We need your help!

English not your first language? Wish I’d stop waffling? You want the Simple English Version

Dearest members,

We need your help running the hackspace.

A community organisation such as HacMan doesn’t run itself, there are a lot of small behind the scenes jobs to do and quite a few big front of house ones too. One of the largest at the moment is making our new space habitable and accessible. It has become increasingly obvious that there is an expectation that that the board will orchestrate this, sadly we collectively have neither the capacity nor the time to micromanage such a large project. The board is intended solely to do the following:

  • make sure the bills are paid and that we have things like insurance
  • assist with the on boarding process for new members
  • provide a single point of contact for complaints
  • provide an abstraction layer for dealing with the landlord, utilities companies etc.

The board are of course dedicated members who donate a lot of their time and energy to the hackspace however, we are only 5 people, we cannot do everything.

At the moment there are a few dedicated members attempting to put together the hackspace and keep it operable so that you can use it. They’re not all board members but there aren’t enough of them. We really should be further on with the rebuilding of the space than we are. The hackspace belongs to all of us, please help us build it into a better community.

Specifically we need help with:

  • Accessibility: we’d love the space to be as accessible as possible for all makers however, the board are not experienced enough to judge what is and isn’t accessible. Nor are we capable of judging whether a given adaptation will fix a given issue or not. As we don’t have the experience and knowledge to allow us to make the changes some of our members, and potential members, need we’re asking for help from our community to lead the space towards a better, more inclusive future.
  • Promotion: we’re doing our best but:
    • Our Facebook group and page are run by someone who is ambivalent about the medium.
    • We could use someone who is prepared to put more time into our MeetUp group.
    • We need people to write blog posts about what we’re up to and organise our presence at events such as Maker Faire UK and MakeFest Manchester.
    • We need people who are happy to find groups and communities both online and off, and spread the word about the fantastic world of hackspaces, and ours in particular.
  • Infrastructure: some of our areas have groups of people who have taken responsibility for them. The areas are as follows:
    • CNC: this is pretty well covered but if you’re particularly interested in joining the maintenance teams speak to Tas (NotQuiteHere)
    • Craft Corner: needs more people, talk to Chris (Badspyro). If you’re interested in anything from paper craft through to model painting, via our glorious sewing machines, or even something entirely off our radar that you think would make a great addition, please give us a shout. There are plans afoot for screen printing (Ruth is particularly interested and will point you in the right direction) as well as a myriad of other notions and hobbies too numerous to mention!
    • Metalwork desperately needs more people, talk to Greg (GregMorris)
    • Woodwork ditto, talk to Bob (thinkl33t)
  • Documentation, Health & Safety: much of the equipment we have in the hackspace is potentially new to a lot of members. A key function of a hackspace is knowledge sharing, including how not to injure yourself, how to use it to the best of its ability, and how to take care of the equipment (such as noticing when something is wrong with it). We need more people involved in the effort to make as much knowledge available as possible, and welcome involvement from anyone who wants to help. Speak to Chris (Badspyro) if you think documentation is awesome.
  • Snackspace: the list is available on the wiki. If we’re running low on stuff feel free to top us up. Shout for a Bookers/Makro card ( telegram is the best place to find us ) and knock yourself out. Don’t spend more than £200. Email the receipt to [email protected] for reimbursement.  Get a VAT receipt!  We’re not VAT registered but if we ever do, we can claim 5 year’s worth of VAT paid!
  • Volunteer: we always need people to help run stalls at events and generally talk about our hackspace and the projects that people do there. So, if you’re a people person and are happy to turn up and chat about what you do at the hackspace (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, electronics, laser cutting, 3D printing, crafts, whatever) and/or assist with a more structured  workshop such as Build A BUG! please let us know. We announce events via hacman.org.uk/list but can’t run them without people to assist.
  • Organise an event: got something you want to do? Organise it! Events can be run in the space providing you don’t prevent other members from using it and there is at least one member present at all times. If you want to run something that would stop members using the space that is also fine providing it’s announced via the mailing list ( hacman.org.uk/list ) in plenty of time and no one seriously objects.
  • Hack-the-space days! – Organise one of these! Hack-the-space days are our chance to house keep and maintain the space infrastructure from regular equipment maintenance to building the physical space and everything in between.
  • Run a workshop, start meet up, introduce a regular open night activity. Want examples? 3DPUG (Bob/Thinkl33t), Locksport (originally I have no idea now Tas/NotQuiteHere and Greg), DandD (Kat/BinaryKitten), Sanctuary Games (Kat/BinaryKitten), Manchester Space Programme (externally organised and changed venue when we moved).

