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Tool donations have been trickling in on an almost daily basis. Thanks to everyone that has donated we really are grateful. When the donations arrive, they are not always in the condition we would want them to be in before loaning them out. Some just need a bit of a dust down others need a thorough clean and a lick of paint and others need repairing. Some tools that have been donated will probably never be loaned through the Tool Library, they will be saved for when we have a proper workshop space. Some will be repurposed like a saw that had a missing tooth that has been converted into a display item.



Others, like screw drivers, of which we have dozens will be sold on at some point to raise much needed funds. Some will be donated to other community groups that want tools, and others will be used for skill learning and other education projects. We will always find a use for donated tools, regardless of condition.


We are spending much of our time restoring and cleaning tools that will be used in the library and Ron Porter has been a real tool restoration champion and restored about 100 hand tools and power tools. As the tools are cleaned and restored, they are being added to the online Tool Library. Once we enable Ordinary Membership members will be able to reserve tools they wish to borrow. We hope this can be sorted out very soon.


This week we have made our first significant tool purchases. Using the funds, we have been awarded from the National Lottery and Brighton & Hove City Council we have purchased several drills and other cordless power tools that will be put on to the online library in the next few days. We also purchased the toolboxes we will use to make up the tools kits that we want to add to the Tool Library. These tool kits will contain all the tools we think you will need to carry out basic DIY type tasks.


Garry Meyer, the Founder of the Brighton Community Workshop Project said, “I am so impressed that all the hard work of our directors and volunteers is finally making this Project into a reality”, he added, “Without all the support from our many friends and the great organisations that have got behind us we would never have been able to get to this point, I will be forever grateful.”


If you would like to help out in the Tool Library restoring, repairing and repurposing tools, or would like to help populate the Tool Library inventory then come along on Saturday 4th September to find out how to get involved and help get the Tool Library up and running.

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

It could be you.

For any community interest company raising funds is a distraction from the fun of doing the activities you are setting everything up to achieve.


We want to provide a space so everyone can Make, Learn, Share, & Repair.


Whilst the Sharing & Repairing is coming along, (we anticipate that the Tool Library will up and running by September) - We have began repairing some of the donated tools, and next we will begin cataloguing them in the online inventory system once the computers arrive next week.


The Make & Learn aspects of the Project depend on factors beyond our control, the nervousness around covid being a major hurdle - but once we have a couple of workbenches in place, we will be able to think about organising classes.


All of this costs money and whilst Fundraising can be a (necessary) distraction from the main driver of the Project, it also has the potential for fun stuff too.


Iceland, putting the fun into fundraising

Take the Munasafn RVK Tool Library Toolraiser event for example.

" Play JaJa ding dong!" - Iceland

Each year, In Reykjavik the RVK Tool Library hosts their Toolraiser event - this year they have a 2-day Festival planned with over 20 bands alongside art exhibits, food, drink and loads more.


How cool would that be? We would love to do this, what a fabulous way to raise funds and the profile of the Brighton Community Workshop Project as well as build ties within the wider community, local businesses and creatives.


We can dream.


Of course, other forms of fundraising are available...

The most common form being grants and awards applications.

We have applied for a loads of grants and awards, but mostly our applications have been rejected...

The reality is that there are many organisations chasing very limited funding opportunities.


Many funding organisations have recently prioritised Covid support related projects, and rightly so - but this has meant the funds available to more niche Projects like ours have dwindled.


On a positive note

We are grateful for all the donations we have received from you folks.


So far this year we have received nearly £450 in donations from organisations and individuals, which is fantastic - Thank you.


Early on, during the project's inception we raised £4,000 via Crowdfunding - this provided us the means to keep things going, got us an exhibitors stand at Bentley Woodfair, paid for the garages and showed us there is a demand for what we're doing.


More recently we were granted £8,000 from the Brighton & Hove City Council Carbon Reduction Fund. This money has allowed us to rent the space in The Crypt and plan the development of this space and develop a functioning Tool Library.


You’re a winner baby!

We can start looking even further ahead with our plans because...

We have some amazing news to share.

...we are proud to announce that we have been awarded £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

This is extremely encouraging and came as a big surprise as these awards are notoriously difficult to win - and we achieved this funding on just our second application.


But don't get too excited

Though this does mean our bank balance is now reasonably healthy we are quite a way off the funding required to provide the dream Workshop space.


The Crypt is fine for small projects and four or five people working on projects, but it doesn’t allow for activities that create excessive dust and noise.


Commercial rent on a workshop space that would meet our requirements could be up to £30,000 annually, this would be a huge amount to secure each year.


