Chelmsford Makerspace wins City Camp Chelmsford Grand Award

Chelmsford Makerspace logoCongratulations to Chelmsford Makerspace. They were announced the winners of the City Camp Chelmsford Grand Award for 2012 this afternoon at a showcase event organised as part of the Chelmsford Ideas Festival.

Richard from Makerspace was able to give a short presentation of how Makerspace has grown from a gathering of young electronics and engineering enthusiasts in his mum’s kitchen to a rapidly growing community currently meeting weekly at Galleywood scout hut. In less than a year, Makerspace has developed and now hopes to grow further with the support of Chelmsford City Council’s Grand Award.

3D printer

The 3D printer is already taking shape

The Chelmsford Grand Award is funding the cost of a 3D printer which will enable Makerspace to build customed designed parts for their creations and inventions. But it isn’t just a case of picking it off the shelf in Argos or Maplins. In true Makerspace tradition, this group is making their own 3D printer. This is being done with the help of the owner of an existing 3D printer who is generously printing plastic parts which, combined with components funded by the award and recycled materials will be built into the final printer. Chelmsford Makerspace will be able to return the favour by printing parts for other groups who are building 3D printers.

And they aren’t wasting any time – the building of the initial structure has already begun and you can keep updated on their progress by following Chelmsford Makerspace on Twitter and liking their Facebook page.

In addition to the 3D printer, Richard told us that they intend to buy much needed tools and development boards to help with their projects and builds.

Dell logoAlso attending the showcase event today was John Bellini from Dell who sponsored CityCamp Chelmsford this year. He was able to meet the finalists from City Camp who applied for Dell equipment and services they thought would make a real difference to their ideas. John will be meeting Makerspace as well and Chelmsford TimeBank and Inclusive Spacial Design over the coming weeks to understand their bids in detail and ensure they receive the maximum benefit from Dell’s generous contribution. Whether its a smart new laptop, a server, projector, consultancy services or website cloud hosting, John will make sure each idea gets the very best Dell can offer.

So, a great day to celebrate Chelmsford’s first City Camp but this is only the beginning. We’ll continue to keep the website updated with progress reports of all the ideas pitched this year. Now we have an active community of ‘city campers’ the organisation of the second City Camp Chelmsford will be able to include the thoughts and views of the community. We’ll be able to build a bigger camp where we hope to see more people, hear about more ideas and help more of them reach their full potential.

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Join us and find out who has won

Chelmsford Ideas Festival 2012Saturday October 13, 2012 sees the official start of the Chelmsford Ideas Festival 2012. There are a huge number of events taking place throughout the week but the one which will be of special interest to us will be the CityCamp Chelmsford showcase on Tuesday October 16, 2012 at Anglia Ruskin University, Rivermead campus at 2pm.

Meet us in the Lord Ashcroft Building foyer at 2pm. The showcase event will briefly recap how the CityCamp Chelmsford event went, talk through some of the ideas pitched and announce the winner of the special Chelmsford City Council Grand Award which was created especially for CityCamp this year.

The winner has been chosen and we can’t wait to announce and present the £1,000 funding. We hope that the winners will be in attendance to explain what they plan to do with their winnings.

Dell logoAs well as the Grand Award, and thanks to Dell, we are also able to provide additional equipment, services and consultancy prizes to the most deserving ideas. Come along and join us. Afterwards, we hope you’ll be able to stay for a chat and to ask any questions you may have.

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Prizes – get your applications in now

I love prizes badgeCity Camp Chelmsford saw some great ideas pitched and discussed on Saturday September 8, 2012. We hope you found those discussions beneficial and now we move on the the next stage – prizes! Details and deadline dates are provided below for the special Chelmsford £1,000 Grand Award and some valuable prizes kindly provided by Dell. Both could really help to accelerate your idea so don’t delay – get your applications in ASAP.

Chelmsford Grand Award applications

Chelmsford Grand AwardsApplicants for the Chelmsford Grand Awards must submit an online application form via by the deadline of the September 28, 2012. Please remember to mention that your bid is related to City Camp Chelmsford. The winner will be decided by the board on October 9, 2012 and announced during the Ideas Festival on Tuesday October 16, 2012.

