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We Can Make


We Can Make good homes,

We Can Make local jobs,

We Can Make space for nature,

We Can Make social infrastructure,

We Can Make community wealth,

We Can Make a thriving neighbourhood.


How does ‘We Can Make’ work?

We Can Make uses an asset-based approach to re-imagine ‚Äúhow to do housing‚ÄĚ differently. It starts with the know-how and resources the community already has, and uses a process of creative co-design to work with people to develop the tools to do housing on their terms.

These are the vital ingredients of the We Can Make approach:

We start with people. It’s opt-in densification ‚Äď an elder may wish to downsize but stay in their community, or a family may be experiencing over-crowding.

The community sets the rules for what gets built through a Community Design Code, making it easier for people to navigate a complicated planning system, ensures homes are high-quality and add character to the neighbourhood.

Build for community infrastructure and benefit. When a family opts-in, the micro-site is transferred to our Community Land Trust. Transfer and planning permission is conditional on community ownership and fixing the rent at Living Rent. This represents a new supply of land exclusively for community-led homes.

We localise and de-carbonise the production of the homes using modular construction systems. The parts are made in our community fabrication space, KWMC The Factory, growing local jobs, skills and community wealth.

Unlocking micro-sites creates a new way for people and communities to make the homes they need, and in the process unlocks ways to help make a thriving neighbourhood.

Future Legacy Project

Future Legacy Project (FLP) is an exciting creative programme supporting young women and non-binary people to make a difference in the world by creating their own digital social action project. 

The aim of the programme is to support the participants to learn and develop key STEAM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and‚ÄĮMaths) to be able to plan, design and implement digital social action projects. Head to to see the projects they have created!¬†¬†

‚ÄúFLP gives you the opportunity to be yourself and work towards something important and have fun in the process!‚ÄĚ ¬†¬†

 We have run the programme 3 times over the past 3 years. In May 2022, our latest cohort graduated from a programme where they learnt new skills such as web development, photography, video, animation, and product design. We also worked with brilliant mentors and had many opportunities to meet inspirational professional women and non-binary folk. 

As part of the programme, we go on a 4-day retreat at Folly Farm to connect and develop skills in social action. We wanted to share that experience with you, through the voices of the participants whose blogs you can find below: 

For more information about the project, you can head to‚ÄĮ‚ÄĮor email‚ÄĮ¬†

Digital Inclusion Survey

Measuring digital inclusion in Knowle West

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been a lot of discussion about how the internet and digital devices can help people stay connected and informed. We want to better understand what is working well in our local community and where there are challenges, including how people who don’t have digital devices manage.

We worked with the University of Bristol (Bristol Digital Futures Institute) to design a survey to help us better understand how Knowle West residents use digital technologies. It was distributed to all homes in Knowle West in summer 2020 with the support of the Knowle West Alliance . The survey was completed by 275 households (885 individuals) and we worked together with the university researchers to analyse the results.

In March 2021 we ran a Community Digital Inclusion Workshop to bring together people who live and/or work in Knowle West who have an interest in increasing digital inclusion, access to technology, and digital skills in the local area. We shared the survey results with them and together we explored how we might share the findings more widely within the community to support action around improving digital inclusion.

We commissioned an artist (Radley Cook) to¬†work with the community to create a game to share the survey results in a fun and engaging way. Together we have created the ‘Clickety Click‘ bingo game which can be played online and there is also a paper-based version of the game.

The detailed research findings are available in an emergent findings report and a policy paper that includes recommendations.

The survey will be repeated in¬†autumn 2021. It will be distributed in¬†‘The Knowledge’, the community newsletter for Knowle West.

This work was supported by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, University of Bristol, with funding from the University’s alumni and friends, and by Bristol City Council.

Bristol Girls Can: Small Steps Video Project

KWMC and Bristol Girls Can are looking for mums with young children who have recently started taking small steps to be more physically active. We are inviting women to take part in two fun, free workshops exploring storytelling, filming, and editing to make a 30-second video. And what’s more, your story will be part of our new city-wide campaign in the Autumn!

So whatever small steps you take to fit a bit of movement into your life – it might be 10 minutes with Joe Wicks, a swift walk round the park with a friend, or a 5-minute kitchen boogie with the kids – we want to hear from you.

All workshops will take place July and be located in South Bristol. There will be a free creche and light refreshments available for all the sessions. The only equipment needed will be your mobile phone.

What is Bristol Girls Can?

Bristol Girls Can is part of the national campaign This Girl Can developed by Sport England and a range of partners, Bristol Girls Can is a local campaign with the aim of breaking down barriers to exercise and inspiring more women to get moving in the city, no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get.

Bristol Girls Can encourages women to share their stories, pictures and feelings about getting active. We have an online community @BristolGirlsCan who regularly give each other advice, guidance and support.

