Fab:Social is a success in Shantallow

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Group of people pose with their creations
Fab:Social manager Rachel Duffy (back right) with the budding artists. Patrick Duddy and John Ferry, Housing Executive (front left and middle) with Darren Kirby from Liberty Consortium (front right)

Thanks to funding from the Housing Executive, the Fab:Social project has trained over a dozen people to make practical items in their local area using high tech machinery.

Fab:Social is a digital fabrication project based at the HUB in Northside Village Centre, Shantallow.  

It provides training and access to digital fabrication machinery not readily available, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters and CNC Shop Bot (a large, computer controlled cutting machine).

The Housing Executive’s Collon Terrace office provided a community grant to help Fab:Social’s Makers Club come alive.

Every Wednesday for 12 weeks up to 15 women were shown how to make objects with the digital machinery available at Fab:Social Shantallow.

Amazing results have been achieved and the women taking part are delighted at the knowledge and skills they’ve gained, as well as the items they’ve made like personalised mugs, canvas bags, cushions, wooden art, toys, decorations, etc.

Artwork cross with text

Rachel Duffy is the Project Manager in Northside’s HUB, and is really pleased with the results the Makers Club has produced.

She said:  “The Fab:Social project is an excellent opportunity for people to learn about digital fabrication machinery and use equipment that is not readily accessible, due to factors such as cost and training.

“Our aim is to provide skills to local people who can then create their own art and designs, share their learning experiences and help the community to benefit.

“Thanks again to the Housing Executive for supporting us and the local community to help dream it, make it, share it!”

One of the participants, Caroline, was delighted to be able to attend the Fab:Social project.

She said:  “I’ve really enjoyed my time learning at the Hub here.  I’m quite a creative person and having access to these types of digital machinery was brilliant.

“I’ve made cushion covers, printed mugs and created objects on 3D printers – where else could I get to do that in the City?”

Fab:Social even helped Santa out last year by making a sleigh for one of his local visits!

This community led project plans to run more Makers Clubs (subject to funding) and drop in sessions to support knowledge transfer to the local community and foster social enterprise.  

Patrick Duddy, Housing Executive Patch Manager for the area, was at the most recent Makers Club workshop.  He said: “I can’t believe the amazing work people have made at the Makers Club, it’s fantastic.

“The Housing Executive was pleased to be able to fund this social enterprise, which benefits the local community and pays it forward. Anyone interested can check out the Fab:Social Shantallow Facebook page or email Rachel Duffy at Rachel@playtrail.com

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