Works Well with Others

This post originally appeared on the Made in Newcastle Blog. It was published on Monday 14 May 2012.

You’ve had the daily conversation with the cat, tidied up the house and now you’re catching up on your blog reading. If you fancy a change in pace how about swapping your cat chat for a coffee break, your house tidy for a quick inspiration session with fresh minds on the topic and your daily blog read for a sneaky peak over a co-workers shoulder at their latest project. Maybe you’ll even find someone to collaborate with on your own latest project.

Setting up the shop way back when, it’s teamwork! – photo by Paul Thompson

Newcastle, as I pointed out last post, is full of social things to do if you’re a creative type. So what about actually getting some work done? That can be done in good company too and what better way to meet a strong and supportive group of friends, with their own connections, resources and skills. It’ll only be a matter of time before you’re sharing skills, organising to swap resources and getting to know your brand new connections.

Co-working days? I don’t know, they sound corporate and expensive…
Rest assured, they’re not, a good selection of them are completely free. Some happen in a pub or cafe, no office cubicles for you.

Here are a few of the co-working days that I’ve learned about recently. I’m sure there are many more, so feel free to add your own by commenting on this post.

Space 2 Create
Space 2 Create meets weekly at the Settle Down Cafe, Wednesdays 6pm-8pm. All creative types are welcome and encouraged to take part in skill shares, participate in creative events and happenings and indeed organise their own using the combined support and skills of the group.
Space 2 Create is taking a small break for the summer, as most of it’s members are involved in festival season workshops, however the Facebook group stays open all year round and is a great platform for sharing ideas and plans on.

Maker Space Newcastle
Described as a “communal garden shed full of mad inventors”, the Maker Space is based in The Cottage, located round the back of the Star and Shadow Cinema. Maker Space is the ideal place for you if you’ve ever taken apart your old console or wondered how to get that Commodore64 in the loft working again. You can come along to one of their drop in sessions between 6pm and 8pm every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month for free to find out what it’s all about. There is a small monthly membership fee of £10 which pays for all the things you might use at Maker Space (wifi, consumables, buying new equipment etc.), which is explained fully on on their Join Us page.

Newcastle Jelly
“A casual co-working event for freelancers, homeworkers, small/micro business owners or anyone who wants to work somewhere different alongside others”. I had a chat on Twitter with @NewcastleJelly and it sounds like the kind of event where you could get a great mixture of creatives and makers. I imagine Bar Loco (their venue) being filled with designers, knitters, illustrators, writers and more. Jelly is a relatively new event so there’s no expectations and the group is very welcoming to new people. I’ll be at the next one myself, you can book tickets (free, it’s just so they have the right amount of spaces) on their Eventbrite page. Newcastle Jelly is every other Tuesday, from 10.30 until 5.30, you don’t have to stay all day and it’s free.

Okay, maybe you want something a bit more office based? How about these then?

Toffee Factory Sunset by Paul J White

The Toffee Factory
One of the newest additions to the Ouseburn area, the Toffee Factory is full of offices, communal spaces and meeting rooms that can be accessed as part of the shared office space for only £10 a day. So if you’re not ready for a permanent space yet but might fancy one in the future “these high quality workstations allow you to get a foothold at the heart of the North East’s newest creative industries community”. You’ll be sharing the building with some fantastic creative businesses and agencies, small and big. You can contact their team for more info on the shared office space, they’re lovely people.

Newcastle Business Village
Flexible desk space for freelancers, homeworkers and self-employed folks. With access to wifi, scanner, photocopier, fax and meeting spaces while you work. Newcastle Business Village also offers advice and support to help build your business, with options for a flexible membership scheme or £10 plus VAT per a day to use the space.

Other events that might be of interest to creative minded people:

The Late Shows – Happening on Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th May. “The Late Shows is a free culture crawl around Newcastle and Gateshead with many popular venues normally closed in the evening opening their doors after hours on a Friday and Saturday night.” Some of the highlights for me will be Northern Print, The Biscuit Factory and oh who am I kidding? I want to do it all. Two nights had better be enough.

Global Sustainability Jam – “One weekend in October, creative, passionate people will meet, form teams & get to work in an energetic, global, face-to-face event. They’ll have fun creating brand-new real-world designs, projects and initiatives which might make a difference.”

The Big Draw – I’ve heard there will be a Big Draw in Newcastle this year. The Big Draw is held in October in cities across the country,  with the aim to raise the profile of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. “The Big Draw is now a month-long festival of over 1500 events organised by national and regional museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, schools and community centres across the UK.” Start sharpening your pencils now!

If you’re organising a creative event or know of one we would be interested in, please pass on the details. MiN is always excited to know new people and get involved in new things. See you next update.