garage to turn into a makerspace, as the capital’s population of our community swells to support ever more spaces in its different suburbs. Like Hitchin, the money would go to the essential work involved in creating a functioning space where previously there was nothing.

Finally, we have the unexpected, a heating system from Milton Keynes Men In Sheds. If you know about Men In Sheds as a community organisation for older people, you’ll be wondering why this is listed here. What we haven’t told you is that MK Makerspace is a subgroup of the MK Shed that occupies the upstairs portion of their building, and what warms the Shedders also warms the hacker community of one of Britain’s new towns.

These appear to be the only hackerspaces bidding for grant money, but votes can usefully be given to other allied causes. Linlithgow Remakery and Tool Library, for instance could use a boost, as could the other Men In Sheds groups scattered across the competition.

So if you are one of Hackaday’s British readers, please take a minute to stop by the voting pages listed above, and give them a boost. You have a couple of days to get your votes in, so make them count, and make a difference!

Disclosure: [Jenny List] is a member of Milton Keynes Makerspace.

9 thoughts on “Brits: Make A Vote, Put Cash A Hackerspace’s Way

  1. Nothing wrong with Men’s sheds. For a start they arnt just for men.
    Also the age limit isnt set in stone at 50. If youve got something to offer to the group it will often be ignored.
    Theyve changed a lot since the idea came out of Australia.

    They face all the same challenges to set up and keeping running as a hackerspace.
    Premises, money, members and keeping the momentum up.

    There was no local Hackerspace for me after moving to Trowbridge in Wiltshire from South London where I was a member of the South London Makerspace. Bristol hackerspace was just a bit too far for regular visits.

    So I approached Trowbridge Men’s shed and asked if I could start a weekly Techie session for those of us who were into electronics, microcontrollers and 3d printers. We now have a thriving weekly Thursday afternoon Techie session.
    If we want more time we can just turn up and use the facilities just like any hacker or maker space.

    1. Very true, MK’s Men In Sheds have been a very good host for the Makerspace, an I hope we’ve brought useful stuff to them.

      And yes, not just for men :) But the name does provide a hurdle to attracting a more diverse makerspace membership, sadly.

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