Jelly co-working spaces are great places to meet other people

Jelly co-working spaces are great places to meet other people

Shropshire is such a friendly place, wherever you are, there’s usually someone to talk to – shopping, walking, sitting in a café – and Shropshire Jelly co-working days provide an opportunity to meet people whilst you are working.

There are lots of people who work from home in Shropshire, some are self-employed, some work for big companies but work remotely from home most of the time – and there are authors, students, actors, consultants, who don’t go to work in an office with other people every day.

Jelly co-working spaces are great places to meet other people, but still get on with some work.  Have a chat over coffee, share current news over lunch and find out a bit more about the county we live in and what’s going on where.

Jelly days are regular events – Shrewsbury Jelly is held on the second Thursday of the month and alternates between The Alb and the Loopy Shrew.  Whitchurch Jelly is held on the first Tuesday of the month at Holly Farm Garden Centre.  All Jelly spaces have free wi-fi. The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre has excellent (Aroma) coffee and tea, delicious lunches (including Maynards ham) and locally home-made cakes.

Your environment can have a big impact on your work – I have always thought that florists have a lovely time always working with flowers.  At Whitchurch Jelly you are surrounded by plants – nature’s natural essence envelopes you when you walk into an area full of flowers, it’s not just the heady mixture of the mingling scents of the flowers, the plants themselves have a greenness that radiates tranquillity and calm.

Holly Farm has many beautiful and interesting plants, shrubs and trees – deliciously-scented roses, and an endless variety of colourful perennials like penstemons – beautiful cottage garden plants, with lots of different shades to choose from – as well as being simple to grow – plant in a sheltered spot and you will be rewarded with a long lasting show of flowers for years to come.

Just browsing in a garden centre can be very therapeutic – discovering unusual plants and imagining them in your garden, finding lots of ideas for brightening up the garden.   There’s something satisfying about strolling along rows and rows of plants -properly watered and cared for.  It’s also a great opportunity to ask Jonathan Allen any gardening questions – like why my hanging baskets were looking a bit tired – regular watering and feeding is the answer.

The Coffee Barn is a great location for Whitchurch Jelly – if you have recently moved to Shropshire, it’s a good place to find out what’s on locally and where to find things.  Holly Farm sponsor Blackberry Fair every year (first Saturday in October).  Jelly days are a mine of information.  The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 5th September, 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.

Published in the August editions of the Whitchurch Gossip and Drayton Gossip

Whitchurch Jelly at Holly Farm Garden Centre

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

Shropshire Jelly organise co-working days providing an opportunity for people who normally work from home to work alongside other people for a change, share current news, have a chat over coffee and find out what’s going on in their local area.

Whitchurch Jelly is held at Holly Farm Garden Centre on the first Tuesday of every month.  The Coffee Barn has good Wi-fi, excellent (Aroma) coffee and tea, delicious lunches (including Maynards ham) and locally home-made cakes.

Holly Farm is a real community hub – employing local people and supporting local events like Blackberry Fair held on the first Saturday of October each year.     www.blackberryfair.co.uk

Practically all the plants, trees and shrubs at Holly Farm are grown and raised locally here in North Shropshire including some unusual varieties of perennials and shrubs. July is pick-your-own-fruit time so I’ll be picking some strawberries to take home before I leave today.

Whitchurch Jelly used to be held at The Lodge at Dearnford Lake – now renamed Alderford Lake – until the cafe became really popular.  They have lots of community events including Immersion Theatre performing Wind in the Willows on 20th August.  Festival on the Edge – the largest storytelling festival in the UK – is  being held there on 28-30th July.  The lake also offers facilities for open water swimmers and kayakers.  For more information visit www.alderford.com.

Alderford Lake

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, local network groups, and local helpful people from plumbers to piano tuners.

Jelly days are promoted on Twitter and you can find updates on @JellyShropshire on www.twitter.com along with information on local events and breaking news stories.  Shrewsbury Jelly is held on the second Thursday of every month.

The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 1st August 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.  For further information visit:

www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the July edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Do you work yourself? Is your business based at home? Jelly Coworking could be for you.

