It’s undeniable that our aims for The Pilcrow have developed during the project so far. We’ve gone from building a pub through traditional construction techniques to building a community.
We are now twenty workshops in and we’ve had volunteers from all walks of life through the doors of Phoenix House, trying their hand at something new and (more often than not) passing that new skill onto someone else within a few hours. Our spoon making workshop with Michelle Shields at Sadler’s Yard is a great example of this; once our morning workshop session was complete, we had a team of freshly trained silversmiths ready to share their metal bashing abilities with the general public.
This is what has been really striking for me while working on The Pilcrow – it doesn’t matter what your day job is or what you do on your weekends, everyone has come together with a shared goal, and they’re prepared to change their roles constantly to get things done.
It’s inspired us as a team to develop our own roles and share experiences with each other, rather than ‘sticking to what we know.’ I for one had never thrown a pot before meeting Joe, nor had I ever envisaged building a pub before Ben secured the project, and I’m sure my constant requests for marketing content are a new feature in their working lives.
But here we are. Thanks to the commitment of our volunteers, we no longer have a list of IT managers, finance assistants and University students; we have woodworkers, ceramic enthusiasts and people who are more than willing to try their hand at everything we can possibly throw at them.
And those people, in my opinion, are what take this project to another level.