So, earlier this year, I had a few vinos with some friends and we got chatting about a skills swapshop in Splott and I posted the article below. The response was a bit overwhelming (in a very positive way) and I thought ‘blooming hell, what have I let myself in for here?’ So, I just ignored it for a while (as you do with all scary things).
But it was always at the back of my mind and, every now and again, a Splottlander would remind me of it and tell me how much they were looking forward to it.
Recently, though, I’ve had a massive work project that has been so big and overwhelming that (one) my Splott projects have been neglected and (two) I hankered after my Splott projects (hence tonight’s over-saturation of Inksplott articles, tweets and Facebook posts (sorry!)).
Coming off the back of ‘The Beast’ (as I’ve grown to call the said mammoth work project), it’s made me think about things in a different way (as in, it’s made me think that anything is achievable if you just approach it in the right way). It also made me realise that you can’t do big things by yourself. And a skills swap shop is a big thing.
So, three things:
- I want to do this
- I want to do it before Christmas
- I don’t want to organise it by myself.
I’ve had a couple of ideas:
- Hold an open session in the Old Splott Library to find out what people have what skills
- After that, set up the first ‘Skills Swap’ where people who have skills to share have a table and people can come up and ask them about their skill
- 2 hours long – £25
- 14 tables of people who have skills to share
- Every table registers people interested in their skills
- Inksplott has a table to register new people who come who have skills to share
- Create a schedule of events depending on demand – thinking three activities (skills) in one room at one event (so three people go first, sharing their skills, and we create a rota of three at a time until all skills are shared)
- We hold a Skills Swap every 3 months so ever skill holder gets the chance to ‘teach’ and people can be teachers and learners
- Cover the £25 cost by asking for a £1 donation from visitors
- Keep running it until all skill givers and skill learners have had the experiences they want.
So then, them’s my initial thoughts. let me know what you think (and if anyone wants to come on board as a deputy to organise things when I have another massive work deadline and my head gets too full let me know, please!).
PS – last thought of the day; I met a lady today who was really excited to move to Splott in 2014 but didn’t really know how to find like-minded people and, actually, became quite despondent with the area. When we met up today and I was my usual gobtastic self, saying ‘but don’t you know about this? and this? and this? and this? and THIS?’, I realised just how many awesome things are going on in Splott. But I also realised that, despite Inksplott (the whole purpose of which is to make people aware of what they can get involved with) social media doesn’t cut it. People still don’t know of all the groovy stuff going on, an that only comes from human connections. So, that’s another reason for progressing this project. If it goes ahead, I will pay to print posters and flyers and I will do my best to ensure that all of Splott knows;
There is a lot going on here, and you are all welcome!
Anyhoo, let me know if you have a skill to swap!
Off the back of a really cool conversation tonight, I’m thinking about setting up a quarterly Splott Skills Swapshop where people get together and exchange knowledge.
For example, I can teach social media skills in exchange for someone teaching me how to play the Ukelele. My mate would like to learn Welsh in return for teaching someone German. Maybe a gardener could help someone transform their back yard in return for a cooking lesson. There are so many talented people in Splott; why don’t we make the most of the massive amount of knowledge in this area to learn some cool stuff? If anyone wants to try and teach me to bake, they’re flogging a dead horse but I’ll give it a go!
The other thing about this is that it’s not about about qualifications or professional standards – you don’t have to have a degree to participate. This is a friendly, fun, easy-going, laid back initiative.
We can also make this something really special where we look after each other! What about going to read the paper to someone with bad vision who is housebound in exchange for a recipe for Welsh cakes passed down through the generations?
It doesn’t necessarily have to have to start off with a straight skill-swap, it can be something as simple as providing a glass of water to someone who jogs passed your house in exchange for a potentially surprising and engaging conversation.
Use your imagination and don’t hold back – something you take for granted may be a super-skill to someone else.
Totally taking the idea from the amazing Trade School but implementing on a local level.
Is anyone interested in this? Would it be a goer? Let me know and I’ll set it up.
Facebook me, Tweet me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org