An Open Letter to Medway Council,
supporting The Deaf Cat, Rochester.

[Originally written on 11th April 2011. Today, directly submitted to Medway Council to support ‘change of use’ application Ref. MC/11/1478]

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Dear Laura / Kevan [proprietors of The Deaf Cat]

Following the recent licensing issues and council interventions, I wish to make my feelings known on the subject of the Deaf Cat Coffee Bar – I hope this short note inspires you and your staff to stay motivated and positive in the face of the current hurdles, paperwork and autocracy.

In short, the Deaf Cat is much more than a Rochester coffee shop, it has become much greater than the sum of its parts and for the good of Rochester’s (and Medway’s) social ecosystem it is of paramount importance that this be recognised and supported by the council, not constrained.

I applaud what you have achieved in terms of a business, but more importantly I congratulate and thank you for the diverse community you have helped align, ignite and inspire. In a relatively short period of time you have achieved so much – well done! Through my ever-growing tuttle endeavours, community connections and public/council partnerships I will do what I can to help you build the necessary bridges with other creative groups, community initiatives, creative-freelancers/entrepreneurs and the local authorities.

From the standpoint of bureaucracy and autocracy (Eg. a quick glance over a piece of paper and a tick box aligned to a column marked ‘High Street Coffee Shop’) I understand how the Deaf Cat may appear at first to be a traditional High Street coffee house, but for those who care to look beyond the business name and brick building and its categorized business genre, a unique and thriving community of local catalysts can be found and will continue to grow. Sure the Deaf Cat serves good coffee but to most of the people who use it regularly the coffee is not the reason to frequent its welcoming space… its value cannot be realised in a cost-effective cuppa, its true value is in its community of active participants and true social-capital. Given Medway’s ‘Big Society’ agenda I can see no more valuable venture than The Deaf Cat.

What can be counted doesn’t always count. And from the standpoint of social capital, that which can’t be counted on paperwork or council forms, often counts.

Thank you. Positive thoughts,
Carl

Catalyst: http://www.fellowcreative.com/tuttle101
Co-founder: http://coFWD.org

 

Coworking in Rochester, Kent
Creative Pros, Social Entrepreneurs
& Students Wanted!

The post below is out of date. We’ve now grown into the coFWD coworking community and workspace (Rochester, Kent, UK), for more info please see: http://coFWD.org




To keep up the local co-working vision and momentum, and to help the wonderful Deaf Cat out with its financial commitments to its currently vacant artists studios, James (@BecomeKnown) and I (Carl @FellowCreative) have just moved into Studio 5 at number 10 Rochester High Street – and we’re opening up our WiFi (including more secure Ethernet connections), Desks and Kettle to freelancers, startups, visitors, students and community initiatives.

Our new Studio 5 space isn’t as flexible as the Former Westminster Bank we had our eye on back in February (sadly removed from the rental market by the owner), nor is it as big as the original 2008 Brighton Skiff but we’re hoping it’ll provide us with a temporary foundation upon which to build even greater momentum and vision.

Studio 5 is currently equipped with 4 desks and an overflow space for an additional 3 desks (Studio 3), as well as access to toilets, a fitted kitchen and an enclosed courtyard.

We’ve already secured our first two part-time coworkers at £50pcm each (big thanks and welcome Paul @p_r_anderson of Sustaina.co.uk and Paul Baker at iDesignFor.co.uk).

We’ve still got room for two more full-timers (at £100pcm) or some more part-timers (at £50pcm), plus we’d like to encourage Students and other good folk to call in and see us. Occasional coworkers are very welcome for a day at no charge, just give us a ring on 07929 601737 to make sure we have space on the day.

We’re also exploring the potential for an event/workshop space for small groups so please let us know if you’ve got any ideas. We’ll post more details soon, in the meantime if you’re an organiser of small workshops, talks or other activities and you like the look of it please email us.

Finally, with this being a 101 Project and in support of The Deaf Cat (and the larger coworking vision) its important we’re transparent with finances. The space costs £260pcm to rent and any money we make beyond this will go into funding additional space usage (as and when its needed).

Tuttle101 Monday 6th June 2011
@TheDeafCat in Rochester, Kent

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Any questions, please email: tuttle [at] fellowcreative.com

Tuttle101 @TheDeafCat 6th June 20

 

Tuttle101 at The Deaf Cat Coffee Bar (Rochester, Kent)
Photo: Tuttle101 at @TheDeafCat Coffee Bar (Rochester)
Original photo taken and licensed by @fellowcreative

Tuttle101 & Tipple101
April/May 2011 in Rochester Kent

19/04/2011 Update: Nibble101 is at Cosmo Oriental Restaurant at 7:30pm on Tuesday 26th April. The next Tuttle will be at 9:30am Monday 9th May at The Deaf Cat Coffee Bar – click here for more details

For more information see ProjectEncounter.co.uk/about/ or Tuttle101