Do you work yourself? Is your business based at home?  Have you ever thought about having a day working alongside other homeworkers?  Chance for a chat over coffee and lunch – and still catch up with emails and paperwork? 

Jelly co-working days provide an opportunity for homeworkers – and indeed anyone who fancies a change of scenery – to work alongside other people, in a comfortable, friendly, informal place, with free Wi-Fi and tea, coffee and lunch made for you.

Whitchurch Jelly meets at the Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre on the first Tuesday of every month.  Shrewsbury Jelly meets on the second Thursday of the month and alternates between The Alb and The Loopy Shrew.

June is strawberry season – long summer evenings, sipping wine or elderflower champagne (for recipe visit www.barbararainford.co.uk), home-made scones with strawberries and cream in the sunshine, serenaded by songbirds, busy bees buzzing diligently from flower to flower, roses and honeysuckle mingling with the scent of newly mown grass – and Holly Farm Garden centre has everything to make your little patch of Shropshire full of life – vibrant colours and heavenly scents – and a haven for wild birds and insects.  Take time out browsing the wide selection of basket and bedding plants, herbs, lavenders, roses and perennials and take some colour home for your garden – and don’t forget to pick some fruit before you leave – strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and gooseberries – they all make delicious jams and country wines.

Jelly days provide an opportunity to discuss the tennis, the recent election results (by the time you read this we will probably have some different MPs in The House of Commons), local events like The Party in The Park in Whitchurch – and preparations for Blackberry Fair www.blackberryfair.co.uk.  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 local helpful people from chimney sweeps to piano tuners.

Jelly days are promoted on Twitter and you can find updates on @JellyShropshire on www.twitter.com along with information on local events and breaking news stories.

The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 4th July – Independence Day.  Whitchurch Jelly is 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.  For further information visit:

Published in the June edition of the Whitchurch Gossip magazine

Shropshire Jelly – Work, Chat, Collaborate

Shropshire Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….


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’.

Jelly co-working days are free to attend but you do need to book. Go to www.shropshirejelly.co.uk for more information.

Published in the April edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Jelly Co-working – A Day without a Daring Adventure is a Day Wasted

Jelly – A Daring Adventure?

Working from home has many advantages but it can also be quite a challenge.  It’s so easy to get into the habit of staying in your comfort zone, working on your computer on your own with no interruptions – but there’s no conversation either – and you don’t develop your expertise and experience to its real potential.

The last time I was given a fortune cookie it said:  “A day without a daring adventure is a day wasted.”  And I’ve often thought about it when I’m travelling to an unknown location or meeting new people – some days just picking up the phone can be a challenge!

It’s essential to get out regularly and mix with other people, for social as well as work reasons and co-working offers a great opportunity to mix work with pleasure.  There’s no need to dress up, nobody has to stand up and speak and it’s free to attend with free wi-fi (although most Jelly days are held in cafés so be prepared to buy a coffee and lunch).  It’s not networking, so it’s not a selling opportunity, it’s just an opportunity to work alongside other people for a change and have a chat over coffee and lunch

Jelly has no organisation, no structure, no hierarchy, no rules. It’s open to everyone – you don’t have to be running your own business – you might be thinking of starting a business, or you might be a volunteer for a local charity or community group.  If you have just moved to a new area it’s an excellent way of finding out about the local area, business opportunities, networking events – and which are most likely to be relevant to you and your business.  Most Jelly organisers have an tremendous amount of local knowledge which you can tap into – and there’s usually an IT expert there so you can solve all those niggling IT questions.  Intrigued by social media but can’t get your head round it?  Someone at a Jelly will be able to tell you everything you need to know.

Jelly has a completely different atmosphere to any other business event I’ve ever been to.  It’s a great place to meet people you’d never otherwise bump into. Jelly attracts people who never go to networking or other business events, either because they don’t feel it suits them or because they do something very specialised and don’t want to be sold to.

