News  


After 10 months, our time at St Georges Crypt will come to end on Thursday (5th May 2022). It’s been a good home for the last year but now it’s time to move on.


We’re really pleased to announce that we will be moving to a temporary new home in the City Center!


Our friends at Tech-Takeback have kindly provided part of their Revaluit Shop for us to use as a temporary base for the BCWP Tool Library.


We will have limited space though, so most of our inventory has been moved into storage.


During our time at Revaluit our opening hours will be the same as theirs and the Tool Library will continue to function.


Wed - Sat 10am - 5pm


Revaluit

​12 Pavilion Parade

Brighton

​BN1 1EE


We anticipate to be there in person to check in and check out library items and promote the project in general - but in the event we aren’t available, the staff at Revaluit have agreed to help us out.



They won’t be able to check reserved items in or out, but can take items and (by prior arrangement) hand out items - during this time we recommend you continue to consult with us via email.


admin@bcw.org.uk


We still need hands on volunteers, especially if you have retail experience or are good with people and

at some point soon we will be moving again, into larger premises so we need more volunteers to help run the library.


If that’s you - apply here.


We want to thank our volunteers who helped us move from the crypt, and more importantly organise our garage storage units into something less chaotic than they were in over a year ago.


Thanks guys!



Updated: Apr 8

Make, Learn, Share and Repair. But what does it really mean?

Venn Diagram
How our core principles intersect with the eco ideology

Make, Learn, Share and Repair are our core principles and have deeper roots than you may think.


In striving to achieve these principles we contribute towards community cohesion, reducing social isolation, improving the local circular economy whilst taking steps towards becoming carbon neutral and ultimately do our bit in helping to reduce climate change.


By encouraging our creative community of makers, menders, crafters and fixers to support our aims we are one step closer towards achieving our goals.

More broadly speaking, the roots of the project are characterised through the broader eco ideology of Reduce, Renew, Reuse (and Repurpose) - considered to be the most effective ways you can save natural resources, protect the environment and save money.


Brighton’s first Tool Library

Our first step was achieved thanks to the launch of Brighton's first Tool Library.


It’s not a new idea, there are Tool Libraries all over the world and we are but one in long chain of organisations spearheading The Sharing Revolution...

The global sharing revolution is happening right now and together we are spearheading Brighton’s first community sharing initiative

... but the Tool Library is just a stepping stone, and once established we will cultivate and encourage our growing community to practice and learn traditional vocational techniques, developing new skills and experiences through the sharing of knowledge and creative ideas and maybe we'll make some new friends along the way?

Along with regular repairs sessions and by up cycling objects to sell, we can generate additional funding for the workshop, improving it’s sustainability and contributing further to the local circular economy, providing a local solution to the global problem of waste, over-production, and our throwaway consumer culture.


The Community Workshop

​Our next step, and perhaps our biggest challenge, will be to find a more appropriate space for the community to unite and collaborate – in other words, The Community Workshop – enabling us all to share our expertise and creativity.


This workshop space, along with the tool library, will allow many items, objects and materials to be re-used or re-purposed that may otherwise have been left discarded or stored indefinitely unused. Timber Offcuts, fabric remnants, surplus fixings, paint, adhesives, paper, card and so on.

And... by forming bonds with likeminded organisations we can collaborate on mutual aims, offering further incentives and opportunities for all of you, our member and volunteers, strengthening community bonds and adding even more to the circular economy.


So, when we say -“Delivering the Tools and Space to Make Learn Share & Repair” - there’s much more to it than meets the eye.


If you're reading this and you're not already a member... then Join Today.


Start your sharing journey at The Tool Library, or Volunteer, or why not Make a Donation and help support us in building the Brighton Community Workshop!

Updated: Mar 21

"Why I joined the Brighton Community Workshop Project"


By Tristram Burden

“A bad workman blames his tools.” My dad taught me a lot before he died in 2010.


But this overused phrase always stuck with me. It echoes when my computer doesn’t co-operate, or when another string on my mandolin breaks.


Dad would say it in response to my complaints about a saw that wasn’t working right or a drill that made crooked holes. We would spend time together making benches out of tree stumps or building birdboxes, toy trucks, tiny boats and house signs.


Aged 11, dad had me chopping firewood, trimming hedges and gardening.


As a member of Generation Rent, the urge to create bookshelves, build a desk, a magazine rack, or spend time in a garden is difficult to accomplish. Like many, not having space to make a mess with a set of tools to do the job right limits our options.


This is why the Brighton Community Workshop Project is so important to me and why I was compelled to Volunteer as soon as I heard about it.


This is why the Brighton Community Workshop Project is so important to me and why I was compelled to Volunteer...

These things take time.

Founding Director, Garry Meyer, told me that the concept was discussed with friends in back in 2017 and after some initial prospective Facebook posts, things began to take shape. From a small group strategising in community halls it eventually becoming a constituted, not for profit, Community Interest Company in June 2019.


The Tool Library opened in 2021, and already has thousands of donated tools, gradually being reconditioned, catalogued, photographed and uploaded to the tool library system, with nearly 400 tools available to borrow and use at home right now.


But BCWP is more than just a Tool Library. It’s a makerspace too, a small workshop to repair things and a place to share skills.


Ultimately the aim is to grow out of the current location in the basement of St. Georges Church, Kemptown to somewhere that can hold a larger collection of tools and more comprehensive facilities to Make, Learn, Share, and Repair.


Aspirational examples of huge community style makerspaces around the world include;

  • The Bodgery in Madison, Wisconsin, USA is 1,300m² (~14,000ft²),

  • Whilst nearer to home Bloqs in London boasts 2,900m² (32,000ft²) in an old factory!

Both of these organisations charge $50 a month to £36 a day (respectively) - whilst the Brighton Community Workshop's current annual membership fee is just £30 a year - a real bargain!


Many tools purchased are barely used.


Whilst one of humanity’s greatest talents is making things we’ve sadly become a disposable culture - Someone makes something (usually on low pay) and we discard it without much thought.


We have forgotten how to make things, things that last, or are unable to repair what we already have. A recent discovery concluded that concrete, metal, plastic, bricks and asphalt exceeds the overall living biomass on Earth - we really do need to re-think how we make stuff.


Spaces like BCWP are a perfect step in this direction. Community-run, owned and affordable.


I’ve spent most of my volunteer time there restoring some tools to their former glory.


And when I’m ready to make another bookshelf or magazine rack, everything is available there to make it happen.

Every time I mention the BCWP initiative to someone, they all say the same thing - “What a great idea!” - and like all the best ideas, if it didn’t exist then someone would have to invent it.


Thankfully someone did.