Knitta please!…

KWA at HQ last month

The next Knittaz with Attitude is on Monday 2nd July 2012
6pm to 8:30pm at Claremont Park Community Centre, Claremont Road Blackpool FY1 2QJ

Bring your own work or join in with our next yarn bombing project (this time it’s international!)…anything goes.   All ages and abilities welcome.

£3.50 per session.

We will provide a light meal, tea and coffee, so please let us know in advance if you’re coming. You can do this by registering on Facebook or Eventbrite

The following session is on Monday 16th July at:
Aunty Social HQ
The Old Rock Factory
Rear 40 Talbot Rd (Abingdon St/Deansgate)
FY1 1BN Blackpool
United Kingdom

This session will start a little later (6:30pm) and will only be £2 as we will provide drinks and snacks.

Calling artists and crafters! Can you run a workshop from Aunty HQ?

We’re looking for artists and makers to run art and craft classes from our community craft workshop…  Interested?

We have a community craft workshop in central Blackpool and plan to run a variety of sewing/craft sessions from there.  We want local artists and makers to help us make use of the workshop by facilitating a range of classes.

If this sounds like something that you would be interested in, complete the Expression of Interest form and email it to us by Friday 30th March 2012. We will contact you during the week commencing 9th April 2012.

#Craftcore: A load of old baubles (Christmas decoration workshop)

20111212-191334.jpgFree craft workshop!

Make your own baubles: Create stylish and unique decorations for your Christmas tree, accompanied by mince pies and good conversation.
6pm to 8pm on Tuesday 13th December 2011 at Blackpool Central Library.

Sign up on Eventbrite.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission and British Council.

Aunty Talks Tech

Blackpool Central Library

Blackpool Central Library

On Saturday Aunty hosted So! VolTech 2011 – a conference on Social Media & Technology for the Voluntary Sector – at Blackpool Central Library. We had about 50 people attend on the day – some from as far afeild as the East Midlands and Yorkshire.

The morning saw five speakers share their experiences of social media and technology. @johnpopham, @stevieflow, @josephstash, Gary Copitch (from @peoplesvoicemedia) and @jezmyers all took to the stage and in an unplanned theme we saw all of them frequently referring to community and the importance of story telling when using social media. We’ve posted some of our videos over on our YouTube channel and we’ve got a few more on the way – so look out for those.

After our speakers had finished we got them all back up to the front to take a few qestions from the attendees. Thanks to the wonderful @johnpopham who live streamed the whole conversation you can listen back to what we discussed here. The last question was about whether the panel was representative of the gender split in the sector, and this has prompted a valuable debate over on @LouLouK‘s blog here.

Before we broke for lunch we broke up into three sessions from @PlugInLancs, @MyLearningPool and @BeGoodBeSocial. Liz from @PlugInLancs did a “Top 10 online goodies for NPO and VCFS groups and orgs” which was really well attended and you can see Liz’s slides at http://www.bit.ly/pluginsovol.

Talking tech on the beach

Talking tech on the beach

After lunch the unconference sessions began and because it was such nice weather outside (unusual for Blackpool I know) @johnpopham took a group down to the beach to speak about technology in the outdoors, and his experiences of organising #twicket – the live streaming of a village cricket match. There was some really interesting discussion about using technology to live stream events in the outdoors such as football coaching and Duke of Edinburgh Award activities and how this can showcase the work of community groups.

Back in the library @stevieflow led a session about Analysis Exchange, Google Analytics, bit.ly and Klout (note: Klout do sell your information to advertisers, thanks to @phpcodemonkey for raising this). The group discussed how using these resources and tools can make all the difference when making improvements or changes to your website. Analysis Exchange is way of non profit organisations getting advice on how to improve their site with no fees or charges – and definitely worth checking out. We also heard from @phpcodemonkey about Google Analytics new realtime analytics tool, for those of us who like to see the impact straight away.

More of the sessions from the afternoon included a Social Media Surgery offering one to one advice, what the voluntary sector can learn from business (in which there was a brilliant conversation about the value of testimonials and how they can be used to your advantage from @phpcodemonkey), a technology question & answer session from our sponsors at @testled and a session on young people and social media led by @LouLouK

You can view the photos from Saturday over on our Flickr account here. We’ve not uploaded all of them just yet but we will be adding more soon!

Huge round of applause…

We’d really like to give everyone who was involved in So! VolTech 2011 a huge round of applause, without all of you it simply would not have been possible. Our sponsors at Testled of course were fantastic as were our speakers, volunteers and everyone who wanted to spend their Saturday in a library in Blackpool talking tech with like minded people!

So what next then?

We’re currently watching the feedback come in before we put the wheels in motion for our next event – but we can say pretty certainly that there will be a next event, and we’re excited about it already!

As well as this we have set up our new Aunty Social Media email newsletter which we’ll be doing every month and will be stuffing full of information about social media, technology, events and the voluntary sector. You can sign up to get the newsletter here and if you have something you’d like us to include just send us an email to [email protected].

In the blog-o-sphere…

Liz Hardwick tells us about the Plug In Lancashire workshop & more.
Louise Kidney talks about female speakers at technology events.
@socialbedia shares her photos and thoughts on So! VolTech 2011

As we spot more blogs we’ll update this list but if we miss any, tweet us @SoVolTech!

Aunty goes to ‘that London’: European Year of Volunteering #EYV11Tour

Last week Aunty took part in the London stage of the European Year of Volunteering (EYV) tour at Coin St Neighbourhood centre in London.

The London EYV Tour events lasted a week and were designed to inspire volunteers.  The events, backed by the European Commission, offered anyone interested in helping others the chance to meet voluntary and community organisations and their volunteers.  It was also a chance for volunteers to get together, share their experiences and discuss issues that affect them.

