History of Create Oldham
Established in 2015 Create Oldham is a community owned and operated co-working and makerspace in the heart of the independent quarter.
After a false start and setting up the wrong company type we eventually incorporated as a limited company by guarantee, This is similar to a traditional company but rather than having shares and shareholders, we have members who each personally guarantee £1 (This is taken from a members first payment).
The organisation is primarily run by it’s members, for its members, while we have a board of directors who look after the legal obligations and a manager (Lisa Gee) who looks after the day to day management its the members who have the final say in what happens.
The current board
Whilst the space is ran by it’s members in a do-ocracy fashion, there is still need for a board of directors to keep driving the space forward and look after the legal side of things. Each director has an area of responibility and you can find a bit more about them below.
I am a Director of Studio G Photography, which I run jointly with Lisa Marie Gee. We are residents in the space. We’ve been in business for a little over four years, and are portrait and family photographers. Prior to setting up Studio G with Lisa, I had a 30 year career in local government HR, including 20 years as Head of HR at Director level. I still do a small amount of HR consultancy, and am happy to advise colleagues on HR issues.
I have a good understanding of how local government and the broader public sector works. A long career has given me a range of skills, and of course a great deal of experience of dealing with people of all backgrounds and all sorts of problems and issues. I think I’m a creative problem-solver, and I have good planning, organisational and people skills.
As one of the older members, I bring balance to the Board. I think Create Oldham has the potential to benefit people of all parts of the communities that make up Oldham, and the more diverse the board membership the better fitted it is to do that.
With Lisa and Keiran, I run the Oldham Photoholics Group and I’m a Custodian on a rota basis. I am in the space full time, and have therefore gained some understanding of the day to day issues that arise in running the space and interacting with its members and visitors.
I’m a strong believer in Wheaton’s Law!
Company Secretary, Comms and Safeguarding
I have been a continuous member of Create Oldham right from the Bank Top Tavern days. Being based in the space at least five days a week now allows me much more time and opportunity to be involved in the day to day organisation. I am a key holder and a custodian. I run Oldham Photoholics with my Studio G Photography partner, Robert, and I help to referee Minecraft Club, where my experience of working with SEN children stands me in very good stead. I am keen to explore ways in which photography and other creative arts can help young people and adults with mental health and learning disabilities.
Aside from photography, I have a background in media and communications, working in newspapers and as a press officer for one of the big charities. These skills allow me to to help progress the agenda and values of Create Oldham through increasing the membership and identifying and attracting funding and sponsorship.
My skillset and interests are perhaps a little less ‘techy’ than some of the other members. I’m not claiming this as a good or a bad thing, but variety is the spice of life, right?
Membership and Volunteers and IT
I have been a member of Create Oldham for about 2 ½ years and seen the space go from its little shed to helping set up the pop up shop and finally the big move into our current space.
Since then I have been involved in many different technology related events and been a part of the prize-winning Create Oldham team at Hack Manchester and mentored at Tameside Youth Hack. When I’m not at Create I’m working as a software engineer and studying for my degree. In doing this I have used Create Oldham as an office space to work out of both during the day and weekends/evenings etc. I also co-organise several groups at Create Oldham such as the Minecraft, Oldham Photoholics and WordPress User Group.
I have been a member of Create:Oldham for around a year. I joined to create a second RPG group Tuesdays. Since joining I have regularly promoted and encouraged people to join the createoldham rpg groups, and the efforts of andy, dave and myself, have managed to triple the size of the group which continues to grow. I also created the Saturday RPG group.
Experience wise, i have several years experience of running RPG groups, having previously created a group in manchester which ran for around 2 years before I joined create. I also have some past experience organising and promoting music events around the UK. For the last few years i have worked in Transactional Processing as part of the Accounts team for the UK’s largest tobacco company.
My experience here involves learning and understanding the administrative processes, and then using Lean and Six Sigma skills to continuously create and drive improvements by eliminate areas of waste, creating efficiencies and standardise processes, as well as providing training across the various accounts teams.
I was the founder of the RPG group back in Jan 17 and have been involved in the organization/running of the group ever since. I also regularly attend the Tabletop Boardgame group but just as a player.
In my day job I am an accountant for a large construction firm and so have experience in financial planning, budget and goal setting, cash flow forecasts and progress monitoring.
I have until recently been on the committees of couple of local groups, Saddleworth Amateur Wine Makers’ Circle and Cartmel Crescent Allotments.
I also brought together local beekeepers from the Chadderton/Moston borders and organized regular monthly meetings at the start of 2016 which eventually became the Medlock Bee Keepers’ Association (part of the BBKA) in March 2017.
I have wide experience of how to successfully run a small organization and also plenty of ideas and contacts regarding obtaining funding etc. in the Oldham area.
Buildings and Assets
As one of the founding members of the Createspace I have been an active member since we were little more than a Meetups group that gathered once a month in the pub to discuss how to set the community up.
From Createspace 1.0 in the old workshop, to 1.5 when we briefly took over a unit in Tommyfield Market and Create 2.0 (our current home), there are few events and activities I have not been a part of at one stage or another.
I currently organise the Tabletop RPG group and the Writers Group.
Membership and Volunteers
I am currently a student at Manchester Met studying 3D Design. I also work at Tesco’s part-time, I am the treasurer of a small camera group called Double Exposure based at NEON in East Oldham and often volunteer at Action Together.
I have been a member for at least the last six months and spend most of my time hidden downstairs working with cement and resin or trying to teach my mum that less is more (not going very well, especially when it comes to glitter). I also attend the Photoholics group once a month, bring my nephew to Minecraft Club, turn up for the Create the Space sessions and open up the space on Sundays for anyone who wants to use it.
Having lived with my mum for almost 21 years I have worked out that being quiet and observing the world can get you further than talking none stop. It doesn’t mean I should be underestimated because I am quiet. I know more than I say, think more that I speak and notice more than you realise. I like getting stuck into things and I am a strong believer that if you want anything doing, stop complaining and just do it!
I am calm and approachable (I am the one that complete strangers give me their life stories to at the bus stop or in the middle of the street). I am happy to share my experience, knowledge and skills with anyone but most importantly, I know when to ask the experts for advice and help.
Health and Safety
I have been a member of HO for several years. My skill sets include software, electronics, CAD, 3D printing and general engineering. Although working full time at a leading technology company in Oldham, I try to give as much time as I can to support HO.If you’ve got a question about any of the above…get in touch!
Always enjoy playing computer games, especially retro ones and attend the tabletop gaming nights with my eldest whenever I can.