Whitley Enterprise Workshop – design it! make it! repair it!

Whitley Enterprise Workshop – design it! make it! repair it!

Whitley Enterprise workshop - Richard and workbench - image

Whitley enterprise workshop would benefit from years of Richard’s equiping workshops.

To design, make,  fix  and  repair.  This will be an OPEN workshop

Whitley Enterprise Workshop is the idea of Richard Jessel – Inventor.  He has an inventive mind and has learned and implemented new skills.   A little rhyming snippet of experience!

  • Richard feels everyone should have a facility at the ready and learn to do…well…anything!

He would like the opportunity to start such a workshop for the people of Whitley, and now that 1,000,000 of Lottery money has been allocated, he’d like to see some of this apportioned towards starting a Whitley Enterprise Workshop.

Whitley Residents for those inclined, would benefit by renewing their skills and imparting  knowledge to others of all ages,  especially the unemployed to bring about confidence,  competence,  fulfilment,  and the possibility of setting up and starting their own business’s.

Whitley Enterprise Workshop - Community Centre Cafe Enlarge + - image
Community Centre Cafe-Northumberland Avenue-Whitley agj

What do you say?

Pop into the Whitley Cafe,  have a coffee and whilst biting on a delicious slice of cake,  discuss and share your thoughts at a future enterprise workshop meeting.  Watch this space!

You can contact Richard by using our in-line contact form for any queries.  “Get in touch.”

Reading Midweek Wednesday April 29th 2015

“Whitley residents have a rare chance to help decide what skills will be made available to local people in a project aimed at helping to improve prospects for those seeking work.

Whitley Community Development Association is drawing up plans for a collaborative workshop space where skilled people who can spare some time to pass on practical knowledge to others, such as the unemployed or under-employed.  The scheme is supported by Reading Borough Council,  JobCentre Plus and the Heritage Lottery-Funded Whitley  1 Million.

But to find out what skills are required organisers are putting on a people for people in the area to brainstorm ideas.  They will then cost the various options. Ed’s note: this has now taken place.

John Ord  of the Whitley Trust said…

“There is clearly a wealth of ability in the area and this project gives us the chance,  not just to utilise people’s talents but also to to give an opportunity to those who have skills they would be willing to pass on, the satisfaction of helping others.

” It may be that we can get companies to help but I’m sure there are skilled who are possibly retired who still have a lot to offer.

“The first thing we need to do is find out what skills people in Whitley want to learn so if if people are seeking work or want to improve their prospects,  I would urge them to come along and tell us what they want to learn. ” Ed’s note:  this has now taken place

” We can then investigate what we can provide.  It’s important we base this on the people this is about.”

Also working on the scheme is Richard Jessel who previously helped Kings Meadow Baths Campaign during which he also attempted with others,  a similar kind of learning base to restore the Baths.  He now hopes to see a fuller scheme work within Whitley.”

Ed’s note:  The event was held on Wednesday April 29th from 12.30 to 2pm at the Whitley Cafe/Bar in the South Reading Community Centre, 252 – 260 Northumberland Avenue.



Working Together Creating the Whitley Enterprise Workshop


Working together to Design it!  Fix it! Make it!

Working together - Tools Galore - image
Working together


Working together with these people will help the project along.

 Mr John Ord – John is employed by a Lottery Fund agency to help the Whitley Big Local spend the million. He is here to assist not decide. In the main he will be a tool that we use to make sure we are getting value for money and social worth from our Million.  Working together is the motto.

Mr Alan Bunce      –  Freelance Writer and Editor for the local Newspapers

Mr Bhodi Sunth     –   Wingmen Associates – Financial Advisor

Mr Richard Jessel – During the last 7 years has been self employed designing and inventing – although throughout his life between employed status (mainly in the design fields) has been collecting a few Patents and seeing what they can do for him!  He is presently working on eco innovation and new concepts in letter box and cat flap design that keep out the draughts.

Associated Persons

Mr John Walford – Has  background in engineering,  having worked for  the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Aldermaston for a considerable period.  He is very keen that the people of Whitley should be working together towards a common goal.

Hemant Mehta – Retailer and much expertise in IT

 From the NEW  “Whitley Way” Newspaper… Working together

John Ord of the Whitley Big Local said:

“…This project is reaching very exciting stage now and it is essential that we find out the type of skills people want before we proceed.”

Lots of ideas and suggestions have been collected so far,  working together on how the workshop might be organised.  What’s in it,  who does it, how it might be supported and  funded,  what people could do,  where it might be located and what residents might get out of it.


Cafe – Community Centre – Northumberland Avenue-Whitley 

Working together and enjoy a CUPPA - imageRight at the heart the workshop a cafe is planned offering good food at affordable prices and this will be a place to sit together, plan and swap ideas and get to know others who can help each other.  Not only working together but a good base to brainstorm together. There will be a clear aim to create some form of social enterprise where residents themselves can run businesses that benefit the community and give them a useful job.

John added:  “We are actively looking for a place to locate this workshop.  Imagine a big space with different sections around the cafe offering a wide range of tool and equipment such as laser cutters,  lathes, drills, computers,  bench tools for wood and metal work,  shoe lasts, 3D printers,  engine and bike repair, sewing machines and basic electronics.  Come when you want at any time of the day or week – this is our aim.

“This workshop will be built around a team of local people working together and others,  with bags of different craft and engineering and technology skills: business could be run from here and it’s all about co-operation – a non-profit maker space where you can get and share the skills needed to set up your own business and create jobs locally. ”

That’s the main mission –

Working together to provide local jobs to support the Whitley economy

Richard Jessel is only too happy to provide various working equipment and tools necessary for work benches



Workshop Progress of the Whitley Enterprise project

workshop progress - tools - image

Workshop progress will be written as it happens

Workshop progress  ♦ 14/01/15   John Ord meeting with a Jobcentre Plus Representative and a Representative from the Local Economic Development Dept of Borough Council at New Directions, Northumberland Avenue. Wednesday 14th January 15.  Richard Jessel was also in attendance.  Consequent meetings have taken place.

29/04/15 Open Meeting for the General Public to discuss ideas took place at the Community Centre

♦ 16/06/15  Meeting held in June.  Possible workspaces discussed.

♦ 01/07/16  First meeting of the Whitley Mens Shed / Workshop at New Directions