In our 4th blog from the team, meet Lizzie and hear her thoughts on Community Engagement during Lockdown.
Lizzie also has news to share.........
Our 5th team member Michelle has been focused on delivering support to young people during lockdown.
Read about this and her many fundraising projects for the migrant community who have no access to government support during this time
In our 3rd blog reflecting on #Lockdown2020, our team member Betty talks about how living in a different country from her family is presenting more emotional challenges during #Lockdown2020 than it usual does
The 2nd in our series of blogs from our team during #Lockdown2020.
Our team member Andrew Small talks about his lockdown survival techniques of fixing, painting, portfolio sharing and auto didacticism
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week the We Make Places team have been reflecting on their time in Lockdown and how it relates to our practice.
This introductory blog from our CEO Kate Stewart explores the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 7 Stages of Grief and change curve. Read how it's affected her, the team and our future work in communities
This is a challenging time for us all, both societally and individually.
As a social enterprise we've had to split priorities between ensuring our staff team are safe & well and also concern for the vulnerable individuals & communities we support.
So we've declared a SOCIAL EMERGENCY - read about how we are responding
Our nomadic learning hub & CNC manufacturing project, Urban Workbench, has been keeping busy in Sutton Way!
Our Urban Workbench learning programme has been going from strength to strength recently - read about feedback from our participants and its positive impact on beneficiaries.
We Make Places have been recognised in a Special Report published by Local Authority Building & Maintenance Magazine for the unique community engagement and placemaking work we're currently delivering on behalf of ForHousing and Cheshire West & Chester Council in Sutton Way, Ellesmere Port.
Our CEO Kate Stewart said “We Make Places have always advocated for shared use of The Flyover and for its alternative use as public space if traffic is taken off The Flyover completely. The original Friends of the Flyover proposal was a response to a Council vision to redirect traffic away from the structure. Recent discoveries as part of the council’s statutory PTSI process have led to the current closure whilst more structural investigations take place.
Join our conversation about pubic space, how it gets used, who owns it & who pays for it and how we can make it better. Join the #IWantSPACE conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well as this blog and help write a Citizens Manifesto for Public Space
So, what is a Creative Producer and is this what I am? And would applying to be part of a 3-year programme which defines a group of people be helpful to me at this point in my life?
After years of shying away from any complements relating to my creativity – feeling much more comfortable to recognise measurable and provable skills – around my 50th birthday I decided to start accepting people’s definition of me as a creative, inspiring, even pioneering person. I resolved to try and explore this definition more so that I could ‘grow into’ it and maybe start to realise my full potential. So my first venture was to apply for a ‘creative lab’ in Rio – that experience and the follow-on project started to help me see what others saw in my work. (read more about Rio Visivel in our previous blog)
But still, applying for the
It is important that we retain public space in our towns and cities that small organisations and community groups as well as families and individuals can ‘programme’ and interpret over time. So much of our lives are spent working and living in buildings with poor quality light and air that the ability to be outdoors, to have space for thoughts, conversations and interactions that are not based on consumer transactions is vital to our well-being. Today we salute the bravery of the Hastings Pier Charity and their Architect dRMM in committing to open space and recognising the importance of space for citizens to occupy and make their own.
Unfortunately due to things outside of our control we have had to cancel the performances of Unkindest Cut this week, due to take place as part of Liverpool Mental Health Festival. All the partners are working to reschedule the workshop and performances for Spring/Summer of 2018 and we are really excited about the opportunity for young people to be involved in co-creating and for audiences to see the work.
We invited the speakers and the audience from The Maverick City to join us for a day of community building at WECC and during the weeks before we asked local businesses to donate pallets that we could strip and use to make furniture on site.
Our team was very international as it included most of our speakers and during the day a few of the audience joined in too. We had people from Chicago, Rio, Latvia, Italy, The Netherlands and Liverpool involved.
It was one of the most moving projects we have worked on – at some point during the day everyone cried, with humility, compassion and joy. This was about so many things…….individuals making new connections, learning new skills they could take back to their own communities, leaving a gift for a community that felt neglected and the rebirth of ambition and hope.
Read a couple of accounts of the day from participants below and have a look at some of our favourite photos.
Community Build project reflections by Chiara Organtini
On the Saturday we packed all our energy and headed as early birds to West Everton, where We Make Places recently opened a workshop to support their brand new Urban Workbench project led Angelo Madonna, a multidisciplinary artist. This project is a learning hub for communities and people that can gain the skills and ability to reshape their own spaces by learning DIY skills and collaborative attitudes.
As I directly experienced, Urban Workbench is a way to empower people, enable the grass roots process of urban regeneration or the reclaiming of spaces by changing peoples thoughts, skills and the way they see things and relate to one another.
We spent the day at West Everton Community Council with a group of community members and stakeholders to make outdoor benches for their courtyard so to make the space alive, visible and enjoyable for elderly people, children and others visiting the centre. West Everton Community Council is a resident led organisation that advocates for residents to ensure they have a voice at all levels, also identifying and responding to all issues that directly affect the whole community.
While there, the community members told us about the story of the place and the recent fire that damaged part of the building and the story of Everton also in regards to the new project in Great Homer Street (Project Jennifer) that will create a new hub of activity in North Liverpool and will act as a catalyst for the wider redevelopment of this part of the city. Their role as a community organisation is to ensure a balanced regeneration process where bricks are not more important that people and where quality of life and community relationships are equally taken into account.
I felt enriched by the idea we could give a small contribution to the improvement of the future of this valuable organisation.
The whole day was a collective creative workshop, teaming up according to tasks and projects in-between excitement, release of energies and ideas, frustrations also for not being perfectly able to do all the work. This doing affected of course also my thinking and I realized the importance of creating infrastructure for participation, leaving spaces for the people, and giving tools to people to make their own spaces.
During the day I found my self hammering, sawing, breaking pallets: I wanted to achieve results without knowing how, I wanted to get the final result without observing listening to the shape of the object the material and the group as I was so anxious to make a big contribution to this community centre.
Then I started to be more in flow, streaming with the group, listening and observing what was around me and in the object we were creating. This adjustable navigation is indeed one of the principles I try to apply in my daily work in project management and this level of openness is crucial to inject oxygen and keep our action alive and in tune with the surrounding situation. Making together is really a way to reset minds and bodies, shifting the focus on a common goal, sharing reponsibilities and forgetting our egos and assumptions: we entered a land where collaboration, creativity and reactions where the keywords and a perfect receipt for new ideas.
This afternoon, besides giving new benches to the community, above all gave me confidence and changed how I think about me and the possibility I have to impact being a reflective practicionner, acting thinking and adjusting the navigation beyond the simple planning.
My experience in Liverpool still resonates in my body and in my head, and is more a patchwork of diverse areas of the city that speak about a complexity that merge opposites stories from gentrification to regeneration. But above all I still have a gallery of voices and faces that feed me with inspirations: Kate makes magic happen, she creates a perfect mix of people and then let the process goes.
There is a precise moment I remember: when I was taught how to use a handsaw; in that movement I felt like I was playing the violin, not as gently as Tiago does but in the effort of learning: in that moment it was like I was cutting away my fears and the limits I imposed myself.
Some people are like stars: what keeps them alive is the balance between the energy they get while releasing their own light.