A co-operative, volunteer-run community centre and gig venue in London has re-launched its fundraising appeal.
DIY Space for London has been open for six months in its location just off Old Kent Road in south London. In that time it has hosted hundreds of bands, been home to meetings, screenings and festivals, and helped raise thousands of pounds for local and international causes. There is also an in-house record shop TOME Records open from Wednesday to Sunday, and plant-based café Joey’s Kitchen at the weekends.
The project is run by ten collectives as part of a co-operative. Membership costs £2 a year which enables people to hold events and have a say in how the club is run, as well as taking part in workshops such as photography and screen printing, or learning to play musical instruments.
Chris, a member of DIY Space for London, said: “We chose the co-op model because of how important internal democracy is to the project as a whole. Since incorporating as a co-op, our members’ club has grown and now has over 3,800 members. The co-op model allows us to deal with the serious legal and administrative requirements of the space in a formal manner whilst a series of members’ collectives co-operatively look after the day to day running of the space and project.
[Photographs: Andrew Northrop/DIY Space For London]
The newly rebooted fundraising scheme is separate to becoming a member, and instead allows donators to become a ‘Friend of DIY Space’. Friends receive a limited edition badge, updates on how the money has been used, and are the first to hear about what’s happening each month at the space.
DIY Space began fundraising in 2012 and raised more than £20,000 from around the world. In spring 2015 it took over a 3,300 sq foot building in south London and renovated into a creative and social hub thanks to hundreds of hours of volunteer effort. The space opened in September 2015.
On how the co-op is organised, Chris said: “A general collectives meeting is held at the end of every month where each collective reports back to one another and members as a whole. We are organising for our first AGM where the co-op will form a new board/committee type group that will also take on checking that DIY Space For London is continuing to fulfil our overall objectives.”