East Essex Hackspace is a charity hackerspace in Hawkwell, Essex: a community-run workshop where people come to share tools and knowledge.
We provide metal, wood and 3D printing workshop facilities, a computer lab with an electronics workbench and a dedicated laser cutting room. There is also social/communal space with A/V equipment for meetings, lectures and workshops.
The building was originally a sports pavilion and has been provided by Rochford District Council with a lease until October 2027. Significant work was done throughout 2020 and 2021 by the Trustees and other volunteers to make it into a pleasant environment.
Note: Yellow events are U3A and show use of the social space; Hackspace members cannot attend attend them, but can access the workshops at the same time.
Membership and Subscriptions
Lifetime membership is just a one-off £5 and enables voting rights.
After membership is paid you can access the space with a monthly £10 subscription which can be cancelled/restarted anytime without having to repay the original £5 membership fee.
Subscriptions provide access to the workshops and all funds go to paying bills, buying consumables and the maintenance and purchase of equipment.
Why join & subscribe?
- 24/7 access - some restrictions on noisy tools - please remember our local residents!
- Access to excellent workshop and meeting facilities, bookable for events, subject to Trustee approval
- Wood Workshop - well equipped for working in wood and other soft materials
- Metal Workshop - larger machine tools unlikely to be found in a typical hobbyist shed
- Computer Lab - general purpose computers but installed with special software for making, designing and learning
- Electronics Workbench - suitable for project work, troubleshooting and repair
- 3D printer Lab - multiple printers for different tasks
- CO2 Laser cutter - powerful semi-professional machine
- Wazer Waterjet Cutter - a professional desktop waterjet cutter that can cut metal
- Social/learning space - with decent A/V equipment and seating for up to twenty people
- Kitchen - refurbished with facilities to make hot drinks and warm snacks
- Free Internet access
- Input to tool procurement with space funds.
- Free/Reduced software for space machinery including:
- Lightburn Laser Software licence £16pa for use on space laser(Usually $90)
- Free access to VCarve Pro for use on space CNC
- Access to fully supported AutoCAD on space computers
- Access to SolidWorks on space computers
If you find yourself using the space and getting real value out of it, you can pay an optional additional contribution which we can, if you are eligible, claim gift aid on increasing your donation by 25%.
We have step free access to the building, but due to the age of the building, the corridors have limited widths of approximately 75cm which may be restrictive for larger electric wheelchairs. There is a 2nd entrance round the back of the building to the social space which is much wider and had access to the disabled toilet, though there is a small lip on the entrance of approximately 3-4cm.
We have a hearing loop installed in the social space, but does not currently have a compatible microphone
We have a mobile hearing loop in the social space which can be moved around the site.
How to join & subscribe
If you're not sure, visit us on a Tuesday evening from around 8pm to get a workshop tour/induction & meet some of the members!
Join at http://checkout.eehack.space and pay your £5 lifetime membership
Get an induction - Inductions are listed on the calendar. Please don't signup for a subscription until you've been inducted, though it can be handy to have signed up on the date of an induction.
Subscribe at http://checkout.eehack.space and setup a £10pcm card payment.
Once your £10pcm has been processed, you can collect your access card from a Trustee on a Tuesday evening.
How to help
The Hackspace is run by members, for members and nothing magically happens. If there's something you think needs doing or fixing, please engage with the membership on Discord but please consider sorting it out yourself if you are competent to do so. Like all community organisations, donations are always welcome, see how to financially help us.
Rules and code of conduct
The Hackspace has a small number of rules and a Health and Safety policy relating to the use of facilities, common to many similar organisations and while on-site (or using our virtual spaces such as Discord) we expect you to adhere to our code of conduct.
While the Coronavirus Pandemic is ongoing we would also expect you to adhere to our COVID-19 policy.
Failure to follow these will be handled by our grievance procedure. Membership of the Hackspace is 18+ only, unaccompanied children are not allowed on-site but as a community space, families are welcome so long as any children are supervised.
The most active online discussion about the Hackspace is hosted on Discord but there is also a presence on Facebook and Twitter. On Discord, there is a 'bot' that can provide answers to member-only questions like the gate code for the car park, Lightburn discount code and so on.
Events and workshops
Tuesday evenings are set aside as an open night, social night and when the inductions for new members are conducted. Check the calendar for special events and workshops. Note yellow items are U3A and are just to show when the social space is likely to be occupied during the day. The U3A have priority.
My <insert household gizmo> is broken. Can you fix it for me please?
We occasionally run a repair cafe open to the public, typically on the last sat of the month. Please check facebook events or the main calendar for confirmed dates.
We're also looking to repair things like clothing & toys as well.
If you'd like to volunteer, please get in touch.
Can you help me make <this exciting new thing> please?
We can, or rather we can help you to gain the skills and knowledge to make one for yourself. Our members come from different backgrounds and have numerous skills, just ask for help on Discord and someone can often give you some advice.
Can you make <this thing> for me please?
Usually our answer has to be “Sorry, no we can’t.” We aren’t really set up as a manufacturing facility for commissions from the Public. Our aim, as a Hackspace, is to provide a facility for the community to make things for themselves and for people to learn new skills so that they can make things for themselves.
There are a number of local suppliers you may find useful for your projects.