The beginnings of a collaborative space built by people in Bearwood


What's next?

Graphic developed with participants at our 3rd June Build, Make & Mend day by Annabel Evans.

Graphic developed with participants at our 3rd June Build, Make & Mend day by Annabel Evans.

Bearwood Community Hub CIC is born  |  Looking for a space  |  Engagement & Consultation  |  Finances

In this update we tell you about progress to creating Bearwood Community Hub (click the link to find out more detail!), co-working space and flexible creche.

Here's a quick-fire update - 4 key things you need to know.  After that we'll explain how you can get more involved if you'd like to. 

One: we're official!

Sally and Amy, who started off the co-working space trial, have set up a community interest company (CIC) alongside the following lovely locals who make up the Board of Directors: Julie McKirdy of Thimblemill Library fame; local artist and Bearwood Pantry co-op member Jo Capper; and local musician, parent and social entrepreneur Nicola McAteer.

So now Bearwood has Bearwood Community Hub CIC. 

Being a registered CIC means we're a not-for-profit business and we can get on with some key activties: we can apply for funding to get us started, start trading when we're sure we've got something that serves our local communities well, and negotiate with potential landlords to find a good space.

Two: space

We're looking for a location on Bearwood's high street to start up a more permanent community space.  In the meantime we might consider where we could house temporary co-working, or a flexible creche, or community activities - but only if we can manage to secure funding to pay for staff time to do this properly. 

Three: engagement and consultation

As soon as we have funding to pay for some time, we will start a period of more intensive community engagement to ask what could this hub be, why, and how people in Bearwood want to be a part of it.

Setting up a simple co-working space would be relatively easy.  Providing a few hours of creche facilities per week to go with it is a bit more complicated, but vital to respond to the need for flexible #RadicalChildcare for freelancers.  Taking it a step further and working together as a community to set up our very own community hub is a whole other ball game - albeit an incredibly exciting one.

But if you're up for it, we are.  We've already worked with lots of people locally to understand what people need and want, but we're not even half finished yet, lots more to do! We'll be doing some social media engagement, but we'll also be meeting up for more in-depth chats with local residents from January, when we’re hopeful we’ll have got some seed funding. We know from our engagement work so far that there are some people locally who struggle to get involved or find the support or activities they want to be part of - but many of whom have incredible skills, talents and experience to share and offer.  This idea of the hub is open to absolutely anybody who identifies with Bearwood as their place to live, work or visit but we’ll specifically we'll be putting effort in to chatting with teenagers, people who've experienced homelessness, newly arrived families, single parents who are feeling isolated and older people who experience loneliness.

That's just the start.  Can we come and chat with you about what you need? Please email if you'd like to invite us to your event, an existing group or group of friends, as a family or as an individual. 

Four: finances

We're crunching the numbers.  How can we make this work? What funding could we attract to help get us started? How do we develop a more sustainable social business in the long term? If you would like to help with any of this then please, come on board.  There's lots to do, we'll need to come together as a community if we want a community space that works for all.  If you're an individual who's great at writing bids or a business who wants to support in-kind or financially, or perhaps you'd be up for helping to run a crowdfunding campaign... whatever your interest we'd be very pleased to hear from you. 


What's the key thing that ties all this together? Building a collaborative community.  The opportunity to connect and work together for the good of people in Bearwood and its neighbouring communities.  Let's create. 

If you'd like to help or if you think this space could help you, or both... please get in touch:, 07832259658 or through our Facebook page

Amy MartinComment