Co-Working

"Launching the July 2022 Boost Membership"

The world of the DoES Liverpool Boost Membership is very busy, it’s really not long since Georgia and Kirsty joined us and yet here we are announcing the next boost membership.

If you already know what you’re doing then head over here to apply otherwise read on for more information about Boost membership.

The DoES Liverpool Boost Membership was introduced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our opening DoES Liverpool, the amazing coworking and shared workshop space in the Fabric District of Liverpool. Boost membership gives two people the opportunity to use the space free of charge for six months either through getting an allocated desk or by having 24-hour access to the workshop.

Applications are welcome until 23:59 on the 12th June, any applications received after this point will not be considered. We will endeavour to announce the winners within 48 hours.

We’ve now created a dedicated page with lots more information about Boost Membership so if you want to find out more just head over to there and take a look!

"Introducing Our April Start Boost Members"

As you may have seen in our social media,  we’ve picked our second set of people to get Boost Membership!

In the end we had 37 entries. Two winners were picked randomly and have now confirmed that they can take on the places starting in April. Here’s some brief details of our winners:

Kirsty Styles

Kirsty is our new desk member. She lectures in journalism at the University of Huddersfield and is studying for a PhD at UCLAN. The picture shows her speaking at an event she created called Standup for Journalism, where she trained journalists to do standup comedy.

She’s hoping that having a desk in a coworking space with others will help her get her PhD finished.

She also sent us this photo of a hand embroidered hoop she made a few months ago, so maybe she’ll be taking advantage of our maker space as well.

You can find out more about Kirsty on her website here  and she’s also on Twitter.

Georgia Madden

Georgia is our new workshop member. As you can see from the picture, she’s already made it in to the space – she came in to this week’s Maker Night to introduce herself and pick up her tag.

She’s a stop motion animator, whose short film ‘Divination Dave’ has been featured on BBC New Creatives.

Georgia is looking to develop new ways to make stop motion puppets, props and sets and is excited to use the space to create armatures as well as miniatures and clothing for her puppets.

You can find more of her work on her website here and she’s also on Instagram.

We’re really looking forward to welcoming our new members into the space more. Neither have spent much time at DoES Liverpool yet and they’re both eager to get started. If you see them while you’re in be sure to say “Hello!”

Unfortunately we only had two places to offer so we know that, as last time, there will be some people left disappointed now. We do hope to continue running this scheme on a regular basis though and there should be more information about the next cohort soon.

For the geeks amongst us… as mentioned we had 37 entries. Ten of those were for a full time desk and the other 27 for workshop membership. The Google Form puts the entries into a spreadsheet and we picked a winner by using “randomise range” on the rows. After that it was a simple case of going down from the top and picking the first of each type of membership, which brought us to Kirsty and Georgia. Although once again no rubber balls or extravagantly designed and named machines were involved, this time we did use our Electric Liver Bird to display the results!

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"A Part-Way-Through Check In from Lauren, one of our first Boost Members"

We asked Lauren for a quick update on what she’s been doing so far. I think you’ll agree that she’s been making good use of her Boost membership to experiment and build up her product base!

“The DoES Boost Membership has been really great so far. I’ve really enjoyed my time working in the space and every person I’ve met has been so helpful, friendly and welcoming.
I’ve been spending most of my time learning how to use Tony, one of the big lasers. The beauty of the Boost Membership is that it has really given me the time to learn and experiment. I’ve been testing lots of different settings and each time I use the laser I have been getting better results. The out of hours access is excellent too, the flexibility is really useful for working around my family and two small children.

Here are some pictures of a few things I’ve made recently. This has only been possible due to the generosity of DoES Liverpool and the Boost Membership. Thank you so much!

If you are unsure whether to apply for the next round then don’t hesitate, it’s such a great opportunity!”

Little Chestnut Chopping Board Little Chestnut Chopping Board Little Chestnut Earrings Circle Flowers Little Chestnut Earrings Teardrop Acrylic Little Chestnut Earrings Teardrop Flowers   Little Chestnut Wooden Bouquet Little Chestnut Wooden Bouquet close up Little Chestnut Wooden Bouquet

If you don’t know about our Boost membership scheme, here’s a link to our original post, and the post from our second round (closing date for entries 11:59 on 28th February 2022)

 

"Launching our next Boost Membership Applications"

Our first pair of Boost members are only a month into their membership but it’s already time to announce that applications for the next cohort are now open!

