Archive for June, 2012

The Open Day

We had originally planned for the celebration, as an Open Day at KWMC The Factory, but we had to make changes thanks to storm Eunice. The idea of young people being able to access the amazing facilities we have at KWMC The Factory is something that has been in the making for quite some time across all our Making programmes!

So, with that in mind, we decided to open the day up so that more young people were able to come and take part in the fun activities we planned or just work independently on their own projects outside of their session times!

Saturday 2nd April saw young people aged 10-18 y/o who have attended one of our Making programmes (Maker City Inspire, Maker City Industry, Future Legacy Project, Making Together and UCL Making Space) come along and take part in a range of digital manufacturing activities and experiment with creative technology and do lots of making! Of course, there was a theme, with Easter around the corner it felt only right that we try our hand at some spring theme decorations!

We set the space up so there were different areas to go and explore; downstairs was the curiosity corner and hands-on creativity; we had the sewing machines, fabric pens, and drawings. In the afternoon we got messy painting the blocks that have been designed by local young people and will feature as a bench on Filwood Broadway very soon!

Upstairs Jack, Clara and Dot were running the laser cutter, vinyl cutter, 3D printer and heat press machines. Young people were designing all things from mushroom earrings to laser-cut easter egg frames for their families! Some young people even had a go at designing a Bristol-themed t-shirt range which they continued working on in their sessions the following weeks.

It was a busy, fun-filled day with lots of prototyping, problem-solving, peer-to-peer support, and idea sparks. Everyone was very proud of the products they had designed and made! Being able to spend a longer period in The Factory space meant we were able to have check-ins with each young person to find out what it is they love the most about coming to the programmes here at KWMC & KWMC The Factory. It was great to see the different ages of young people mixing together, sharing stories about the programmes they are on and inspiring. We think the open day was a huge success and are super excited to be running another one very soon! Keep your eyes and ears peeled about how you could get involved in the next Factory Open Day!

Mentoring Session

The mentoring session was all about shifting the cohort from their comfort zone into their stretch zone. The session was held virtually so the cohort was speaking to women from all over the country. We started the session by making lists of women who inspire us in our lives. We played a game of ‘Who Am I?’; the group shared meaningful stories about their chosen inspirational women and they practised asking both open and closed questions to find out more information, in preparation to ask questions to their mentors.

The groups then started to map out their journey from the beginning of the project until this point. This was an important exercise that allowed them to reflect on their process and start thinking about what they wanted to do to move forward, addressing their achievements as well as obstacles they may have faced that they want to overcome. The groups made presentations and practised pitching their campaign.

Each group was assigned a specific mentor who specialised in STEM within Social Action. The cohort pitched their projects to their mentors and spent time answering questions and gaining advice about how to take their projects to the next professional level.

Afterwards, the groups came back together to share their experiences. Some of the cohorts explained that pitching their campaigns was a new challenge and pushed them into their stretch zones. The groups were made to think about their campaigns in a new and professional way. They all had a list of next steps which they wanted to focus on and everyone left feeling inspired and ready to push their projects to the next level!

International Women’s Day

KWMC is a Women-led organisation with over two-thirds of the staff being women, it felt only right to spend the week celebrating women in Bristol and beyond. International Women’s Day 2022 was the perfect fit to touch base with the FLP cohort. We had just come off the back of an amazing event at KWMC The Factory Enterprising Women event and were fuelled with thought around what it is like being a woman in 2022; who is inspiring us and challenging us to be the best versions of ourselves and knowing not all superheroes wear capes.

So, we came together for an evening of conversations, making and pizza! During the evening we spoke about why international women’s day exists, why it is important and who inspires us. We looked at different slogans and branding from the brilliant IWD recourses for 2022 and decided to use this as inspiration to design our own Future Legacy Project IWD merchandise. The young people designed logos to be printed as stickers and digital embroidered designs onto t-shirts.

Wind Down Wednesday

Our first Wind Down Wednesday was at KWMC The Factory following our day at Bristol Old Vic. Wind Down Wednesday was all about prepping the work we have been doing over the past 2 days ready to show off to the rest of the group!

The cohort was able to start turning their ideas generated in Megan’s social action session the day before into reality by getting stuck into some making. The participants were able to use the laser cutter, digital embroidery machine and 3D printer, learning how to use the equipment independently. The aim of the day was to build on their projects ready to show at the end of the day.

The day was spent making and troubleshooting, it was so exciting to see the projects start to come to life. This formed such a good base level to take to the retreat and gave a real insight into what social action topics the young people will be working on

Take Action Tuesday

Take Action Tuesday took place in the gorgeous Cooper’s Hall at Bristol Old Vic. After everyone arrived and grabbed their breakfast and coffee, we began the day with an energising game led by Clara. In groups, the young people had to work together and use their bodies to form an object. After that, Megan Clark-Bagnall arrived to facilitate a Social Action masterclass. Megan demonstrated inspiring ways to blend creativity and social activism which would help the young people later down the line with their projects.

