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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Success for The Factory in Skills & Opportunities fund

We are delighted to announce that Knowle West Media Centre has been awarded a share of NatWest’s £2.5 million Skills and Opportunities Fund.

We have been awarded £23,965 to provide workshops at our training and making space KWMC The Factory. These workshops will support 120 people, particularly those currently under-represented in enterprise, to develop the skills and knowledge to thrive in the manufacturing and making industries.

KWMC is one of three organisations selected in the South West, alongside I Can Do That CIC in Torquay and West Devon Business Information Point in Okehampton. The Skills & Opportunities Fund ‘supports organisations in disadvantaged communities that help people develop, create, or access the skills and opportunities they need to get into work or start a business.’ Charities, not-for-profit organisations and state-funded schools and colleges can apply for up to £35,000 each for a specific project from the fund.

Oliver Watts, Chairman of NatWest’s South West and Wales Regional Board, said: “It was a challenging decision because of the standard of entries we received. But the panel felt that all of the organisations would make a massive impact in their local communities.”

We know that satisfaction with local jobs is very low in our area – around 12% in the latest neighbourhood statistical report – and this funding will enable us to support more people to explore the possibilities of self-employment. Over the next few months we’ll be delivering a range of skills development workshops in digital fabrication, prototyping and product design, and we’re looking forward to supporting more local people, from all backgrounds, to make it in business.

A huge thank you to everyone who voted for KWMC in the public vote and helped to spread the word about our programme.  Watch this space for more information…

If you’d like to register your interest in the ‘Making it in Business’ workshops please contact Justin Ricks on 0117 903 0444 or justin.ricks@kwmc.org.uk

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Cast your vote and help South Bristol ‘make it in business’

Our digital manufacturing space, KWMC The Factory, has been shortlisted for the RBS Skills & Opportunities Fund, for a new programme that will support people to explore entrepreneurship and make their business dreams a reality.

You could help us make it happen by casting your vote: find out more about our proposal here and vote online here.

The Factory is KWMC’s making and training space: we create digitally manufactured products and provide opportunities for everyone to “make it” by opening up access to tools and technologies including a CNC router and laser cutter.

Our ‘Making it in business’ workshops will support people to develop the knowledge, skills and experience to thrive in the manufacturing and making industries and consider setting up their own businesses. We aim to work with 120 participants from South Bristol, especially those currently under-represented in enterprise including young people, women and Knowle West residents.

We’re planning to deliver a range of skills development workshops in digital fabrication, prototyping, product design, market research and costing. Those who want to develop their idea into a business will be supported to understand the next steps and participants can continue using The Factory’s facilities after the programme.

We know that satisfaction with local jobs is very low in our area at just 12% (Filwood ward, Quality of Life survey by Bristol City Council 2013) – and with just three clicks you can help us support more people to make it in business!

Voting closes at midday on Friday 22nd April. Cast your vote at: http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.rbs.co.uk/vote/vote-in-south-west-and-wales.html

Photo: Photography © Max McClure

Work with young people and sensing technologies

We’re currently supporting a group of young people to create their own campaigns for social change, using new sensing technologies to tackle issues they’re passionate about.

The Change Creators are aged 18-25 and are keen to hear from technologists, product designers and anyone interested in working with them to develop their two campaigns: diversifying mental health support services, and reducing food waste.

At this stage we are seeking people who are interested in:

• sharing ideas about what we can sense in relation to these issues
• identifying the sensing technologies we could use
• collaborating with the Change Creators to create the sensors

Could you help?

We have a small budget available for resources.  You can view the Change Creators ‘sensor pitch’ videos and see their specific sensing questions on their project page or at www.youtube.com/knowlewestmedia

If you’d like to get involved or you’d like more details please e-mail changecreators@kwmc.org.uk.

Change Creators is part of The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing.

Change Creators: Week One

After Inspire week, the Change Creators had the weekend to gather their thoughts and relax after an action-packed five days. They returned to KWMC on Monday 28th February to discuss their ideas further and begin developing their campaigns. In groups of four, they discussed their aims and what they wanted to achieve through their social change campaigns.

The group working on mental health – Ella, Yelena, Andreea and Chelsea – decided that they would focus on diversifying the way young people receive mental health support, as they believe more people would benefit from alternative methods such as art therapy. They want to bring attention to the possibilities for using art therapy or workshops to help people experiencing mental health problems.

