In the grant scheme of things, the most difficult problem to overcome when working with the community and projects is sustainability.
To solely rely on funding is not only hard, even impossible at times but also very distracting for the work you are trying to do. Often you end up receiving a 12 month grant only to spend the first 6 months actually doing the work you set out to do and then the next 6 months in a state of panic and worry. In the back of your mind its always the same question:- if you will be able to carry on with the work, get extra funding to carry on and build on what you are doing.
So with that being said, sustainability has been on the back of our minds from day one. We need to find ways to take away the worry and allow us to do the work we set out to do.
Utopia for us is life without funding applications.
One way we are in hope of being able to do this is through community business or through a social enterprise.
I first came across a `Library of Things`through an online artical on sustainable community businesses.
Basically put, a Library of Things is a library when you can loan out almost anything apart from books ! Items range from carpet cleaners, tents, surf boards, childrens toys and some of the most popular items are power tools. For a small fee per week ( generally £2 -£3) you can now finish off that DIY task you haven't been able to do or go wild camping for a weekend.
The income generated from the loans goes back into the Library to help create employment, training, workshops and community meeting place.
Now, we know that you would have to loan out hundreds of items per week before you are able to reach sustainability but it is one step closer and also a step in the direction we hope to take.
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