After this, Lucy Cox came from Stemettes to educate us all on coding and web development. The young people played “jam sandwich”; a game which encourages thinking in code. You have to programme the ‘robot’ to jam a sandwich, giving specific instructions, which is more challenging than you would think!

Following lunch, we had two workshops simultaneously; podcasting with Dot and City Photography with Megan. In Dot’s podcasting workshop, Dot showed us inspiring podcast examples and encouraged the young people to think about its different elements and what they liked and disliked. Then, the young people split up into their groups and planned a podcast around their social action issues. They were able to record their podcast and experiment with what a final draft could look like. Meanwhile, Meg took the other half of the group to shoot photography around Bristol Old Vic, such as the Harbourside. Meg explained how to use the cameras before leaving and then encouraged the young people to explore the local area and take pictures of what attracted them. Throughout the day we linked all of the content of the workshops around subjects that the young people were passionate about and wanted to ‘Take Action’ on.

After learning lots of new skills and creating, we all went to Za Za Bazaar for an all-you-can-eat feast!

Maker Monday

All ‘Maker Mondays’ should start with a game of Buzzy Bees so that’s exactly what we did! The group could think imaginatively and move actively, playing outside and having lots of innovative fun. 

This led us into a morning based on mental health and wellbeing. We wanted to make sure we were creating a safe space for young people to learn and explore the topics. We introduced the concept of the 5 steps of mental health and wellbeing; give, connect, be active, keep learning and take notice. The group shared strategies that helped them with their own mental health and well-being and we talked about how the 5 steps will be implemented throughout the programme.

The cohort then took part in a ‘Catastrophe’ workshop. The concept of this workshop is for the young people to learn about the differences between our thoughts, our feelings, our physical reactions and our behaviour while gaining an understanding of how these things can become connected. The young people threw themselves into the exercise, exploring what happens to themselves in moments of panic. They started opening up with one another, sharing their experiences and practising this awareness on some real-life examples. The young people also learnt about the ‘10 steps of mental health and wellbeing diagram’ and how this strategy can be used to help achieve goals in everyday life.

We then ran a ‘Care and Creation’ workshop in the afternoon which helped the young people focus on topics which they felt passionate about. This was an active exercise where the young people were asked to walk around the room stopping at different topics written on the floor. The cohort talked to each other about the different topics and as the exercise went on it became clear who shared the same passions and interests. Based on the outcome of the exercise, the FLP groups started to form focusing on four different key themes; mental health, animal protection, equality and diversity in education.

It was then time for the young people to try their hand at some new technology. The girls learnt how to use ink scape and practised using the vinyl cutter, laser printer and digital embroidery machine. We created a space for everyone to fearlessly try something new, learn from mistakes and build up ideas.

For the last workshop of the day, the young people learnt how to use Sphero robots and based on the shared interests of the new groups, the young people designed and built cities out of recycled materials for the Spheros to be raced around.  The cities needed to have a name, and three laws and landmarks which linked to their shared interests/values. This was a really tangible way for the groups to start thinking about their Social Action values and think creatively as they engineered their own 3D cities.

Replanning the FLP Retreat

When storm Eunice blew into our lives, we did not think we would be cancelling the retreat two days before we were due to head off on it. The storm had damaged the roofs at Folly Farm which meant it was no longer safe to stay in. We got the call late on the Friday night, so the team met up the next day to figure out what to do next.

We really didn’t want to let the young people down especially as we were so close to retreat starting. The team pulled together to work out how we can still offer the retreat experience right here in Bristol across the same dates. Call it the ‘At Home Retreat’ if you will.

After a weekend of unexpected plan changes and just a tiny bit of stress, we adapted the schedule so we could deliver all of the amazing workshops we had planned at KWMC, KWMC The Factory and (at that point) an unconfirmed location in the city.

We are so fortunate to have KWMC as a base and we turned the downstairs of the building into our temporary retreat to welcome the cohort. The team were so adaptable and delivered Making Monday at KWCM and it was buzzing with activity!

It was touch and go to whether we would find the perfect space for the second day of the ‘At-home retreat’, but team Eight rallied together and booked the most gorgeous space for Take Action Tuesday at The Bristol Old Vic with one hour spare!

The wonderful Make with Meg came, giving the cohort an inspiring real-life example of what it’s like to be a working mother.

The session kick-started the group’s projects in the same way it would have done at the retreat space and being able to head out to the Harbourside for the photography workshop was a great bonus.

One of the aspects we appreciate most about escaping to Folly Farm on a retreat is that it really is an escape. In the past, we have had young people comment on how beautiful and noticeable the stars are which they don’t get at home. We had comments about how peaceful and relaxing the venue is and how having breakfast, lunch and dinner cooked for you every day is amazing.

We tried to replicate the retreat experience and allow for the bonds between the cohort to form even though the ‘At Home Retreat’ wasn’t as physically immersive.

We made sure there was breakfast and lunch available each day and to replicate the evening bonding we took everyone out for dinner which was so much fun.

Because the retreat is equally such a restful and inspiring experience, we decided that we will still be going to take the cohort to Folly Farm. We will soon be heading off and we are so excited. The cohort has also now spent so much time together that it’s going to feel like a joyful reunion when everyone steps onto the coach.