The DoES Liverpool Boost Membership is our way of trying to grow our amazing community, and give more access to people who might otherwise struggle to afford a full time membership. As a reminder what is on offer is:

  • Either a six month Workshop membership, meaning you can come into the space and use our equipment as much as you want for six months.
  • Or a full time allocated desk in our coworking space and access to the workshop, again for six months.

We launched the DoES Liverpool Boost Membership at the end of last year to celebrate ten years of operating the best coworking maker space in Liverpool. In this time DoES Liverpool has gone from a single small room with a basic 3D printer to taking over an entire floor of The Tapestry building in the Fabric District. We now have a dedicated coworking space, far more workshop equipment including many 3D printers, laser cutters, a CNC mill and various sublimation printing technologies. We have a whole room of textile equipment along with multiple meeting rooms and one of the fastest internet connections in the city centre!

What do you get with a DoES Boost membership? All the benefits of a standard membership. A “desk” membership gives an allocated desk for a person to store their belongings and access to meeting rooms, whereas a “workshop” membership only gives access to the space and use of the workshop area with a “clean desk” policy. What they both provide is:

  • A storage box in the workshop area to store belongings
  • Access to all of the equipment in the space, with free inductions where necessary (with the usual booking and availability constraints)
  • Access to our incredibly fast internet connection
  • 24 hour access

All of this will be available for free to two lucky people for six months from April. We’re opening applications today and will close them at 11:59pm on February 28th. Click here for the form. We will then do a random draw and announce the successful applicants on the 2nd March to give them as much time as possible to prepare for their membership starting on the 1st April!

To clarify, the following is not included with membership at DoES Liverpool:

  • Materials (e.g. 3D printer filament, plywood or perspex for the laser cutters)
  • Mentoring – people in the community will of course be very interested to hear about your projects and may offer their help but we do not employ support staff or technicians.
  • Access for all your friends and extended family – we would be happy to meet your friends and understand that sometimes a project might need a helping hand but this offer is for a single individual and needs to be treated as such.

It was great to see so many new names in the applicants for our first Boost membership but we want to spread the message even further this time. If you know someone who has an idea for a project but doesn’t have the equipment to make a real go at it then let them know! If you know a community of people who would be interested in DoES Liverpool and maybe haven’t heard of us, then spread the word!

"First Boost Members Announced!"

We are very happy to announce that we have picked our first set of people to get Boost Membership!

In the end we had 27 entries. Two winners were picked randomly last week and have now confirmed that they can take on the places starting in January.

We’ve asked them for a brief bio, so I’ll let them introduce themselves:

Kate James

A photo of Kate James “Throughout the lockdown I’ve found a creative outlet in working alongside community groups to mark how we’ve all coped with the pandemic in our own ways. Working with Collective Encounters, Friends of Springfield Park, The Drive L14 and The Lantern Company, I used a real mixed bag of materials, mainly fabric and woodwork, but also poetry, chalk and typography to create art that captures moments in time we can all relate to. I’m hoping to make full use of the DoES workshop to create something entirely new in 2022.” – Kate James

 

Lauren McGuffie

“A big warm hello to all of you, my name is Lauren and I’m the face and hands behind Little Chestnut. I currently make personalised gifts and homeware using a variety of paper cutting, vinyl, sublimation and toner reactive foiling.

I studied art at college and went on to complete a degree in Visual Art at university. I spent ten years working as a Visual Merchandising Specialist for a large global home furnishing retailer. This saw me spend time planning and implementing my designs not just in the UK, but in Europe and Australia.
I was made redundant at the beginning of last year and decided to take the opportunity to follow my passion and take the plunge to start working for myself.”

We’re really looking forward to welcoming them into the space more. While both have visited before, neither have spent much time at DoES yet and they’re both eager to get working on projects. If you see them while you’re in be sure to say “Hello!”


Unfortunately we only had two places to offer so we know there will be some people left disappointed now. We do hope to run this scheme on a regular basis though and there should be more information about the next cohort at the end of January.

For the geeks amongst us… as mentioned we had 27 entries. Six of those were for a full time desk and the other 21 for workshop membership. The Google Form puts the entries into a spreadsheet and we picked a winner by using “randomise range” on the rows. After that it was a simple case of going down from the top and picking the first of each type of membership, which brought us to Lauren and Kate. No rubber balls or extravagantly designed and named machines were involved, this time…

"DoES Liverpool Boost Membership"

DoES Liverpool are very happy to announce the DoES LIverpool Boost Membership offering a chance for six months of free access to our amazing workshop and coworking space. This scheme, which we’re launching to celebrate our tenth anniversary, gives more people the opportunity to get the benefits of being in DoES Liverpool and have access to the equipment we provide, and the amazing community that surrounds us.

