Good for Nothing at the MadLab

Have you ever thought how great it would be to find a local project which you could put your design, coding and maker skills into? Do you have a community project that could do with a new website and promotional materials? Well, Good for Nothing is an initiative designed to bring those who create and those who need together, allowing designers and programmers to contribute their time and skills into helping local charities and co-operatives for free. It first originated in London where it has been a huge success, and there are now Good for Nothing groups sprung up across the UK.

The Manchester Good for Nothing group met for the first time at MadLab over the weekend of the 6th October.

The three good causes chosen to the focus of freely donated expertise were the Carbon Co-op, Mountains of Hope and Signposts. On Friday evening, representatives from each of the charities gave a presentation on who they are, what they need and why. For example, the Carbon Co-op was in need of some coders, technologists and designers to help them develop open source energy monitors and new t-shirts and posters. The Morecombe based charity Signposts and Mountains of Hope were in need of more accessible websites and new promotional materials to help their chances of getting funding.

For the rest of the weekend, fueled by Tunnock’s and other wholesome local produce from the Unicorn Grocery co-op, the creatives and charity representatives worked together, the former bringing fresh designs and brilliantly simple technology and the latter providing feedback and new ideas.

With a mix of thinkers, designers and makers, every project came out with something beautiful and new. Mountains of Hope now have a great website complete with a hand drawn logo, the Carbon Co-op have a range of t-shirt and poster ideas (see website) as well as the basic prototype for a new open energy monitor system and Signposts have a five minute video presentation showcasing their work which will help make a quick but effective impression when applying for funding.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive; don’t worry if you missed out on this one as there will be another Good for Nothing weekend in January though keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming social which will be some time before Christmas.

Check out some of the videos:

Good for Nothing Day 2 – What the chuff is the Carbon Co-op? from Carbon Co-op on Vimeo.