It’s time to take 5 and reflect…

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the big picture when you’re fighting the fire.

We’re a team of three here at Campus North. We’re very fortunate that we all get on and have great craic on a daily basis. To be blunt, if their banter was poor, life at Campus wouldn’t be the same!

If you walked in to Campus North and saw us sitting at our desk cackling and joking with one another, you might be guilty of thinking that we do very little. The reality however is very different. We all work our bloomin’ socks off to get sh*t done. Our trio tackles everything from sales and marketing to event planning and corporate support, community engagement and account management to facilities management and operations, human resources and health & safety, to accounts and invoicing… the list is endless. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but sometimes we’re guilty of fighting the fire of daily Campus life without stopping to reflect on what our small team of three has achieved.

This time last year we all sat down with our Fairy Godmother (AKA Sharon from SEM Communications) to discuss who Campus North was, what we wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year and how we were going to achieve it. Fast forward twelve months and it’s only just now that I’ve properly reflected on what we accomplished last year.

Here’s a taster of some of the goals we lined out in that initial meeting V where we’re at today…

1.) We wanted to be at full capacity in Campus North.

We started January 2016 with 5/6 offices and 19/45 coworking desks occupied. This meant we were running at roughly 47% capacity. Not bad, but not were we wanted to be.

The Coworking Warehouse in Campus North

As of today, all of our offices are occupied, as are 45 coworking desks. This would have meant that had hit our goal, BUT we added 10 more desks throughout the year meaning we’re at approximately 83% capacity. Not only that, we also scooped Adzuna’s Best British Workplace of 2016 award as well as being nominated for Entrepreneurial Coworking Space of the Year in the The Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Not bad for an all-female, privately ran coworking space based in the toon!
(If you want to be a coworker with us, I’d act fast and grab a desk while you can!)

2.) We wanted to launch our own education initiative.

We didn’t have a name for it back then. We did however know that we wanted to offer everyone, regardless of their background or skill set, the opportunity to get involved with digital.

Hello Tech for Life C.I.C.

An education initiative by Campus North which introduces people of all ages, skill-sets and background to the fundamentals of computer programming, digital skills and STEAM*, removing barriers and offering opportunities to everyone.

We started shouting about Tech for Life in March 2016 and since then we’ve seen over 1,000 people benefit from our events and activities and even won the Future Workforce Award at the Dynamites 2016 awards.

Proof that our trio isn’t always in jeans and jumpers…

You can have a read of this Tech for Life blog to find out more about why we wanted to launch our own education programme along with some of the things we got up to last year.

3.) We wanted to update our space and brand

At the beginning of last year our style was what I like to call ‘IKEA-chic’. Homely, with lots of colourful murals and a strong startup vibe. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we felt Campus North was going in a different direction and we wanted to unify our brand alongside our premises. We consulted our good friends at Dirty Hands who got to work on our updated brand. A big thanks also to Graham at Edward Robertson for hooking us up with a brand spanking new website!

This also meant that the three of us spent evenings and weekends painting Campus North. When you’re armed with a paintbrush you begin to realise that it’s quite a big building…

Here’s a look at what things were like in January 2016…

The below gives you a snap shot of where we’re at today, twelve months later. Please take a moment to appreciate those beautifully crisp white walls!

Pssttt!! Aren’t those walls are so beautifully white and well-painted!?

Here’s a few other things we achieved in 2016

  • Hosted 11 Digital Drinks events
  • Held 12 Tech Breakfasts
  • Ran 12 free adult coding classes for the North East community
  • Arranged 3 family Maker Parties
  • Celebrated Women in STEM with two events to coincide with Ada Lovelace Day
  • Managed over 60 private room bookings from external companies
  • Hosted over 142 individual, community Tech Meetups

Just to name a few!

We managed to do all of the above in 12 months. (It’s even scarier now that I’ve written some of it down!). I’m part of a f****g awesome team and I think we deserve a pat on the back! With organising and achieving so much, it’s easy to understand why we’re always looking forward and planning the next thing on the to-do list, but sometimes, it’s important to take 5 and reflect on what we’ve done.

Girls — here’s to 2017! If it’s anything like last year, we’re in for a good’un!

Lynsey Morrow
Sales & Marketing Manager

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