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Makers Mews opens new classroom to empower Ivybridge's creative community

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Makers Mews opens new classroom to empower Ivybridge's creative community

Support for the creative community in and around Ivybridge is about to get a boost as new facilities open at Makers Mews, the dynamic "make, share + repair" hub that overlooks the River Erme.

Housed in a 300-year-old barn, Makers Mews is part of the Devon Work Hubs network and aims to empower makers, designers, and socially conscious entrepreneurs with co-working space, education, and community.

In addition to its popular co-working facilities, Makers Mews will be opening a new classroom where events, classes and talks will be held to further support the creative community and encourage sustainable practices that reduce consumerism.

To mark the opening of the new classroom at Makers Mews will host an open day for the public from 8am to 8pm on Friday, 29 September, where there will be free hot-desking in the co-working space, and two taster sessions of the Accountability Alliance, which aims to help creatives stay accountable in their work life.

In the evening there will be food and drink served outside around the fire-pit as social enterprises Ivybridge Brewing and Pizza Pirates join the celebration. There will also be an opportunity to meet the teachers, makers and repairers and find out more about the plans for the community classroom, which will also be available to hire.

Nadine Dommett, is the visionary founder of Makers Mews. Herself a dedicated local creator, Nadine had experienced the loneliness and isolation that can come from working alone, and having had previous experience of working in a co-working space, she knew that a community space could do wonders for the creative community in Ivybridge.

“The vision for Makers Mews is to provide a creative hub that fuels connection, innovation and environmental responsibility in the creative community of Ivybridge,” says Nadine. “Consumerism is out of control and the designer maker community feels a huge responsibility not to add to the current take-make-waste model of consumerism that is having a huge impact on both people and planet.

“We want to promote a more circular approach to designing and making and spearhead positive change within the community. We already encourage the sharing of resources through our weekly visits from the Share Shed, a travelling library of things from which you can borrow tools and equipment that can help people to save money, space and resources as well as living a more collaborative and sustainable lifestyle.”

Makers Mews offers affordable hot desks, from as little as £10 per session, and flexible studio space, starting at £150 per month, for creatives who are looking for somewhere to explore their creative hobbies or work on their creative businesses.

It also hosts a Repair Café once a month where locals can come together to fix and save salvageable items headed for landfill, whilst sharing and learning skills and meeting new people in the community.

Nadine says: “Makers Mews isn’t just about making, sharing and repairing though; we encourage connection, aiming to prevent loneliness, and to reduce the negative impacts on mental health for the creative community in Ivybridge.

"Working alone can be isolating, and trying to create positive change in the world is an uphill battle that can feel impossible. But working towards it with like-minded people can make it less lonely, more fun and it gives us all hope.

“We are so excited about the opportunities that we are creating with our new community classroom. It will allow us to collaborate with many more makers, teachers and repairers to share skills and knowledge within the community.

"Environmental responsibility is so important, but it can feel overwhelming when you start looking at your own creative practice. But together we can share the burden of reducing consumerism in Ivybridge and strengthening the resilience of the town’s maker community.”

The open day is an open invitation for anyone who would like a tour of the maker space, who is interested in working at Makers Mews, running a class or getting help to fix something or simply wants to meet other like-minded creatives.

Nadine says: “Come along, bring your friends, your family members and even your dog…all are welcome! All we ask is that you book in for this free event on our website so we have at least some idea of numbers. We’d hate to run out of pizza!”

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, says: “Makers Mews already provides unique facilities within our Devon Work Hubs network and its classroom is a fantastic new addition to what it has to offer. I hope local creative businesses take up this opportunity to use this innovative space and that the open day generates the interest that it so richly deserves.”

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