Rearranging a whole programme 2 days before you are due to start is never an ideal situation but I don’t think we would have had it any other way. The team and the cohort were so adaptable and we cannot thank the group enough for being so understanding with the last-minute plans.

The replanned retreat still included Maker Monday, Take Action Tuesday, Wind down Wednesday and all the other great activities that we had planned!

What to Expect Event

We began the day by writing our names down on name tags and introducing all the facilitators and participants, asking everyone what their favourite food or snack was so that we could get to know each other better.

Before we got into the activities Louise, did a presentation on what it would be like to be a participant in The Future Legacy Project. For example, presenting their own project and project explaining the process of creating a social action plan as an example. The Participants were able to ask Louise questions about their experience on the project.

We started writing a ‘manual of me’ and a diagram of how confident the participants were, on a scale of very confident to not confident. The manual of me describes the environments that people like to work in and how people work best, it also explains how people like to receive feedback and the best ways to communicate with people in general. Everyone presented their manuals of me to the group once they all completed them.

After that, everyone was able to experiment with the technology that we have at the KWMC. We were teaching the participants how to use the different programmes on the laptops so they could create their own keychains or stickers.

Louise was in charge of taking food orders for everyone, everyone decided mainly on the pizza. Dot then ordered the food to the KWMC whilst all the other facilitators helped the participants with the technology and their designs. When the food arrived, everyone was in high spirits and conversed with each other getting to know one another.

Most of the participants made a design and printed it off, a few of them did a design on the laser cutter and others just drew a design and saved them on the laptops. One of the participants created a very intricate design that printed out very nicely as a keychain. By the end of the session, everyone either had made a design or printed their designs off.

At the end of the session, we all said goodbye and we were looking forward to seeing everyone join us on the project, wishing them good evenings and sending them on their way.

Introduction Day

We kicked off the start of Future Legacy Project 2022 with the introduction day on the 12th of February at Knowle West Media Centre.

We were delighted to welcome the cohort to the space to officially start the programme, meet the team and get to know each other! We always like to start with a bit of fun and silliness to break the ice. Clara led some ‘get to know each other’ activities which allowed the participants to find out what common interests they shared with the rest of the cohort. From favourite films to flavours of ice cream, by the end of the first hour, everyone had shared a little bit about themselves and was ready to jump straight into the programme! The introduction day is the first time the young people start to think about what matters to them, their communities and the world that they live in. Megan led an interesting discussion around the pros and cons of Bristol, the UK and the World. Some insights from the young people: 

  • Bristol: Pro “It’s diverse”, Con “Homelessness”  
  • UK: Pro “The NHS”, Con “Boris Johnson” 
  • World: Pro “Different range of food”, Con “Climate Change”  

This sparked some interesting and important discussions which led nicely into a quick-fire speed-round chat in pairs around topics such as mental wellbeing, equality, education systems, discrimination and the environment.  

After a morning of discussions, we moved on to an afternoon of teamwork activities, community building and Sphero mazes. The young people worked together on the Egg Drop challenge, which was to engineer a case made from scrap materials to protect an egg when being dropped down the stairs! We used this as an example of managing a mini project, working out roles in a team and the importance of planning and design before delivering a final product! We then went back to the topics that we had discussed and choose a theme to design a new community based on what changes we would like to see. We then drove Sphero robots around the new communities. We finished the day with some digital drawing, designing FLP tote bags with hand stitching and fabric pens whilst going through the whole programme.

We heard from Lucy from Stemettes about their involvement and what the mentoring will look like. Ella did a brilliant talk about Eight and the content we will be gathering during the programme and how the young people can get involved with the creative agency!  

The introduction day ended on a high and everyone was super excited to see each other again and start working on their projects! The young people fed back that they enjoyed learning new skills, discussing things they were passionate about and making new friends. 

Taster Evening

We started the year 2022 with a taster evening. This meant inviting potential participants to come along with a friend, family member, or support worker, to come and find out what the project has to offer! The whole team was there to welcome people into the space. There were live demonstrations of digital fabrication equipment that we would be learning during the programme, such as digital embroidery machines, laser cutting and vinyl cutting!

One of the main focuses at FLP is young people developing their own social action campaign around something they feel passionate about, a change they want to see or something they want to raise awareness about. During the taster evening, the potential participants had the chance to discuss what social action means to them. This sparked some interesting discussions amongst the FLP team and the participants.  

During the taster evening, there were a few different presentations, we were able to show the film from year 1, which gave a flavour of the programme and also allowed the participants to hear from the previous cohort of young people. We did an overview of what to expect, which meant we were able to answer any questions anyone had and talk about how it could work for people on an individual level. This ensured everyone’s needs would be met along the way. At the end of the event, potential participants were able to take away the sign-up forms, information packs and a sticker and keyring for a keep’s sake! 

Overall, we had a brilliant success rate, with the overall majority signing up and taking part in the programme and inviting friends to come along to the introduction day.   

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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