The first event began with an informal format: tables set up for a variety of activities, with a children’s area and Free Shop at one end. People arrived, with or without equipment, and either set themselves up to demonstrate their skills or had a look at what others were doing. Formal workshops may be considered for the next event, but in general we found people simply helped each other to have a go when they showed an interest.
Skills shared and used included woodwork, machine sewing, clay modelling, web design/message-board management and bicycle maintenance, and amongst the projects people worked on were a sandwich board (for outside the centre), curtains, clothes, banners, sculptures and photographic portfolios. Next time, with the gas cooker and kitchen units installed, we hope to add vegan cookery to the skills list, possibly with wild/foraged food.
The Free shop was a success, with a sewing machine and blender donated to centre, many clothes, books and games claimed and some scrap material used in the skill-sharing. Reactions to the day were positive and more are planned, to be arranged on a monthly basis. These will be publicised on the Next to Nowhere calendar ( http://www.liverpoolsocialcentre.org/calendar/month.php), and you are invited to seize the means of your production and bring them down to Next to Nowhere, along with any items you would like to pass on for free. Skills and equipment are not compulsory – you are also welcome to just bring yourself and an interest in learning something new.
If you are interested in attending, or in running a workshop on an unusual skill, please either e-mail me ( email@example.com), sign up for the Liverpool Social Centre newsletter ( https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/liverpoolscnewsletter) or keep an eye on the Next to Nowhere calendar ( http://www.liverpoolsocialcentre.org/calendar/month.php) for announcements on skill-sharing events.