I don’t have enough time/experience/spoons to help with the big stuff what can I do?

10 minutes of tidying

The biggest thing that every member can do for the space is spend 10 minutes each time they come in tidying or cleaning the space. Particularly the tables, workspaces, and walkways. Walk around, pick up any dirty cups people have missed, throw away rubbish, put things back where they belong, wipe down the tables, brush the floor, empty the bins and take the bags down to the skips. If everyone spends just 10 minutes making our space better each time they come in it will make a huge difference.

Simple English Version

Dear Members,

We need help to make the hackspace work well for everybody.

Hacman is a community organisation. That means all the members are equal partners. We have a board. This is 5 people who do some admin jobs for Hacman. The board makes sure the bills get paid on time. The board makes sure that new members learn how to use the hackspace. The board deals with any complaints from members.

All members need to help create a good working hackspace. Our new hackspace still needs a lot of work so that everyone can use it. At the moment we need more people to do some of this work.

Here is a list of things that we need members to help with:

  • Accessibility. This means that we need people to say what they need to be able to use the space. We also need people who can explain what changes other people might need to be able to use the space. This could be changes for people in wheelchairs, people with seeing or hearing problems, people with assistance dogs or people with other disabilities that are not obvious. We want to make the space a good place that everyone can use.
  • Promotion. We need people who like using social media like Facebook and MeetUp to do Hacman posts. We need people to write blog posts about Hacman events. We need people to run Hacman stands at makerfaire and other events. We would like members to find places to talk about hackspaces and Hacman so that more people find out us.
  • Infrastructure. This means the physical areas in the new hackspace. If you can help make these areas ready to use, please help.
    • CNC – if you want to help with this, please talk to Tas (NotQuiteHere)
    • Craft Corner – physical crafts like paper modelling, sewing, screen printing. Please talk to Chris (Badspyro).
    • Metalwork – Please talk to Greg (GregMorris)
    • Woodwork – Please talk to Bob (thinkl33t)
  • Documentation, Health & Safety. We have a lot of tools and equipment. We need help with training new members, and writing signs and instructions. Some of the tools and equipment can be dangerous. New members need to learn how to stay safe and have fun in the hackspace. We all need to know how to look after the tools and equipment properly. This will keep the tools and equipment in good condition. Please ask Chris (Badspyro) if you can help with this.
  • Snackspace: This is the food and drinks that we sell to members at Hacman. The list of items is available on the wiki. Any member can ask for a wholesale      shop card (Bookers or Makro) and buy more food/drinks when there is not      much left. Please ask on the hacman Telegram channel for a card. Please do      not spend more than £200. You will need to email the receipt to [email protected] to get paid back      the money you spent in the shop. Please get a VAT receipt when you shop.
  • Volunteer: we always need people to help run stalls at events. We need people who are happy to talk about what they do at the hackspace. We also need people who can do demonstrations at events e.g. building a mini robot. We tell members about events on the Hacman Telegram channel.
  • Organise an event: Any member can run an event in the hackspace. Events must have at least one Hacman member present. If the event means that other members cannot use the hackspace at the same time, then other members must agree that this is okay.
  • “Hack the space” days. We want people to organise one-off days where members work together to improve the hackspace. This could be painting the walls, or building a bench, or organising storage, or making the hackspace easier for everyone to use.
  • Run a workshop. We would love people to offer a one-off or regular session that is open to the public, as well as members. You can share a skill or interest with other people. You can ask other members for information about past workshops to get ideas.

Lastly, all members can help every time they are in the space. Please spend a few minutes tidying up. You can clear the tables and benches. You can sweep the floor or empty the bins. It is very important that we keep the space clean and tidy for everyone to use. Please also make sure that nothing is left where people could trip over it, or it gets in the way. This will make the hackspace a safer and more fun place for all of us to use.


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