Hack Hitchin

Aviva Community Fund. We (all) did it!

28th Nov 2017

Previously, we had done a bit of internal number crunching and reckoned we’d made 6th place in our grouping. Now, the official results are in. Announced at 2pm on 28th November, we’re in the top eight in the Skills for Life category at the £10,000-£25,000 funding level; the results page doesn’t list a position.

The results are here

We didn’t do it on our own, though: Thank you again for all your support. Now we have lots of forms to fill in for the judges, and the final result will be announced on 16th January 2017.

Aviva Community Fund: The dust settles

21st Nov 2017

The vote has closed

Back in early October, we spotted the Aviva Community Fund competition, and that if you were entered by an Aviva customer, you would automatically be awarded £200. On our tiny shoestring budget, £200 is a nice little pot of cash, so we submitted an entry.

From looking at the previous year we knew that winning entries had to have several thousand votes, which seemed like an impossibly large amount. But we went for it anyway, and now, just over a month later, the voting has finished.

And our final total is an amazing 4791.

A huge thank you to…

Everybody! It’s impossible to know exactly how many people took the time to vote for us, but based on the final total, we’d estimate something like six hundred people made the effort, sometimes in the face of difficulties with the voting site, to give us their vote. That’s an astonishing amount of support for our tiny Hackspace, and we’re extremely thankful for it.

We know that not everyone was able to give us 10 votes; there are a lot of very worthwhile projects out there and some people would have wanted to share their ten between two or more, but we really are grateful for every vote.

As well as friends, family and colleagues who suffered our increasingly frequent requests for support with good grace, and a good crop of clicks, we also reached out across the internet to ask for help.

We had help from (I hope they’ll forgive the term) geek royalty with Robot Wars’ Dr Lucy Rogers and Raspberry Pi creator Eben Upton retweeting our request to their thousands of followers on more than one occasion. The official Raspberry Pi twitter account also did the same. As big Raspberry Pi fans, we were very excited by this.

Hackaday covered the Aviva vote in an article, with Hitchin top of the list of contenders (a couple of other hacker/maker spaces also had entered). Many other spaces across the country were only too willing to allow us to promote our cause to their members via membership mailing lists or web forums.

Mike Horne, organiser of CamJam and the annual PiWars competition, took the time to write a whole blog post explaining in his own words how we should win.

Read all about it

The local newspaper, The Hitchin Comet, gave us some very welcome coverage. We’d been told that the article would feature “prominently” in the print edition, but no-one expected it to be the main headline on the front page.

We’ve had lots of support from local businesses, both online and good old fashioned posters in shop windows.

Far more people and organisations than we could possibly mention individually helped promote our entry, and we’re incredible grateful to every one of them.

So thank you again, everyone who tweeted, retweeted, Facebooked, wrote about us, commented on us, replied to say they’d voted for us, and most especially to everyone who voted for us.

And the winner is…?

The Aviva competition is partly public vote, and partly judged (insert your own comparison to Saturday night entertainment shows here). There are four categories, and four funding levels. We’re in the Skills for life category and the £10,000-£25,000 level.

In our category and funding level, the top 8 entries by number of votes go through to the final judging round, from which two are awarded the funding. The other six receive £500.

The official results aren’t emailed to us until November 28th, but by our own unofficial reckoning, checking against the other entries, we came in 6th place.

We’re eagerly awaiting official confirmation, but as we seem to be in the top 8, it appears that we will be awarded at least £500. And, of course, there’s the possibility of winning an award of between £10,000 and £25,000. The difference that would make to the Hackspace is incredible.

Thank you again, and hopefully we’ll be able to announce early next year that we’ve won the full funding. But more than anything else, we’re amazed and delighted by the support and goodwill our little project has, and we look forward to bringing you our refurbished toilet block Hackspace, whatever the final result.

 

 

Aviva Community Fund: Vote for us!

24th Oct 2017

We’ve applied for a grant from the Aviva Community Fund. Organisations are invited to submit a request for funding. There is then a public vote, and the projects which get the most votes are put forward to a judging panel for approval.

The applications have closed and the voting is under way.

We need your help

Please vote for our application here: Hitchin Hackspace Community Workshop

Voting is open to anyone who registers with the Aviva Community Fund website. Each registered voter gets 10 votes, and you can use all ten to vote for Hitchin Hackspace. Obviously we’d like it if you did that, but of course there may be other projects you’d like to support too. Please give us as many votes as you can. The more votes we get, the better our chance of securing funding to carry on developing Hitchin Hackspace’s new permanent home.

Dates for your diary

2nd May 2017

Just a quick update this time.

Our build nights for May will be on the:
1st
8th
15th
22nd
29th
As usual, these will be held from 7:30pm in the pavilion on Ransom’s Rec, off Nightingale Road.

The social night is going to be on the 9th. This will be in The Vic, at the end of Bancroft, from 7:30pm.

Progress with the Bancroft toilet block is slow and steady. There is a fair amount of grunt work, as well as more specialised jobs to get done. If you’d like to get involved with the renovation process and think you have skills we could utilise, please get in touch. The sooner we can make this our permanent home, the better.

Monthly recap and dates for you diary

2nd Apr 2017

The last couple of months have been very busy for the members of Hitchin Hackspace. Not only were members meeting twice weekly to finish our robot for Pi Wars, but we have also (after an arduous 2.5 years) been given access to the abandoned toilet block on Bancroft.


 

We’ve already spent many weekends there, tidying, repairing and planning what will be our very own bricks and mortar Hackspace and though we’re still a way off being ready to move in permanently, we’re eager to get there. These are exciting times.

 


 
 
On the 14th of March we celebrated our 5th Birthday. What started as three strangers meeting in The Vic for the first time has turned into a most excellent community with many members who love to make and have fun doing it as a group. We had a good turn out of members old and new, and there was even the traditional Hackspace birthday cheesecake.

 

 


 

The Pi Wars team have spent today at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory for the first day of competition – school teams. They’ve been having a lot of fun meeting the other teams and even had a VIP guest bighak commander – Dr Lucy Rogers, a judge on BBC Robot Wars and the head judge for Pi Wars.

Our team will be competing tomorrow and we are all keen to find out how well they they do.

 

Dates for your diary

Our weekly Build Nights for April:

  • 3rd
  • 10th
  • 17th
  • 24th

These events will be held in the pavilion on Ransom’s Rec between 7:30pm-10:00pm. Everyone is welcome to come along and see what our group get up to. You can bring a project along if you’d like, or just pop in for a chat. New people are always welcome and we enjoy seeing what projects they may bring.

Our social is on the 11th. This will be held, as always, in The Victoria at the end of Bancroft. This is an informal event and again, everybody is welcome. We start arriving from 7:30pm and it usually goes on until 11:00pm.

We hope you can make it to some of these events and if you know anyone that might be interested, bring them along. The more the merrier!