Friendship version 1.0

This was first published a couple of years ago, not long before many many things changed. It’s here now, as a record of where we thought we might be heading, a signpost that shows a way, almost-but-not-quite the right direction, a reminder of the optimism that’s still going to nudge us a whisker closer to true north (wherever that may be). There’s a seed here, or maybe even a little sapling , that with a little care and some pruning of all the flowery verbiage might keep growing if we can dare to ask for some help.

Thank you too everyone who has supported us to get to here, or otherwise been part of the journey so far: friends new and old, visitors, people coming here to learn something and teaching so much, email senders, wall scrawlers, dancers, drinkers, tinkers, zoomers, people who might have forgotten they helped us, people who suspect we’ve forgotten them…

Be in touch if there’s something you think we can do for you… And we’ll hope to see you shortly.

We’re building a space to Make things Better, where anyone can connect with their everyday creativity. Your help is all we need. Please consider extending the hand or friendship with a regualr monthly donation.

We’re reaching out to the people who already know & use & understand this place: You! We’re so grateful that you’re interested enough to learn a little more about how you can be a friend.

A monthly donation; as much or as little as you feel able to give, may

  • Enable subsidised places on our workshops for those who are less able to afford time here.
  • Allow therapeutic sessions at fair prices for those who need support.
  • Be a radical alternative to centralised, restrictive or bureaucratic public funding.
  • Model a system of communal self-reliance & resilience.
  • Help us to keep our prices lower.
  • Make unimaginable things possible (that we or you haven’t dreamed up yet).
  • Put simply, make all the difference in continuing to create & hold an inspirational space that anyone might call in to, to talk things over, sit by the fire, share tea, slow down & make their way.

What you’ll give

Walking through the door here, we hope might feel like coming to sit in the shade of your favourite tree: somewhere to feel sheltered, to feel inspired, to meet, to play, to slow down and notice something.

It feels like this place wants to grow, to go… Boom! & bloom into something more beautiful… By making a regular donation you’ll help make this happen! Your support is the deep root that keeps the tree growing & weathering the storm. We’d love to open up the space in new ways for everyone to do their own thing, to keep learning & playing & making into the evenings, to invite more music, dance, performance, poetry & exhibitions in, to feel free to try new approaches & take a few more chances.

You may be familiar with some of our workshops & public projects, but the greater part of what we do is invisible (& often necessarily more private too) – spending time with communities who feel excluded, marginalised or vulnerable, whether for reasons of physical or mental health, age, ethnicity, gender, disability or any other reason: People who have experienced war, people without homes, refugees, looked-after children, those who are bereaved or… 

Most often this work is what happens intangibly inside ourselves & the folk that spend time here. It could look like quietly sittin, listening, or painting & drawing feelings out onto paper. It might look like learning skills & carving wood (it often looks this way), or holding hands, making coffee, planting a garden, weaving a story, stumbling along in the song & dance that animates the world. It’s all sorts, and a bit more…

We’re asking for your help, because we believe that the more financial support we receive from the generous community around us, the more time we’ll be empowered to give, the more energy we will be able to devote to openening up, and the more accessible & sustainable we can make this work.

You will in short, be giving this place, this idea, a future.

What you’ll get

If you’re someone who likes what we do & you feel moved to make a contribution, please know that every donation, however seemingly small, will directly support exciting projects & opportunities for everyone. You’ll be keeping the space alive & growing in whatever new directions it will.

We invite you to build a community of care around this place, a circle of friends who can share this workshop with us and who might feel empowered to help to shape it in surprising ways.

You will get to drop in and make something while we’re open, we can sharpen tools and minds together. We’re here to listen, to answer questions, to advise and guide, to share as much as possible.

Our library is full of inspirational and instructional books new, old & rare – ranging in subject matter from the mundane to esotieric, ceremonial masks, to window joinery: It is here for you to treat as your own.

At this time the most meaningful privilege that we can offer to you is our deep, heartfelt gratitude, knowing that this would truly be impossible without you. We’d love to host an annual party at the workshop for our monthly supporters & as time goes by we hope to offer other more tangible rewards. For now, we hope that the altruistic sense of supporting this space is enough – to us it feels like everything!

If you are unable or unwilling to use paypal but still want to give, then just be in touch.

Please note that our organisation is not a charity, a limited company or legally incorporated in any way other than as a Sole Trader. This is a family owned and operated business with the sole aims of supporting our family and our community, by making art & making things better! The less organisational, financial & contractual machinery that exists around our business the more time & profit can be given to the work. Additional disclaimer!: We know that human beings change, that the world grows and evolves – there is no guarantee that in 10 years time (or tomorrow) this place, ourselves, you or anything else will be the same – we reserve the right to spontaneously transform into something else, (and so should you if you want to) and accept that you may or may not want to support us in the future. Please feel free to change your mind and follow the tug of your gut with this.

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