Interested or want to find out more? Contact: or fill out the following form and we will be in touch: 

Deadline for registering your interest is 9am Monday 5th July.


Exploring our relationships with blue spaces and water, to create healthy, resilient cities.

RESPiRES stands for Resilient People, Resilient Ecosystems in Smart Cities.¬†¬†In¬†early 2020 KWMC worked with researchers¬†and Bristol residents to explore how people interact with and experience¬†‚Äėblue space‚Äô sites in South Bristol (Crox Bottom) and East Bristol (the River Frome), using easily available technologies to tell their stories.

At the same time, researchers and local people in Mexico City were exploring their own spaces.


‘Smart’ and sustainable cities¬†need functional and resilient ecosystems to support the health and well-being of the people who live there. However, this can only be achieved by understanding how people interact with and perceive these ecosystems.

Blue spaces in particular (ponds, lakes, rivers and streams) play a key role in the urban ecosystem and for human health in cities by cleaning water, providing a sense of place and supporting a diverse set of flora and fauna.

The RESPiRES research team aimed to explore the social and ecological systems in two different contexts: the emerging economy of Mexico City and the established economy of Bristol.

The project

Through a series of workshops, KWMC worked with Bristol residents to explore their chosen sites and document their experiences there through film-making, using technology they already had available on their mobile phones.

Field Workshops –¬†During the first workshops we undertook walks in each location and monitored activity through human sensing (using our five senses) and drawing on digital tools such as the Hush City app, taking field notes and photographs and completing a participatory mapping exercise.

Ideation Workshops –¬†The next phase involved activities¬†where participants¬†could¬†devise stories for their short films and gather inspiration from each other. These workshops included a storyboarding exercise and¬†an introduction to basic film-making techniques.

Editing Workshops –¬†Participants took part in an introductory workshop into editing footage, using free open-source editing software.¬†They began to edit footage they had gathered in their personal research time. KWMC offered additional support through drop-in sessions to assist with learning.

Screening event –¬†The project culminated in a screening event that was successfully transferred online due to¬†COVID-19¬†restrictions. Joined by researchers from the UK and Mexico City, participants showcased the amazing films they had made. We also used the space to reflect on and celebrate the project.

Participants’ experiences

‚ÄúWorking with KWMC was good fun and introduced me to some super people, both at the¬†centre¬†and other participants in the project.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThe video that I produced has been seen in local, national and international places, and encouraged people to ask about Manor Woods Valley ‚Äď the location that featured in the video.‚Ä̬†

For more information about RESPiRES, visit the project website here.


Year of Can Do

Inspiring and celebrating positive community action in Bristol.

2020 was the Year of Can Do in Bristol Рa year of activity to support positive action in communities across the city and recognise the many voluntary groups and individuals already doing amazing things.

The campaign was linked to the Can Do Bristol website Рan online platform where Bristol residents and organisations can meet others interested in creating positive change, find volunteering opportunities, and offer support.

KWMC supported the Year of Can Do in several¬†ways –¬†despite the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic!


The KWMC team worked with¬†Bristol City Council and voluntary groups from across the city to coordinate a¬†mini festival of workshops, events and free activities to give people a taste of voluntary and community activities already going on in Bristol’s neighbourhoods.

The festival took place just days before the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020.  Activities run by local groups included workshops in community organising, cycle training, litter picks, performances and talks, and coaching sessions for young people.

Local Stories – Podcast Series

In the early months of 2020 we interviewed people from across Bristol for a special podcast series exploring the impact of volunteering on both volunteers and the people and communities they support.  Each episode focuses on a different organisation or group, with episodes profiling the Riverside Youth Project in St Pauls, the Bristol Co-operative Gym in Easton, and Refugee Women of Bristol.

The final podcasts will be available to listen to online soon.  The first episode, with Refugee Women of Bristol, was broadcast on local radio station BCfm in December 2020.

Local Stories –¬†Online Films

During COVID-19 lockdown, our team supported the Community Development team at Bristol City Council to¬†edit a series of short films for Volunteers’ Week, showcasing how communities were responding¬†to the coronavirus outbreak from Brentry to Hartcliffe. You can watch the films below.

For more information about volunteering in Bristol or working with volunteers, visit the Can Do Bristol website.


Project Night

Do you make art or produce projects in community contexts?

Project Night is a bi-monthly meet-up offering a supportive network to creatives and artists working in and with communities. Come along to get supportive feedback on your projects, test and share ideas, chat with other creatives and get inspired.

We are open for Project Night to evolve and become what people want and need it to be. If you would like to know more or have ideas for how Project Night could evolve, please contact 

To be added to our mailing list, email Keep an eye on the events page for more information.

100 Years of Knowle West Style

A¬†creative programme uncovering, understanding and telling the story of a community’s hidden heritage.