Over the past ten years DoES Liverpool has helped hundreds of people to start a business, to build a project, or simply get a few hours of work done. We do this by providing a combined coworking office and workshop space that lets anyone in the city (and beyond!) connect to the internet; use laser cutters, 3D printers, and lots more workshop equipment; or simply sit at a comfortable desk with a laptop.

Throughout this time we have always tried to make sure that our space is accessible to everyone. Both physically accessible, by ensuring wheelchair and other physical access requirements are considered, but also economically accessible. We have tried to make sure our prices are as cheap as they can be, and have always offered some free access to the space through our Maker Day and Maker Night events, as well as our “first day free if you bring cake” scheme.

With the DoES Boost Membership we are expanding this provision of free access to the space by offering a full desk membership and a full workshop membership free of charge through a lottery application. The free access will be given for a six month period which we really hope will give participants the opportunity to try out an idea for a company, or a project, that they might not have been able to manage before. We aim to repeat this offer every three months which means that we should eventually be providing four spaces free of charge at any given time to people who can get good use out of them.

This will offer someone – who might otherwise struggle to afford a membership of DoES Liverpool – the chance to be in the space, make use of the equipment and become embedded in our community. The application process will be open to anyone; we hope that those most in need will apply and that those who don’t need free access will not. However we will not be judging any applicants as we do understand that a person’s situation might not be as obvious as it appears on the surface.

What do you get with a DoES Boost membership? All the benefits of a standard membership. A “desk” membership gives an allocated desk for a person to store their belongings and access to meeting rooms, whereas a “workshop” membership only gives access to the space and use of the workshop area with a “clean desk” policy. What they both provide is:

  • A storage box in the workshop area to store belongings
  • Access to all of the equipment in the space, with free inductions where necessary (with the usual booking and availability constraints)
  • Access to our incredibly fast internet connection
  • 24 hour access

To clarify, the following is not included with membership at DoES Liverpool:

  • Materials (e.g. 3D printer filament, plywood or perspex for the laser cutters)
  • Mentoring – people in the community will of course be very interested to hear about your projects and may offer their help but we do not employ support staff or technicians.
  • Access for all your friends and extended family – we would be happy to meet your friends and understand that sometimes a project might need a helping hand but this offer is for a single individual and needs to be treated as such.

We may of course change how the scheme works in the future, for example targeting specific groups that are underrepresented in our community. At this point we can make no guarantee about how long we will run this membership scheme but we do hope that it will be long lasting.

We look forward to welcoming our new members. Please spread the word to anyone that might be interested. If you want to apply just fill out the Boost Membership form here.

Note: Applications will close at 11:59pm on 12th December. A draw will take place and the successful applicants will be announced on 20th December.

"DoES COVID Update – December 2020"

Covid-19 December Update

As we come out of Lockdown 2.0, we decided that this was a good time to thank everyone for their continued support of DoES Liverpool and confirm our policies and the steps that we have put in place to ensure that DoES is as Covid secure as possible.

Liverpool is coming out of this lockdown in a much better position than when we went in, which is reflected in our tier 2 status.  As you are aware, we have stayed open throughout the pandemic, albeit with some restrictions in place.  These restrictions are in line with the guidance published by the government and are summarised below.

Our recommendation is still to work from home wherever possible, and only visit the space if you need to use the equipment which isn’t available elsewhere or collect post or other items.

Our landlord, Jason, has installed hand sanitizer stations in the communal areas for people to use on arrival.   We have handwash in the toilets and handwash and disinfectant in the kitchen area.  You should wash your hands immediately on arrival at the space, and wipe down any desk areas or equipment that you use at the start and end of your visit.

Masks are not mandatory, but are encouraged.

Restricted Occupancy Areas

To help with social distancing access has been restricted to one person (or household) in some areas of the space.

The restricted areas are:

  • The laser-cutter room

  • The CNC room

  • The kitchen

  • The recess with the vinyl cutters and sublimation printer

  • The corner workshop desk and textiles area

  • The corner workshop desk and electronics workbench

These last two areas are marked out with tape on the floor, and are chosen so that you can either use the workshop desk or you can use the equipment (knitting machines, soldering irons, etc.), but there shouldn’t be someone at both at the same time.

As we are in the position that we cannot run any events, Sophia has been moved into the events space so that both cutters are bookable and available to use.  If you do book Sophia then please remember that she is in the events space.