Jelly days are a place to catch up on local news and find out what’s going on with businesses, council decisions and good old-fashioned gossip. Judy Heminsley, pioneer of Jelly co-working in the UK has written a blog that provides advice and inspiration for home workers – find out more here workfromhomewisdom.com

 

Spring is in the Air at Shropshire Jelly

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate…. Spring is in the Air

Feel like a change from working from home?  Fancy a chat over a cup of coffee and some company whilst you are working?  Join me for a day co-working at The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Nurseries.  10.00am – 3.00pm on the first Tuesday of the month – next one 7th March.

Of course you can visit the Coffee Barn and enjoy light lunches and homemade cakes any day of the month – Holly Farm Nurseries are open 9.00 am – 5.30 pm 7 days a week and have a wonderful selection of locally grown plants, trees and shrubs.

Now is the time to start planning your garden, stock up on potting compost and fertilizer and (my favourite spring task) choose from all the seed packets which plants you are going to grow yourself – and which plants you might buy in already sprouted.

For years I have struggled to grow sweet peas from seed with varied success, then my sister started buying plants instead of seeds and my sweet peas last year were much earlier and much more successful – except that I was in a hurry buying them so one of the trays I bought were dwarf sweet peas and didn’t do justice to the trellis I provided for them!

So take your time browsing through all the seeds and choosing your favourite varieties of plants – Holly Farm has a great selection of bedding plants and lots of perennials that will transform your garden year after year.  If you are thinking of growing some fruit, Holly Farm has some unusual soft fruit varieties like jostaberries, boysenberries and tayberries.  There is also a comprehensive selection of fruit trees, ornamental trees and shrubs, climbing plants and herbs – lots of ornamental pots and tubs to grow them in too.

Christimis Jelly with Alf the Elf

Christimis Jelly with Alf the Elf

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Arriving at The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre for Whitchurch Jelly was like walking through a Christmas grotto – we were greeted by Alf the Elf who shared a coffee with us and told us stories of all the children that had helped decorate his Christimas tree and their family adventures in Alf’s Wintry World.

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Christimis at Whitchurch Jelly

Christimis at Whitchurch Jelly

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December is ‘Pick your own Christmas Tree’ time at Holly Farm and we were surrounded by Christmas trees and holly wreaths.  Jonathan Allen grows them all at Woodfield Christmas Tree farm at Fauls – if you prefer you can go there and have a family adventure exploring the Christmas tree plantation to find your personal favourite – a woodcutter will then cut down your tree for you and net it ready to take home (with stand if required).  Trees are reasonably priced with 6 ft non-needle drop Nordman fir trees from £29.99 each.

We also met Alf the Elf who is visiting Holly Farm throughout December and we learnt all about Christimis and Alfus Tigglespin’s famous magical stories where glorious fantasies come to life in the mysterious wonderland of Alf’s Wintry World.  You can book a time to meet ‘Alf in the North’ at Holly Farm Garden Centre and enjoy his Christimis family storytime experience  on 07773 047744 or email him [email protected]

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One of my co-workers was Sally Joyner of In the Loop who helps families as well as individuals come to terms with hearing loss, providing lip-reading classes for family, friends and colleagues and lots of free advice.  She normally works from home so enjoys a day out occasionally. www.intheloophearing.co.uk

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Conversations included the recent Shropshire Dyslexia Awards evening at Enginuity in Ironbridge, the brainchild of Eli Wilkinson and organised almost single-handedly by her (with a little help from her friends!).  The first of its kind but it was so successful it will be repeated.  www.theddc.org.uk/dyslexiaawards/

We enjoyed home-made mince pies which went down extremely well with locally roast, freshly ground, Aroma Coffee followed by Maynards ham toasted sandwiches for lunch.  Holly Farm also have a selection of delicious home-made cakes.

The first Whitchurch Jelly of 2017 is on Tuesday, 3rd January – a great way to get back into the swing of things – and leave the remnants of Christmas behind – especially if you work from home!  Join me at The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre, very easy to find on the A49 at Prees. 10.00 am – 3.00 pm.  Call in for a coffee to see what it’s like.

Published in the Whitchurch Gossip, November edition.

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate…. Self employed? Work from home? Fancy a change where you can still do some work?