Mason, Jay, Charlie and Emma, who are focusing on food waste, found that there were many different layers to the issue. After researching, Mason concluded that there were three important stages: the supplier, the supermarket and the consumer. The group will spend more time exploring these stages in the next few weeks to find a focus for their campaign.

As the groups will be using sensor technologies in their campaign, both groups devised a pitch explaining the sensors they would like to create, the data they would like to collect, and what the information would be used for.Some of their ideas included a wristwatch that sensed emotional activity and a sensor that would record the weight of food waste in a bin.

Over the next few weeks the Change Creators will be gathering feedback about whether their ideas are viable. There is still more planning and research to be done and you can follow the Change Creators’ workshops live on Twitter at @Change_Creators

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Change Creators: Inspire Week

The Change Creators Inspire week kicked off on Monday 22nd February with a full day of inspiring workshops and discussions. The Change Creators discussed core values and their interpretations of authentic leadership.

Day two began at Engine Shed and the theme for the day was the ‘State of the City’. Speakers from different organisations came to talk to the Change Creators and opened up a range of issues that the group may not have previously considered. Speakers from Citizens Advice, Happy City, 16-25 Independent People, Bristol Energy Coop, Easton Energy and Muslim Youth Helpline came to discuss the issues they are tackling and the positive work they’re doing in communities. The morning was inspiring and the Change Creators had lots to reflect on over lunch.

In the afternoon the team made their way over to the Arts Council England building, for a talk on how to apply for funding and how it works. The group also had the opportunity to sit down with Marvin Rees, who is running for Elected Mayor of Bristol this year, to discuss a range of issues in the city such as class divides, inequality, poverty, Bristol’s public transport and politics.

Day three took place solely at KWMC: The Factory, which is based in Filwood Green Business Park. Project ideas and prototyping were on the agenda for the morning and the group designed and made prototypes of products that could be used within their campaigns, working collaboratively as well as independently.

Day four saw the group at the Data Dome in At-Bristol. They viewed the space show and experienced the full effect of the 3D Planetarium. At the Pervasive Media Studio, which is managed by Watershed, the group received a talk from Carbon Visuals, which gave an insight into how you can visualise data and use it to tell a story and raise awareness of an issue.

The final day was spent at KWMC, where the Change Creators worked together to decide on the issues they want to tackle through their social change campaign. There were 35 issues in total and the group had to narrow it down to just two. Finally, after hours of discussion and brainstorming, the final issues chosen were, mental health and food waste. The next step? Research, planning and preparation.

 

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Change Creators: Induction Week

On Thursday 18th February, the Change Creators programme kicked off with a two-hour induction evening at Knowle West Media Centre. The session was designed to bring all of the Change Creators together for the first time and to challenge them in a team-based activity.

The team had to plan and execute a photo shoot in just 55 minutes and produce a powerful individual portrait of each person and two dynamic group photos. The team were given a camera, lights and access to Apple iMac computers, but the rest was up to them…The purpose of the task was to give the team an insight into what the next four months will entail, preparing them to take on positions of leadership and work collaboratively as a team.

To find out more visit the Change Creators page.

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2016 Workshop Programme

We’re in the process of planning a programme of practical workshops for our digital making space KWMC The Factory, ranging from basic carpentry to digital design and manufacturing using laser cutters and CNC equipment.

If you’re interested in a manufacturing workshop please contact Justin Ricks to register your interest. We’d be keen to hear if there are specific workshops you’d be interested in accessing from our exciting new making centre.

Take a look at some of the things we’ve made at The Factory since it opened last year…

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Meet the 2015 Junior Digital Producers

In October 2015 Knowle West Media Centre employed eight young people aged 18-24 as Junior Digital Producers (JDPs), a role supported by the Creative Employment Programme.

During their six months’ employment with us, the JDPs learn in-demand digital skills from industry experts, such as coding, animation, filmmaking and design, whilst being supported to improve their confidence and professionalism. Their training takes place within the context of a ‘real life’ project that aims to produce a positive social impact by working with local people to respond to an identified need.

They are the third group to be employed in this way – the first having worked on the Data Patchwork programme and the second on an interactive documentary.

The 2015 JDPs are Alex, Chris, Dipo, Gage, George, Kelly, Raddy and Yasmin. This year the JDPs will be working on the food research project Who decides what’s in my fridge?

JDPs 2015

Seven of the eight Junior Digital Producers for 2015: Gage, Chris, Yasmin, Alex, Raddy, George and Dipo. Not pictured: Kelly.

