Members' meeting notes 01/09/20

Minutes for the Members Meeting
September 2nd 2020, conducted via Zoom at 7:30pm

Tom chairing, Hannah taking notes

The meeting was the first meeting since February 2020 because of the restrictions of COVID-19.

We didn’t record the icebreaker as we didn’t assign anyone to take minutes until afterwards! We talked about who we would like to have a zoom call with, if we could pick anyone in the world.

Tech and “Tool lead” recruitment (@AussieFred)

  • We discussed having tool leads
    • Is this any different from tech leads?
    • For some tools this works well and is helpful - ie the lathetechs
  • We discussed Inductions and learning
    • Woodshop night was proposed
    • We could have buddy’s for those who are less experienced to help with learning or on a specific project
      • That would have to be online for now, or wait for when it’s safe to meet up in person
  • Videos: we can create some or use some that are already be online
    • We need to consider the time and energy it would take to make new videos, will we be able to get them done? Will restrictions interfere?
  • Mixed learning options are needed as people learn differently
  • We could offer quizzes to test people’s learning
  • People with existing experience should be able to start using tools sooner, than others
    • They need to prove they can use the tools
    • Aim to free up inductors time for the less experienced members to learn
    • Safety needs to be considered, how can we ensure safety?
    • We could use a nomination system like shutter access
    • We could use the quizzes/tests for learning, or ask some questions to check someone’s knowledge
    • Will members feel it’s unfair if some people get to ‘jump ahead’ where they have to go through a longer process?
    • A buddy system could be useful for both keeping up with and checking existing knowlegde, and could help if there was a nomination system

Making inductions COVID safe (@Dermot )


  • Small tools can be taken outside
  • Workbench has been built for this
  • Important to find ways to fast track those with experience while we are so restricted
  • Safety needs to be highest priority


  • How do we handle covid safety when we need enough eyes in the shop to handle physical safety?

  • Remote inductions

    • Need to make sure the process is smooth
    • Good for a refresher but maybe not for first time users
    • A post will follow on the @lasertechs experience
  • Suggestion that the glass from the kitchen be used as a safety screen and one person watches the other shows, then they swap?

    • Issues with the angle being awkward for some things and not good for all tools
  • A few people could work at the benches outside to be inducted on hand tools especially

  • Relaxing the main rules for one to one sessions (with PPE)?

    • Not currently possible but changes may come soon.
  • Trying to record anything or induct while simultaneously holding a screen would be dangerous for some tools - you need hands free to hit the stop button

  • Outside is safe - with 1+ meter distance, we are happy with a group working outside. This needs to be considered by area.

Arch 2 (Tom)

  • Overview of the survey results was given

Enabling practical plans with timelines/action group - (@Beccaartist)


  • We want to spread the responsibilities and actions required to get Arch2 up and running across the membership, not just leaving things to the Directors
  • Proposal is to set up an action group to turn the questionnaire results into something meaningful for the whole membership
  • We want to have some people to lead an action group
  • The action group can set out a timeline and have this available for members to follow and take part in the actions
  • We can make sure we have some professional input from (as an example) people with construction work experience
  • The group can create a project plan to deliver actions


  • Can the ‘tech’ role help make this happen? Such as creating an Arch2 tech role?
  • Why can’t just anyone be involved? We don’t need people to be ‘techs’
  • It could be confusing and create a barrier for members wanting to take part who are not techs
  • People who have time to offer are really important for getting things moving; the focus needs to be on action
  • The action group, as well as the techs, should all be key in making decisions and getting Arch2 finished.
  • We need skilled people, and people with time and enthusiasm
  • There will be opportunities for the whole membership to be engaged the whole way through the process
  • We also want to make sure the group can make decisions and we don’t deliberate for too long or wait and have things be slowed down
  • We want the group to be a trusted group
  • We need leadership, but we don’t want control
  • Can we have nominations for people involved in the group?
  • Do we focus on the planning or on the people who will take the action?
  • We can start some action immediately
  • Votes:
    • Do we want an action group of members to take on the decision making and driving of the Arch2 project? (all visible hands raised)
    • How will the action group members be decided?
      1. Entirely self selecting (4 visible hands raised)
      2. Roles are posted and people are elected (2 hands raised)
      3. A little of both (10 - 12 hands raised)

Other Arch 2 updates and next steps

  • We can start getting materials and start on initial construction already
  • We can have multiple processes going on at once to keep things moving
  • Shall we outsource some of the work? I.e. for the clearing up?

Governance Working Group


  • We could form a group of interested people to look into the processes and procedures that we have and see if we can move forward on getting them updated (ie grievance procedure)
  • Does anyone who was previously involved with working on any governance updates want to take part in finishing the updates or offer their work to take forward?
  • We can go back to basics and organise a session where members can take part in refreshing our mission and values which would align nicely with Arch2 expansion
  • This work could help when we need to think about roles and structures, and how people can get involved with action and bringing ideas to life


  • We need to do less, and do it well and quickly rather than try and tackle a lot of things in great depth and overreach ourselves
  • We could work on improving structures
  • We want to make that move that we attempted in 2016 to move out of start up mode

New crowdfunding campaign - #Makerdifference_2 - (@Dermot)

Update and call for members to get involved:

  • MakerDifference 1 was mostly about masks, and also things like air purifiers, and face shields

  • We reached out to people from the local community to get PPE to vulnerable people

  • We offered PPE to care homes and key workers

  • MakerDifference2 is about providing an even more targeted response, particularly in light of the BLM movement and focusing on our local BAME community

  • How can you ‘maker difference too’?

  • What can we do for our next campaign?

  • We want to hear ideas for how we can help, perhaps beyond masks

  • There are long term impacts and issues related to COVID that we will continue to need a response


  • Can we focus on education? People are acting like the virus is gone, but it hasn’t
  • What about information posters? ie how to correctly wear a mask, covid symptoms, info on BLM?
  • Can we hold workshops in the outdoor area (covid safe)?
    • Offering skills
    • Support
    • Teaching sessions
    • Focused around projects
    • We could pay the facilitator as an incentive to get more interest
    • Could we run an anti-racism group? Or a book club?
    • With outreach in mind we could:
      • Offer a scholarship, for example for young artists,
      • Run a competition and have the prize be a makerspace membership
      • Focus on getting engagement
    • If people commit they need to be able to follow through and not run out of time
    • We need some energy and engagement around the campaign, let’s make it fun!

End of meeting notes.


As agreed during the meeting, I am following up with a list of actions based on the topic I brought forward: Processes and Governance at the Space

I’m really looking forward to all the action I’m sure will be coming out of the members’ meeting, and I hope plenty of people will be keen to get involved across all the topics!

I feel that everyone present really wants to see some action, especially around inductions and getting more people making at the Space again following the lockdown restrictions