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

Self employed?  Work from home?  Fancy a change where you can still do some work?

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Whitchurch Jelly is a co-working day held at The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre on the A49 near Prees on the first Tuesday every month 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

A chance to get of the house/office and work alongside other like-minded business people for a day for FREE. The Coffee Barn offers excellent, locally sourced food and home-made cakes, served in a tranquil setting surrounded by plants, with free internet access and the opportunity to work off lunch browsing many locally grown flowers, shrubs and trees.

Share conversations and enjoy Aroma Coffee and a Maynard’s bacon bap whilst catching up on some work on your laptop.

You can also have a wander around and enjoy the colours and scents of the many beautiful plants – pansies and petunias, polyanthus, pinks.

Take advantage of some expert advice from Jonathan Allen who has many years experience with growing plants – particularly trees and shrubs – so if you’ve always wanted a magnolia or camellia, he can advise the best location to plant them and how to look after them.

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What’s the format?

The basic format is generally the same for all Jelly days:

  1. turn up with a laptop
  2. take a seat
  3. do some work
  4. enjoy some intelligent conversation
  5. go home

It is FREE to attend, but it is reasonable to expect that attendees will buy drinks and lunch during the day.

Follow @ShropshireJelly and Barbara Rainford @strawfields on twitter for updates.

There are now 4 Jelly Days in Shropshire – in Whitchurch, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Telford. If you would like to join us, it’s free – to find out more – and to book – visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Jelly in Shropshire.

Whitchurch Jelly: 1st Tuesday of the month. Next one Tuesday, 7th June, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm at The Coffee Barn, Holly Farm Garden Centre, Prees, SY13 2DD

www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the May, 2016 edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

 

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate…. at Holly Farm Garden Centre

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

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The clocks go forward, the evenings are getting lighter and summer is just around the corner.  The daffodils are out, the sun is shining and (despite the rain, the wind and the hailstones) spring is in the air.

I find it quite hard to work inside when it’s sunny outside and the garden beckons.  At Whitchurch Jelly however it’s like working in the middle of a garden – surrounded by plants and flowers – and the smell of Aroma coffee and Maynard’s bacon sandwiches of course!

The Coffee Barn is an ideal location for co-working – and for meeting people.  Anyone can drop in for a coffee and stay for as long as they wish.  I am often joined by Chris who runs Shrewsbury Jelly and lots of different people enjoy a day out of the home/ office and a change of scenery.  There’s an excellent selection of lunches – and home-made cakes to go with afternoon tea.

Spring is the time for buying seeds and planting the first vegetables and Holly Farm Garden Centre provides the ideal opportunity to choose what to grow this year.  There’s a selection of spring bedding plants, a full range of vegetable, herb and flower seeds, and lots of trees and shrubs – nearly all locally grown.

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I’ve found a really useful Facebook group called Allotment growers uk that have some really innovative ideas – like using a mosquito net instead of fleece to prevent carrot fly and ‘will thermal bricks work in the polytunnel?’  They also discuss all sorts of gardening issues like which weeds are edible (I think I’ll eat weeds in future, they grow better than vegetables!)  I’m not that keen on eating weeds (although I did cook nettles once and told the family it was spinach).  However, my chickens and rabbits do like weeds, chicks love chickweed and my rabbits eat lots of plants like groundsel as well as dandelions, comfrey, sorrel and shepherd’s purse – more on my website www.barbararainford.co.uk

Whitchurch Jelly also provides an opportunity for answers to all your gardening questions, Jonathan Allen is always happy to provide gardening advice – such as what plants will thrive in the shade – and which vegetable varieties are likely to do best in your particular soil.

There are now 4 Jelly Days in Shropshire – in Whitchurch, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Telford. If you would like to join us, it’s free – to find out more – and to book – visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Jelly in Shropshire.

Whitchurch Jelly: 1st Tuesday of the month. Next one Tuesday, 3rd May, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm at The Coffee Barn, Holly Farm Garden Centre, Prees, SY13 2DD

www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the April, 2016 edition of the Whitchurch Gossip