 

 

Turn your ‘junk’ into gems this Black Friday

As Black Friday dawns and Christmas shoppers start the hunt for gifts at bargain prices, a group of artists are encouraging people to breathe new life into old toys – rather than throwing them away to make room for new ones.

Over the last few months we’ve been collaborating with artists Ludic Rooms have been touring the streets of Knowle West with a toy trike, collecting unwanted toys and games and recording the stories behind them.

We discovered that, a month before Christmas, many people take stock of their toys and games, throwing old ones away to make room for the new gifts they’re buying or expecting. Items are often in a useable condition or can be easily mended.

With funding from the Bristol 2015 Neighbourhood Arts Programme for Green Capital year, we ran a number of ‘toy hacks’ where children and families worked with artists and technologists to make new toys and games from the donated items, transforming them into something that everyone could enjoy.

A broken garage for toy cars became a wildlife haven as it was remodelled as the Minibeast Hotel. A solitary bike wheel and some wooden beams came together to form a balance board.  Hundreds of broken character toys and fast food freebies were reborn as new exciting action figures.

Working with Ludic Rooms we’ve also produced a series of short films recommending simple and affordable ways to recycle old toys. These will be launched online on 27th November – to coincide with Black Friday.

Melissa Mean, Head of our Arts Programme, said: “There’s another side to Black Friday: as well as the shopping and buying, lots of toys and games are discarded that could easily be transformed into something new. We hope The Forgotten Toys project will encourage people to see “junk” in a different way and try out our easy and fun ways to reuse old toys. If we just use our imagination, we can reduce the amount we needlessly send to landfill, bring people together, and create something playful and fun in the process.”

Dom Breadmore from Ludic Rooms said: “We’ve been really inspired by the stories and playful memories of the people we’ve met whilst out on the toy trike in Knowle West. We’re really hoping that this project will inspire families to look again at the toys that we all consider throwing away to see the forgotten play potential in these objects – often beyond how they were intended to be used. The only limit is our collective imagination.”

Watch the films on Facebook from 27th November.

For more information visit www.forgotten.toys or contact KWMC on 0117 903 0444.

KWMC: The Factory receives Bristol enterprise award

KWMC: The Factory has been recognised for its contribution to training and manufacturing in Bristol, in an awards ceremony celebrating young craftsmen and women at the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House.

The Guild of Guardians presented its prestigious Alfred Telling Award to our new digital manufacturing enterprise on Thursday 15th October 2015. The annual award provides a bursary of £1,500 for an entrepreneur starting their own business in a manual trade in the Bristol area.

KWMC: The Factory was nominated by BRAVE, a not-for-profit business support organisation that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs start and run successful ventures.

Located in Knowle West, an area where satisfaction with local jobs is very low – just 12% in the last Bristol City Council Quality of Life survey (2013) – KWMC: The Factory aims to bring together artists, makers and local people and open up access to digital manufacturing technologies, such as CNC machines and laser cutters.

From two units at the new Filwood Green Business Park, KWMC: The Factory manufactures a range of products from recycled and sustainable materials and provides in-demand skills training for volunteers, businesses and schools. It also connect with other creative centres in the city, such as Pervasive Media Studio, to assist in the prototyping and development of new products.

The enterprise developed out of a pilot scheme run by KWMC and local charity re:work from the empty Eagle House Youth Centre in Knowle West. Between October 2014 and May 2015 their ‘pop up’ enterprise produced nearly 500 pieces of furniture to kit out Filwood Green Business Park, in a commission from building contractors MIDAS and Bristol City Council.

This summer KWMC moved manufacturing activity into Filwood Green Business Park and KWMC: The Factory was born. To date, they have provided 40 people with training in using digital manufacturing equipment.

Liz Sands, Director of BRAVE, said: “We are delighted to have nominated KWMC: The Factory for this prestigious award. It’s a very deserving winner and we have followed its development closely from the beginning. We hope this award helps to raise the profile of KWMC: The Factory and its cutting-edge digital manufacturing techniques and training.”

Justin Ricks, our Business Development Manager, commented: “We’re delighted to receive the Alfred Telling Award for our inclusive and environmentally friendly approach to manufacturing. Digital fabrication is fundamentally changing the way people make things – and we want to ensure that these technologies are available to the many, not just the few, and that they can be utilised to make things that are sustainable, attractive and innovative. The award from the Guild of Guardians will enable us to purchase more equipment for use by volunteer groups who come to us for training.”

For information about KWMC: The Factory please contact Justin on 0117 903 0444.

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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