It was great to meet other organisations and their volunteers and a special ‘shout out’ goes to the lovely Mark from Consortium and May from Greater London Volunteering Also, a big Blackpool “thank you” to the EYV Tour staff who looked after us well and gave us some very bright orange t-shirts to fashion into something tasteful *cough* and oh so *cough* stylish.

For more on EYV, visit www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/eyv11tour or take a look at the #eyv11tourUK hashtag on Twitter.

Pop-up Picturehouse: Vote for our Community Cinema!

Please visit http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/704 and vote for our Pop-up Picturehouse project.

We’re a group of volunteers who want to take big-screen film out into communities, encouraging people to come and experience different types of films while making new friends and taking part in stimulating discussions.

We plan to cover venues across the whole Fylde coast, and offer free screenings so that nobody is left out because they can’t afford it.

We’ll also have access to a wide range of films from world cinema to film noir, sci-fi to Bollywood, classics and real-life stories.  Audiences will decide what they want to watch and discuss.

The competition is tough, but we really want to make this happen. So do vote for us, it’ll only take a couple of minutes, but it’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Thanks

Aunty

http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/704

Aunty’s Tea Party – Project update

Hello Everyone!

We’re having a little get together just to update everyone on what’s going on at Aunty Towers.

We’re meeting at Claremont Park Community Centre, Claremont Road, Blackpool, at 6:30pm on Monday 15th August.

Do come along and find out what’s happening or to volunteer /take part in:

-Connected (social media surgeries for the voluntary and communty sector)
– Knittaz with Attitude
– Pop-up Picturehouse (film club)
– Crafternoons (at the Grundy Art Gallery)
– The new Aunty HQ at The Old Rock Factory (we need some volunteers to help decorate)
– Bike Polo
– Geek crafts (craft activities with a sci-fi/comic/video game slant)
We’ll provide the tea/soft drinks and some cake, but if you can, please bring something yummy along, Jacob’s Join stylee!

Aunty HQ: Cocked, locked and ready to rock!

On Friday evening Aunty Social opened the new HQ at 25 Deansgate, Blackpool, FY1 3AU.

We managed to secure an empty shop (due to be demolished for the Talbot Gateway project in November) through the Blackpool Culture Shops Programme run by Blackpool Council Arts Service.  The agreement allows us to display in the windows and provides us  with a temporary central base for of Arts/crafts workshops.

Over 20 volunteers donated their time, skills, decorating and cleaning materials and we were able to make this transformation in only 5 days.  We have had extensive positive feedback not only from members, but also from local residents and members of the public.  Neighbouring business owners have also commented positively on the improvement we’ve made to what was a grotty, disused space.

The project has really brought people together, doing something positive for the Blackpool arts scene and for the community as a whole.

It’s a tremendous achievement, so thanks to all the volunteers, you are ace of base!

Knittaz with Attitude: Straight outta Fair Isle…

Last night was the first Knittaz with Attitude (KWA) session at Claremont Park Community Centre, Claremont Rd, Blackpool.  22 knitwits came along to knit one, purl one and maybe drop one!

Our knittaz either brought their own work or joined in with our yarnbombing project…part 1 making snuggly little lamp-post cosies 🙂 with slogans such as:

– I love lamp (post)
– Keep Blackpool Toasty
– Big up your knitting needles
– Son of a stitch
– Aunty says “yeah boi!”

It was lovely to meet new people and see new faces, as well as learn new skills from our more experienced members (yes Pat, that’s you!).  We also shared info on where to get the best deals on woolly goodness as well as inspiration for new projects.

All of this was, of course accompanied by the mother of all buffets…good times!

Thanks to all who turned up and to Caz and Mel for the yummy food, you will now be known as Buffet the Banquet Slayers.

 

KWA will continue to meet on the 1st Monday of every month, 6pm to 8:30pm at Claremont Park.  All newcomers welcome.  For more details visit the KWA Facebook page

AuntySocial Connected (Part 1) a huge success!

Last Wednesday evening Aunty’s first “Connected” event took place at the Number 5 Cafe. For those of you who don’t know, Connected is our evening where we help third sector organisations get to grips with social networking and how it can help their organisation. On the night we had nearly 30 organisations show up to listen, ask questions and begin their social media journeys.

First up on the night was Nathaniel Cassidy who delivered a brilliant presentation giving insights into the various social networks out there as well as some real life examples of when employees from private companies have got it wrong and suffered the concequences online and in public. You can view Nathaniel’s presentation below!

Next up was Duncan Hodgson who gave us some more localised statistics about internet and Facebook usage in Lancashire and Blackpool. Duncan also incorporated a short ice breaker to get everyone in the room sharing – attendees were asked to tell the group their name, who they work for and three hash tags (facts, things or interests) about themselves. You can view Duncan’s presentation below!

After the presentations had finished we got into the social media surgery time. Attendees had the opportunity to spend some time one to one with a “surgeon” who could answer their questions in real time and actually do – rather than discuss. Between our surgeons we managed to get quite a few of our local organisations signed up to Twitter including Blackpool Advocacy, Libery Church Blackpool and UK Online Centre (Blackpool). You can also check out photos from the evening on our Facebook page!

We’d like to thank John Popham, John Walker, Nathaniel Cassidy, Steven Flower, Liz Hardwick and Mel Evans for being our social media surgeons and helpers on the night. Without them the evening would not have been possible!

We’ve already seen a number of blogs spring up reviewing the event so if you’d like to check these out visit Duncan Hodgson’s blog, John Popham’s blog or John Walker’s blog! If you’ve done a write up then make sure you let us know so we can share it on here.

We’re already plotting our next “Connected” event for some time in July and we’ll be releasing details very soon! Keep getting involved in the discussion on twitter by using #blackpsms and we hope to see you next time!