There's no rush though, we have plenty of time to get there and we have a lot to learn, our current focus is on The Tool Library, with some smaller crafting workshops taking place in the crypt in the meantime...


Can you help?

Would you like to be part of our fundraising team? We are looking for people that want to get involved and help but have limited time and may not be able to volunteer at The Crypt but still want to help out and be involved.


If this is something you would like to get involved read more about it here or please contact admin@bcw.org.uk to get the ball rolling.


If you would like to support us with a regular donation you can do this by becoming a Supporter Member - details available on our home page.



Setting up the Tool Library is slowly becoming a reality.

A big thank you to all those that have donated tools and all those that have given their time to organise what space we have in The Crypt.

Cubby holes, perfect for organising tools

We definitely have a plan, and we want to get it into place, but to do this we will need help.


We took a decision this week to take the plunge and order new IT equipment to have a hub where we can continue to catalogue our tools. We will be sorting out the useable, from the less-usable and the unusable, but rest assured we will not be wasting any of the donations we have been given; we will find a use for everything.


Building a Counter

The new IT equipment will be housed in a custom-built counter area, situated by at the entrance to the workshop. The counter will be our point-of-sale station/mini office, a convenient space for now to manage all the ins & outs of the tool library/project - processing new members, checking in/out tools, inventory management, signposting for local businesses and partner/support organisations, flyers and leaflets covering details on how to carry out simple DIY tasks and info on future maker & repair sessions.


Tool Procurement

We have been donated a huge amount of tools. But we still need to purchase many cordless power tools.

A repository for the bigger stuff

The results of the survey we carried out gave us a good idea about the tools our members want to borrow and we will be purchasing our first batch of these from local suppliers over the next few days.


We still have a garage full of donated tools along with all the tools already at The Crypt. The garage will remain as a repository for some of the larger tools we can not have in The Crypt, some are petrol powered and others will take up too much room and get in the way, so for now they will stay, but we will need to move them eventually - Our priority is dealing with the tools we already have in The Crypt.


"To get things done we will need a lot of help."

Our first Maker Projects

The counter is going to be custom made by us and it would be good to get help from a few competent woodworkers.

We will also need to make some moveable workstations or workbenches and a crafting space for the less messy crafting activities - sewing, knitting, leatherwork, and similar. We hope to set up a more ‘messy’ workshop space sometime next year, we want to limit the kind of dusty/noisy activities in the crypt as we don’t thinks it's suitable for larger scale, messy/dusty/noisy projects.

Making all the infrastructure for The Crypt and sorting and organising all the tools is very labour intensive and we really need help.Please consider the importance of coming along and helping, money greases the wheels and creates opportunities. But it is you, our members and supporters that will drive this Project forward.

Our thoughts on Opening Times

We are looking to open The Crypt for at least 4 hours a day, on the days that we are open and we are hoping to be open eight days in every fortnight. Because of our location, we are prohibited to open on Sundays.

Several people have stepped up and put themselves forward to staff The Crypt already, but we do need more help so we can be open longer and for more days.

If you are able to donate two hours of your time a fortnight to help us with the setting up of the Tool Library and staffing The Crypt please do get in touch, send an email to admin@bcw.org.uk and we will contact you to discuss how you can help with this aspect of the project.

Funding, Expenses & Grant Applications

Now our funds are taking a huge hit from the purchases, services, and other costs we have to cover.

We started the financial year with nearly £9,000.

We currently have a balance of just over £8,000 - we will be paying over £600 for insurance and we have budgeted for a spend of £1,500 on IT kit (PC, printer, etc) - we have a budget of £4,000 for cordless tools and £1,000 for other tools.

This spending will leave us with about £1,000 (holding £1,000 as a contingency fund).

If we can get any items donated at the spec we want then that will be great.

Becoming a Supporter Member would help but what we really want to do is some proper fundraising. The Covid crisis is hampering progress in organising events - where potential fundraising comes from entrance fees and sales.

Being awarded monies from grants is never a guarantee but we really need volunteers that have experience with and can help with future grant applications getting involved and helping.

& Finally...

The most important part of what we do is community, that is why when we started this Project we made COMMUNITY a major part of our name.


There really is a lot of things to do. We need your help, but more importantly we need you to get involved.

We have done a lot of hard work already, but it has been made harder because of the restrictions we’ve all been living through, coupled with the fact we didn’t have a space to organise from. Now we have a space and whilst there are still limits in place, we can organise volunteers if we have the pledges of help.


Please consider the importance of coming along and helping, money greases the wheels and creates opportunities.


But it is you, our members and supporters that will drive this Project forward and make it a success.