Shrewsbury Jelly March, 2017
Shropshire Jelly was started by Jan Minihane with help from Judi Heminsley (who was instrumental in bringing Jelly – an American idea – to the UK). Jelly organisers run co-working days all over the world in cafés, restaurants and community rooms – sometimes living rooms – where people who usually work alone can work alongside other people for a change.
Shrewsbury Jelly meets on the second Thursday of the month and currently alternates between the Loopy Shrew and The Alb. It’s organised by Chris Smith @envoid and is free to attend but it is reasonable to expect that you will buy some food and drink if you are sitting in a café using free wi-fi and free electricity for your laptop.
All sorts of people attend Jelly days – accountants, solicitors, business coaches, training providers, software developers, marketing consultants, IT experts, geeks, and lots of self-employed people making soaps, jewellery, candles – and service providers helping people with health issues, dyslexia, hearing loss – the variety of people you can meet co-working is endless.
At last month’s Shrewsbury Jelly I asked attendees why they left the comfort of their own home to travel to Shrewsbury and attend Jelly. Most of the people worked alone most of the time, occasionally meeting colleagues in London once a quarter or in Skype meetings. They all said that: “Sometimes you need to speak to people face to face,” and: “It’s a good idea to get out of the house occasionally,” or they “Need a change of scene – in different situations you meet different people – and you see things differently.” @danielclarkfca attending Shrewsbury Jelly for the first time said: “It’s good to meet different people, discuss things, share views.”
The budget was high on the agenda at the last Jelly (it was the day after Budget Day) and there were varying opinions on the NI increase for the self-employed. It was also the day after International Women’s Day and all agreed that we are very lucky living in Britain to have so many professional women helping the economy along – with the freedom and respect to do it.
If you have recently moved to Shropshire, Jelly days are a mine of information, jelly organisers usually have an excellent knowledge of the local area, what’s going on in Shropshire and who to ask for help with anything from computers to networking – and there’s usually an IT expert there who can help solve that niggling technical problem or explain things like ‘how to use Twitter’.
This article was published in the April edition of the Whitchurch Gossip.