We’ve had a fantastic year at the Good Things Collective, despite the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s all down to the wonderful community we have around us. There’s been a lot happening and a lot of projects in the works:
The Studio has been re-opened, with safety and the health of the visitors at the forefront of everything we do, running workshops and lots (and lots!) of meetings. There have been four fantastic exhibitions to enjoy, one of which was an auction to support our work to launch our online shop - which couldn’t have happened without the generosity of the artists and makers from all over the area!
We’ve hosted two events all about housing to inform a project for affordable, community-led housing that is now firmly underway, which are a part of Morecambe Matters; a project to create a community wealth-building manifesto for Morecambe, so that the people in Morecambe prosper alongside the town!
“Food, talk, create!” was a project with eggcup that brought together food and creativity, which was incredibly well received and was humbling to see the gorgeous pieces of art that were made in response.
We’ve started work on a ‘neighbourhood campus’ with Lancaster University, to make art and the development of artistic practice far more accessible to people in Morecambe and connect the university students with the artistic community right here! Another project that we’ve worked on, alongside Lancaster University and a huge variety of other organisations all across the EU, is CASCADE, which is developing a toolkit for small enterprises, artisans and craftspeople to develop their work and businesses to be able to make a sustainable living, both economically and ecologically.
That’s not even everything! Our online shop has had a fantastic start, and we’re so excited to be able to support artists in the sale of their work, and it can only grow bigger and better. The Micro-gardens project is up and running, with seeds and bulbs very literally planted, ready to bloom in spring. Make it in Morecambe, a program all about enterprise and levelling up skills is already seeing participants taking their learning and set off running towards amazing businesses and initiatives, which is a part of Elie 2.0.
As many of you will know, GTC works very closely with the Creative West End Partnership and we’ve seen a multitude of wonderful projects come to fruit through that, and supported them to get them finished. We particularly enjoyed seeing the Winter Market come to life and new faces getting involved!
The Collective has become a large-membership organisation, so that you, the members of our community, have a say in how the organisation is run. We’ve always worked in a collaborative way and the projects and decisions that we make have come from conversations that we’ve had with the community. This step solidifies that and we now have around 40 members.
It would be remiss of us not to mention the Centenary House development (also referred to as the Co-op building). After a lot of late nights and hard work, we are now closer than ever to getting the keys to the front door! There aren’t enough ways to say thank you to everyone that has spent time writing letters in support of the development, together, they make a really strong argument for the project that our funders will find hard to say no to!
As you can probably tell, we’ve been working at full tilt to do all of these things in just 12 months! Again, none of this would have been possible without the support of you, our community and the amazing partners we work with. We can’t thank any of you enough and collectively we know that we are making a difference.
The Collective staff team will be taking a small break over the Christmas period to catch our breaths and recuperate. The Studio will be closed at the very start of the New Year, as we make some decisions about opening up again in the face of rising Covid cases.
We hope that you get to have a peaceful time over the festive period,
From the entire team here at The Good Things Collective!