Co-working in Liverpool and Manchester
Earlier in the year I wrote an article about the benefits of working outside of the house / flat for the self-employed. In the article I discussed working from places like coffee shops and libraries.
What I’m referring to mainly are Jelly co-working events. These are events that run throughout the UK (also internationally, but I won’t focus on that here) and are intended for freelancers / self-employed (some welcome students too) to work together and avoid the isolation of working at home. All within a specified venue where you have access to WiFi, drinks etc.
Since moving to Liverpool, I’ve started regularly attending the Jelly meetups in both Liverpool and Manchester. I’ve met lots of interesting people at both venues, and find it’s a great way to separate work from my personal life. It’s great to come home feeling like I’ve actually been to work, as opposed to everything merging together.
The Liverpool Jelly (@JellyLiverpool) is hosted upstairs at Leaf on Bold Street (@leafteashop) in collaboration with Open Labs of John Moores University (@OpenLabsLJMU) and takes place on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month.
The events start at 9am, finish at 5pm and are free to attend.
Jelly Liverpool is very well established and celebrated its 1 year anniversary in August 2011, you can watch a short video of it to give you more of a feel of what the meetups are like.
I would certainly recommend paying Jelly Liverpool a visit even if you are from further afield. You will most likely find yourself to be a regular from then on!
Manchester Jelly (see manchesterjelly.wordpress.com and Twitter: @ManchesterJelly) is hosted at Manchester’s creative hub; the MadLab (@madlabuk) and takes place every Friday from 9am to 6pm. The meetup is free to attend however they do appreciate a donation of £5 to help keep everything running smoothly at their hosts; the MadLab.
Every attendee I’ve met at Manchester Jelly has been happy to give a £5 donation each time they attend, myself included.
Manchester Jelly is quite new to the co-working scene as (at the time of writing this) they are soon to be celebrating their 10 week anniversary. However they seem to have done a good job of rounding people up so far as you can tell by the photo above, and its popularity will surely increase as word gets out.
You might think me travelling from Liverpool to Manchester to save working on my own is a bit over the top, but I got a Multi-Rider ticket (basically 5 returns to Manchester from Liverpool) from National Express for £28, with 6 months to use them up (I should probably credit @pantsridelow for informing me of this amazing deal)… whereas 5 returns on the train to Manchester at peak times would have cost me £75! So the coach is a much more affordable option.
For this reason I see no reason why people based within, say, an hour’s journey or so of Liverpool or Manchester can’t attend these events. Especially if they are keen to:
- Meet new, interesting people
- Speak to fellow creatives, and those in other fields
- Make new connections, and possibly to outsource work to them
- Avoid the ‘solitary confinement’ effects of being stuck working indoors all the time
There is also the possibility that another attendee may pass over some work to you. This isn’t what Jelly is strictly about as it is intended to be a co-working event not a networking event, but you’re best bringing your business cards just incase!
Fore more information about Jelly as a whole, check out the following resources:
Are you a Jelly addict like I am? Or do you know of any other co-working venues / events that are worth attending? Feel free to let everyone know in the comments :)
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