Hot-desking

Given that our desks are too close together to allow people to maintain a 2 metre separation when sat at adjacent or opposing desks, people should stagger the desks they use relative to others.

To make that easier for people hot-desking, we have taped off some of the desks which shouldn’t be used.

People with permanent desks are welcome to use their normal desk, and in most cases this fits in with the marking out of hot-desks that we’ve done.

However, in some cases you’d end up sitting next to, or opposite, another person at a desk.  If that happens, please work with each other to work out a sensible option.  Either using one of the other available hot-desks, or asking the person if they can move instead.

Keeping our community safe

We all have a responsibility to keep our community safe, as such it is imperative that you DO NOT visit DoES if:

Please inform us (hello@doesliverpool.com) if you have been in the space and then develop symptoms within the following 48 hours, and subsequently inform us of your test result. This will allow us to inform any other people who were in the space at the same time.  Your identity will be kept confidential.

Most importantly of all, stay healthy over the coming months.

"Accessing DoES Liverpool During COVID-19"

A lot has happened since our last update on how we’re handling the pandemic at DoES Liverpool (including the community helping to keep NHS staff and key workers across the North-West safe by supplying over 24,000 visors!).  We hope you’re staying safe and keeping well.

With the visor project winding down (although still supplying visors to anyone who needs them) and the Government starting to slightly ease the lockdown we’ve been looking at how to reconfigure the space for better social distancing.

Our recommendation is still to work from home wherever possible, and only visit the space if you need to use the equipment which isn’t available elsewhere or collect post or other items.

Our landlord, Jason, has installed hand sanitizer stations in the communal areas for people to use on arrival.   We have handwash in the toilets and handwash and disinfectant in the kitchen area.  You should wash your hands immediately on arrival at the space, and wipe down any desk areas or equipment that you use at the start and end of your visit.

To help with social distancing we’re restricting access to some areas of the space.

Restricted Occupancy Areas

Everywhere is still usable, but certain areas where there is less room should only be used by one person (or people from one household) at a time.  These areas are marked with signs, like this one on the CNC room:

Door with "COVID19 maximum occupancy 1 person" sign

The restricted areas are:

  • The laser-cutter room (we have taken Sophia off the bookings calendar for now so that the room doesn’t get double-booked, but either cutter can be used)
  • The CNC room
  • The kitchen
  • The recess with the vinyl cutters and sublimation printer
  • The corner workshop desk and textiles area
  • The corner workshop desk and electronics workbench

These last two areas are marked out with tape on the floor, and are chosen so that you can either use the workshop desk or you can use the equipment (knitting machines, soldering irons, etc.), but there shouldn’t be someone at both at the same time.

Hot-desking

Given that our desks are too close together to allow people to maintain a 2 metre separation when sat at adjacent or opposing desks, people should stagger the desks they use relative to others.

To make that easier for people hot-desking, we have taped off some of the desks which shouldn’t be used.

Desk criss-crossed with tape to show it shouldn't be used

And have marked out the desks which are available for hot-deskers to work from like this:

Desk with a "Desk Available" sign

People with permanent desks are welcome to use their normal desk, and in most cases this fits in with the marking out of hot-desks that we’ve done.

However, in some cases you’d end up sitting next to, or opposite, another person at a desk.  If that happens, please work with each other to work out a sensible option.  Either using one of the other available hot-desks, or asking the person if they can move instead.

Finally, where possible open the windows to keep the space well ventilated.

If you have any questions about access, or any other issues relating to this, email hello@doesliverpool.com.  We are responding to communications, but only staffing the space on an ad-hoc, only-when-necessary basis.

As part of our preparation of the space, we developed the DoES Liverpool COVID specific risk assessment, which is reviewed on an ongoing basis as the situation evolves.

"DoES Liverpool COVID-19 Plan"

Following the updated government advice regarding COVID-19, and the need for social distancing, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all DoES Liverpool Events, including Maker Nights and Maker Days, starting immediately and until further notice. We will not be supporting external events as we will not have staff available to supervise them.

The space will still be available for use, although it will no longer be staffed and we cannot guarantee that access will be possible without a fob. Anyone who has a fob can access the space as usual.

We realise that many of our members use the equipment at the space to do their job and so we need to support them at an already tricky time.  That means that if you come in on an ad-hoc basis and don’t have the out-of-hours access but do have a fob, you’ll still be able to come in as you do now.  As there will be nobody around to take payment, please email hello@doesliverpool.com with details of what you need to pay. 