Having been based in the Knowle West community for over twenty years, we know that the area is full of stories and characters that can sometimes be overlooked by the wider city. We also know there’s plenty more to be uncovered…

When Knowle West was first conceived it was seen by many as the future of housing. Dubbed ‚Äúthe five thousand island forest‚ÄĚ by the workers who built it, the estate is sited on a hill surrounded by wild green space, and comprises one hundred streets, five thousand homes, and twelve thousand people.

From April to November 2019¬†we worked with local people, artists and archivists to explore, share and celebrate Knowle West’s¬†heritage. We explored what Knowle Westers think is iconic, special and unique about their area – whether they’ve lived here all their lives or have recently made the community home. Asking what does it mean to make, build, dress, speak, or do things ‘Knowle West style’?

Places: which buildings or public spaces have become iconic in the neighbourhood?

Spaces: how have home interiors, which were traditionally focused around the ‚ÄėParlour Room‚Äô, been reinvented through decades of changing fashions and functions?

Style: from the first settlers displaced by slum clearance to newer¬†neighbours, who and what are Knowle West‚Äôs distinctive style icons? From the well-known images – boxing, horses, trip-hop – to the things that are harder to see but are¬†there if you know where to look…


From November 2019 to March 2020 we hosted an exhibition of the stories and memories gathered, from bingo cards used at the Broadway Bingo Club to film footage of nights at The Venture Inn. The exhibition featured new commissioned work by artists Holly Beasley-Garrigan, George Lovesmith and Lukus Robbins, made in collaboration with local people.

You can view the online version of the exhibition by clicking here or on the See It Live button.

Knowle West Icons

The physical exhibition also included¬†space to nominate local icons.¬†What ‚Äď or who ‚Äď are your top icons?

people – remember Stan the Man?
places – did you love the old swimming pool?
objects – did you grab a Clarks pie on the Broadway?
symbols of culture or traditions ‚Äď do boxing gloves make you think of Knowle West?


Events included

‚Äʬ†Two resident-led walking tours of Knowle West during the Bristol Open Doors¬†weekend in September 2019.

‚ÄĘ The ‚ÄėHomecoming‚Äô music event in September 2019, programmed in collaboration with Gary Thompson of Cables + Cameras, which explored the impact of¬†South Bristol and Knowle West artists on British music, and featured well-known artists DJ Krust and DJ Bunjy alongside emerging Knowle West talent.

‚ÄĘ Regular drop-in sessions at KWMC where residents¬†could share photos, memories¬†and stories.

Wider Programme

‚Äú100 Years of Knowle West Style‚ÄĚ forms part of¬†¬†‚ÄúHomes for Heroes 100‚ÄĚ – city-wide projects marking a century of council housing coordinated by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership. Homes For Heroes 100 is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bristol City Council.

Control Alt Delete (Jump Studios)

Control Alt Delete is a weekly session for 10¬†‚Äď 16 year olds that provides exciting opportunities to get hands-on with new technology.


Sessions take place every Monday and aim to inspire the next generation of digital producers: young people who don’t just consume technology but build, test and experiment together.

Activities include:

Using robots
Building in Minecraft
3D printing
Virtual Reality
Computer Aided Design


The sessions are suitable for young people aged 10-16.  Control Alt Delete aims to provide a fun and exciting space for young people to develop the skills and tools to become creators and inventors.

When talking about the tech workshops that we put on over the summer one young person said, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been the best day of my life!”


The¬†Autumn term starts on Monday¬†9th September and sessions run every Monday evening during school term time from 4.30 ‚Äď 6pm.

Get Involved!

Places are limited, so please sign up if you want to come by contacting Dot: or calling 0117 9030444

Photos: Dean Ayotte

Creative Hub (Jump Studios)

Creative Hub is a weekly creative space for 10-16 year olds to explore digital media and develop their own projects and ideas.


Taking place every Wednesday during term time from 5-7pm, the Hub offers opportunities to get involved in a wide range of creative practices, including

– animation
– gaming
– music
– illustration
– technology (coding, robotics, virtual reality)

Members of Creative Hub, and other Jump Studios groups, can also complete an Arts Award qualification at Bronze or Silver level.



Creative Hub is¬†part of our¬†Jump Studios programme for 10 –¬†16 year olds and offers young creatives the opportunity to develop skills and interests at their own pace, with the support of the KWMC team.


Creative Hub runs during term time on Wednesday evenings 5pm – 7pm.


Sessions take place weekly at Knowle West Media Centre, Leinster Avenue, Bristol, BS4 1NL.

Get involved!

Creative Hub is a busy space and is open access. You don’t have to book places (like you do for Creative Courses) but computers and equipment are given on a first come first served basis.

If you would like more information please contact or speak to the team on 0117 903 0444.

Photos: Dean Ayotte

Contact Us

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

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