Was it November 2011? It was late in the year, of a year I had nothing; nothing to do and nothing to look forward to. Ever so slowly and deliberately I began burning bridges that I saw as drawing me away from where I needed to head. That is to say, in a direction away from gainful employment. The nothing I had was unemployment and, by the time I met Carl Jeffrey and the coFWD community, its teeth seared deep into me.
What 161 has given me is a space to think and, dare I say it, believe. And the atmosphere of the coworking space caused me to think again about the plans and ideas I had at the beginning of the year, and instead of shelving them act upon them.
One such had its genesis in Folkestone in late February 2011, in the Leas Cliff Hall during what felt like the death-rattle of a fine model show. I put the question to my friend, Nick, that we should put on a show. He agreed, but unemployment threatened to throttle it at birth.
In the midst of an eagerness to do I mentioned this conversation to Carl. Names followed. Contacts were made and conversations begun. And a serendipitous connection formed when I met the graphic designer, Paul Baker, who provided the designs for fliers and the web-site. Very quickly, the infrastructure for the Kent Model Show 2012 built up.
It sounds dramatic, but I would go so far as suggest 161 and the coFWD coworking space saved my life. Well, if not saved, offered me an environment where I could see a future, however vague that future was, and begin to be positive again. Whilst at 161 I planned and developed a novel that is now undergoing a re-draft, planned and staged a Model Show, and cleaned windows.
I found employment which has given me sustenance, and the 161 community helped me move clear of my defunct relationship. Now the future is brighter, the future is coFWD.