Submit by September 28, 2012
Awarded on October 16, 2012

Dell prizes applications

Dell logoCityCamp attendees are also eligible to apply for hardware, hosting, support and consultancy services from Dell which will be awarded according to need and suitability. Hardware is anything typically found on the Dell website for sale – items from keyboards, mice, webcams, printers, monitors, software, televisions, hard drives, speakers, routers, tablets, projectors, laptops and desktops. Dell can also offer other services including hosting and consultancy.  The deadline for applications for the Dell prizes is October 9, 2012 and winners will also be announced at the Ideas Festival on October 16, 2012.

Please describe your project, why it is needed, how it will be delivered, who will benefit and which Dell products or services you feel you need. Only the ideas pitched at CityCamp Chelmsford 2012 on Saturday September 8, 2012 are eligible for Dell prizes.

Applications for a Dell prize should be emailed to info @

Don’t forget to include your name and contact details.

Submit by October 9, 2012
Awarded on October 16, 2012

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What’s in an idea?

I was not able to be at City Camp Chelmsford on Saturday so I missed what sounds like a very inspiring and encouraging event.  I hope it will become a permanent fixture in the city’s calendar alongside the Cathedral Festival, Street Diversions and the 3 Foot People Festival amongst others. I had several ideas of my own which I would have loved to have pitched and one particular one which came up through a conversation on Friday – bringing back the Chelmsford Spectacular!

I was there on Friday afternoon where there was some time for me to take the microphone and describe a few of my experiences of City Camp Brighton which I attended in 2011 and 2012.

Here are those few quick examples of the kind of ideas which came up at a City Camp Brighton

City Camp Brighton

From CityCamp Brighton 2011

My Urban Angel

My Urban AngelThe pitch was to develop a smartphone app for young people to use to keep themselves safe on a night out in the city. It needed to be practical enough to offer sensible safety features to keep the young person safe but with enough social features to make the app attractive to the target audience. This was a partnership project including the city council, street pastors, bars and clubs owners, police, health authority and the voluntary sector.

The ideas which came forward included ‘Meet my friends’ – a way to schedule key times and places throughout the evening where friends would gather and meet up. ‘Panic button’ – an easy to activate smartphone action which would call, text or alert an ICE number (In Case of Emergency). ‘Geo-location’ – allow friends and/or family to see your location in real time on a map. ‘Safe havens’ – Street Pastors, police officers, Community Health Workers and other trusted and accredited third parties would be pinpointed on a map so that the nearest safe place could be found quickly.

This idea won the £10,000 award and was taken on by the majority of the team who developed it during the weekend. It is still in development and is progressing towards a final product.

From CityCamp Brighton 2012

Brighton and Hove Untold

Bert WilliamsBert Williams conducts guided tours of the black history of Brighton. Demand was outstripping his capability to supply so he wanted to provide a ‘do-it-yourself’ guided tour. He had heard of QR Codes but didn’t really understand how they could help. His pitch was simply to ask if anyone could explain what a QR code was and if it could help in his quest to create a DIY black history tour.

Some people came forward, explained QR codes and demonstrated how they work with their mobile phones. Work began on a prototype website which would demonstrate the basics of what Bert wanted to achieve.  It included a QR code which, when scanned delivered a mobile-friendly website offering material about the selected building on the black history tour trail. Audio, video, photos and some text were deomstrated using Audioboo, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger. The prototype website was demonstrated and won £3,000 funding for meeting space, promotional material and to develop the website and QR code plaques.


LGBT Hip BrightonIn the same City Camp, an LGBT group simply wanted some help setting up Twitter and to check their overall social media strategy in general. A couple of hours later and Twitter was no longer a mystery and by the end of the day, they had their Twitter page along with the knowledge to start tweeting. In this case, the solution was found on the day and there was no need for an ongoing project. the point is that City Camps can equally accommodate the huge, ground-breaking ideas alongside some simple advice.

Here is the complete list of the projects from City Camp Brighton 2012

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Breakout Sessions


City Camp Chelmsford sessions matrix

Session 1 – 11am – 12 noon

1. Integrated, intelligent transport via social media

2. Dating site for employers and employees

3. Community innovation space and online collaboration tool
Ben, Leonie and Gill

Session 2 – 12 noon to 1pm

4. Chelmsford walking tour welcome pack and smartphone app
Richard and Gill

5. Virtual auditorium for classical music

6. Chelmsford Timebank and elderly buddy services
Manoah, Christine and Rob

Session 3 – 1pm – 2pm

7. Promoting a clean environment and reducing litter

8. Open governance – participation in local government

9. Inclusive and spacial design opportunities
Heather and Janet

Session 4 – 3pm – 4pm

10. Solar energy opportunities and community group
Heather and Janet

11. Mind and body connection, online product development

12. Ideas Festival website development

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Friday at City Camp – a great start

Many thanks to all those who came along on what felt like the hottest day of the year. Although the weather was lovely it was nice the take refuge in the air conditioned lecture theatre to begin proceedings for the first City Camp Chelmsford.