You should only come in if you need to work on something or to collect something from the space.  Please do not attend purely for social reasons.

The membership of our community encompasses a broad spectrum of people, some of whom fall into the “high risk” bracket posed by this virus. Please do not continue operating business as usual; we all have a duty of care to manage the threat this virus poses, if not to you specifically, to other more vulnerable members of society.

Please do not attend the space if you are unwell, especially if you have got a new persistent cough or a fever.  

It is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that the space is kept as clean as possible; as such we are requesting that you wipe down all surfaces before and after use, as well as other areas such as the fridge door handle.  Surface cleaning spray is available by the workshop sink in the kitchen. The space will still be cleaned as usual, this is an additional precaution.

It goes without saying that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face, especially when you have been interacting with other people and spaces.

If you have any questions about access, or any other issues relating to this, email hello@doesliverpool.com.  We will be responding to communications, just not staffing the space itself.

DoES Liverpool Online

DoES Liverpool was set up to stop people feeling lonely from having to work on their own at home. As such we want to continue to help you feel less isolated during this situation. We have a few ways in which you can stay connected to the DoES Liverpool community and we’d love to hear your suggestions too!x

Obviously that’s just a start.  We know that the DoES Liverpool community will be working out all manner of ways to connect and cope and have interesting things to share.  As always, there’s the #weeknotes hashtag for letting others know what you’re up to, and let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to share.

Finally, look after yourselves and keep an eye out for any vulnerable members of the DoES Liverpool Community as well as in your local community.

"The DoES Liverpool Three-step Plan for Success"
Mug showing the three-step plan animating through

Step One: Do Epic Sh**

Do. Lots of people talk about amazing things, but then don’t make a start on them. We want to focus on and encourage the doing.

Doing is hard. We’re a community that helps and supports each other to do. We understand that sometimes it’s you pushing forward while someone else answers emails or empties the bins, because next week it’ll be the other way round.

Everyone wants to save the earth, but nobody wants to help with the dishes.

Photo: Copyright Dr. Laura James

DoES Liverpool isn’t providing a service to customers who pay us money, we’re a community that spreads its costs between its members.  Recognising, appreciating and acknowledging that all that behind-the-scenes, less sexy support work is what allowed the epic headline-grabbing sh** to happen.

What do we mean when we say “epic sh**”?

Julian experimenting with new control systems for CNC mills; Hex Ceramic developing new techniques for clay-work using laser-cutters; Patrick helping social enterprises to thrive; Ross scattering card reading stations along Hadrian’s Wall to build a distributed RFID card text adventure; Baylee coming along to 3D print herself a new prosthetic hand; Jax helping others level-up at coding through Ladies of Code Liverpool…

As you can see, “epic sh**” is many things to many people. It matters less what everyone else thinks about what you’re doing, and more that you’re pushing yourself into new ground.

Step Two: Tell People About it

If you’re putting the effort in to do the work, you owe it to yourself to tell people about it. This is often as hard, if not harder, than doing the work but it’s important.

At the very least, post something about it to any social media accounts where you hang out (if that’s Twitter then include “#weeknotes” so it will get picked up and shared in the next weekly blog post).  If it’s something you can take a picture of, or film a short video of it in action.  Show the thing.

Social media is great for short-term sharing, but things quickly disappear into the stream.  The next step is to have some sort of home on the Internet where you can collect things.  That could be a portfolio website or a blog, whichever is easier for you to set up.  Having your own domain is even better because it gives you some protection for when you need to change the underlying service.  If I want to recommend you to someone, or show them your projects, I should be able to send them a link; not suggest they sift through your social media profile looking for the important bits.

Make the time to write up a blog post about the project at the end. Get into the habit of taking photos and videos of things as they progress. Write things yourself and find your own voice, or make room in the budget to pay someone to film it or write about it for you. Or both.

It’s not about Marketing, at least not what anyone imagines when they think about marketing with a big M. It’s just about talking to people about what you do. Don’t worry about repeating yourself, just find different ways to talk about and show what you do rather than posting the same tweet again and again. We’re humans, not robots.

We’re also a community. One full of people doing amazing work.

We should support each other in sharing our work.  Remind and encourage each other to post photos or write things up.  Shout about others’ achievements: it’s always easier to talk about someone else’s work than your own, so we should do that for each other.  It’s not about mindless retweets, but sharing good work and interesting projects when you see them.

Step Three: Go to Step One.

Success isn’t about discovering “this one neat trick” to short-cut the work.  It is built on lots of small steps and achievements.  The next big thing is a lot of small things.

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