A group known as the Watchet Community Makers has been carrying out valuable community builds in the town, as part of its ambition to share and increase skills, strengthen connections between people and enable community organisations to develop at low cost.
The group recently began work on Watchet’s Scout hut, creating a much-needed large-scale, built in storage solution on the request of Simon Bale, the Scout Leader. This will be a two-month-long project. Following the Scout hut, the Makers plan to repaint the Watchet Community Centre.
The group also recently finished building a series of large wooden benches for Knights Templar School, on request of the Head, Frances Burns. These are positioned around the playground to enable the children to enjoy quieter, restful times during breaks.
Watchet Community Makers meet twice weekly, on projects that are proposed by the local community. The group’s focus is on the built environment, covering areas such as construction, painting, plastering and carpentry.
The makers use monthly meetings to decide which projects to tackle, and in what order, with workshop sessions taking place on Thursdays (7-9pm) and Sundays (3-5pm) each week, in a community workspace at Harbour Studios on the East Quay.
Community Maker Sarah Ward said: “I have found the group very welcoming and easy going, and it’s been great to see how much can be achieved in a short space of time. I’m looking forward to all the new and exciting projects planned for the warmer months when we can work outside.”
The scheme was initiated by social enterprise regeneration company, Onion Collective CIC, thanks to money raised by Healthfull, as a result of extensive research carried out in the town, asking its inhabitants what they felt Watchet needed for a stronger future. During this process, the community expressed a desire to make sure skills and trades were not lost and would be able to be passed to other people. In Watchet there is a division of skills and experience with a wealth of knowledge begging to be passed on and shared. This project therefore aims to break down some of these divides with people learning from one another, working together, developing skills and relationships and supporting personal and community development.
If you are a community organisation and have a project you would like to suggest for the town, or if you would like to join the team of makers, please contact the Onion Collective on 01984 633496 / email@example.com.
Exmoor Magazine would love to hear from you if you have a similar initiative running in your town or village. We already know about Porlock’s fabulous Guerrilla Old Job Squad and we also think there might be a group called the South Molton Meddlers? Please get in touch and we can share your news too! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org