Vicky Meets… Joanna Kelly, Makerspace Manager

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Vicky Meets… Joanna Kelly, Makerspace Manager

What is The Bognor Makerspace?

It is a partnership of charities and social enterprises that have come together to create courses, training and work experience for adults aged nineteen and over, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Free of charge, the courses, run by Making Theatre Gaining Skills, offer creative skills, life skills, social interaction and confidence building. For many, it is a lifeline.

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Joanna Kelly, Makerspace ManagerJoanna Kelly, Makerspace Manager
Joanna Kelly, Makerspace Manager

Based in Bognor Regis, these courses include Cooking on a budget, Carpentry and DIY, Maths, Fabric, Production Skills and more. Funded by West Sussex County Council’s Multiply project, all the courses include an element of basic maths. Cooking on a Budget, for instance, teaches people how to weigh and measure ingredients. Taster sessions are also available.

Wellbeing is also a big part of Makerspace and we have regular sessions for things like arts and crafts and mindfulness.

Do you have other regular hirers too?

Yes, we do. The Bognor Woodwork and Craft Club are here three days a week. We have many rooms and spaces available for hire, including the kitchen, Wellbeing Room and the Fabric room.

In time, we will add studio space for local makers and crafters. We would love to know what kind of space they might like and what would best suit their needs before we develop these.

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Anyone who is interested, do please get in touch and let us know.

What is your role at Makerspace and how did you get here?

As Makerspace Manager I am responsible for all the day-to-day running aspects. I also organise the events and things like networking and volunteers. Volunteers are always welcome, so if you are considering a volunteer role come and say hello.

I went back to work after having four children. I did lots of voluntary work while they were growing up, working with Link Romania and Home Start.

I trained as a reflexologist along the way, but when the children went to high school I went to college and got some business qualifications.

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I took a job in Worthing working as a manager for a community centre. I was there for ten years and then I saw the job advertised here. I have been here almost a year and I love it. There is so much going on and sometimes it is really buzzing!

What’s this I hear about a Spring Fair?

Our Spring Fair takes place on Saturday 6 April from 10am – 3pm. For the community, we will have gift and craft stallholders, stalls for children to make things and there will be refreshments and a raffle and a tombola. Entry is free. Come and have a nose and see what we do.

We are just around the corner from the railway station in Bognor Regis and the 700 bus stops right outside. And if anyone would like to donate a raffle prize, please get in touch!

The Bognor Makerspace is at 58-60 Longford Road, Bognor Regis. Fully accessible, find out more at 01243345239