Cllr Philip Wilson

Philip Wilson kicked things off with a brief overview of what CityCamp Chelmsford hopes to achieve before introducing Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University to the podium. A warm welcome, enthusiastic encouragement and support for City Camp was pledged followed by a 10 minute video which showcased many successes of Anglia Ruskin’s many projects and initiatives in a wide variety of fields.


Cllr Roger Walters

Next up was Cllr Roger Walters, Deputy Cabinet member for Economic Growth, Waste and Recycling from Essex County Council. Roger spoke about the importance of innovation in local industries giving the example of a local printing firm now developing apps for online versions of magazines alongside the more traditional printing techniques. He commented on the need for continued close partnerships between schools, colleges and universities and employers. “Young people increasingly seem unaware that there are two 7 o’clocks in a day” was a quote which raised a chuckle in the room.

Cllr Neil Gulliver

Cllr Neil Gulliver, Cabinet member for Planning & Economic Development with Chelmsford City Council listing many companies historically linked to Chelmsford steeped in innovation history – Hoffmanns, Marconi, E2V and more. He pointed out that Chelmsford’s successful bid for city status this year at only £4,000 was the lowest submitted. His hopes for Chelmsford were innovative developments which are clean, green and offer high value job opportunities. Neil finished by explaining the origins of the Chelmsford Grand Awards and his delight in Chelmsford City Council being able to contribute a special Award for the best ideas created during City Camp Chelmsford.

David Wilde

David Wilde, Chief Information Officer at Essex County Council finished off the presentations by professing his keen interest in technology. 3D printing was used as an example of a new technology which is a hugely exciting innovation which will reduce prototyping and development by weeks and months. David moved swiftly into a panel debate welcoming representatives from Microsoft and Dell to the stage. A lively hour of debate ensued with many questions from the floor for the panel to answer.

Philip Wilson rounded the day up with a brief recap of what’s in store on Saturday with  David White describing three brief examples of his experience of participating in CityCamp Brighton.

David spoke of a project called My Urban Angel – a smartphone app to keep young people safe when out in a city centre with features such as GIS live positioning, safe zones where street pastors, doormen and local police officers would be found and a bluetooth panic button which can be programmed to send a text to a friend or relative in case of an emergency. This idea won a £10,000 prize and allowed this app to be developed into a real product. Another idea came from a tour guide called Bert who wanted to explore the use of QR codes to help him provide DIY black history tours of the city. this won £3,000 and is currently in production. Finally, a very simple example of what a City Camp can achieve was given. A local LGBT group came along to the Brighton camp simply to ask for help in understanding social media and setting up their Twitter page. This was achieved  ‘on the day’ without the need for any funding or ongoing project. Watch some of these videos to get an idea of what it was like at the Brighton City Camp and here for the complete run down of pitches. CityCamp Brighton run regular meet-ups to catch up on progress of the ideas pitched. Here’s a link to a blog post describing the most recent meet-up which features an update from Bert’s QR code project.

The debate carried on long after the formalities ended with discussions, ideas and connections being made over some nibbles and drinks. All in all a great start to what promises to be a great day on Saturday.  Take a look at the photos taken today. Video clips and some audio should be available early next week.

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Getting to Citycamp Chelmsford

book now buttonParking on Friday September 7, 2012

map showing car park for City Camp Chelmsford on Friday September 7, 2012

There are no parking facilities on the Rivermead campus site on Friday. The closest public car park is Riverside Ice and Leisure in Victoria Road. This is a little under half a mile from the University and takes about 10 minutes to walk. Charge is £2.60 for a 3 hour stay.

Parking on Saturday September 8, 2012

map showing car park for SaturdayFree parking is available in the Sawers Queens car park located in front of Sawers building off Hoffmanns Way. Take a ticket at the barrier and keep it safe as you’ll need it to exit the car park at the end of the day.

Anglia Ruskin University – Chelmsford campus map (458kb)

Further information about traveling to Anglia Ruskin Rivermead campus

Park and ride

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