Member Handbook

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Welcome to Ipswich Makerspace

We aim to provide shared facilities that enable members to meet, learn, swap skills, and work on projects either as individuals or collaboratively.

We promote and encourage craft, technical, scientific and artistic skills through social collaboration and education.

We organise and host workshops and events focused on teaching specific or broad skills related to tinkering, using tools, and making things to members and the community.


Ipswich Makerspace is a Private Company Limited by Guarantee. It was incorporated in July 2014

We are run by both the Steering and Operational Committees. The Steering Committee makes strategic decisions about the Makerspace whilst the Operating Committee deals with the day to day running.

For full details please see the Ipswich Makerspace Operating model in the appendices

Code of Conduct

This code of conduct applies to your behaviour on all Ipswich Makerspace communication channels, and at any events that we run:

The Ipswich Makerspace is for adults. We therefore expect you to show respect for each other in everything you say and do and we expect you to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions and words. Children are often present at Makerspace events; it is particularly important that you behave appropriately on those occasions.

People’s private lives are their own. Do not share details about others that they have not explicitly made public.

If you have any concerns about someone’s behaviour please speak to any member of the Steering Committee, or by emailing



Ensure you are aware of the Health and Safety, Training and Tool Usage Policy and comply with them at all times. If you do not know how to use a piece of equipment or tool you must ask for the assistance of someone who does. Members must not operate hazardous equipment while their judgement or reaction times are impaired whether due to alcohol, drugs, or any other condition. You must not defeat or hack the safety features of any equipment and appropriate PPE must be used at all times. Report any issues with health and safety or emergency equipment to the keyholder ASAP. Raise any serious concerns to any Committee member.


If something is broken, report it to a committee member. If dirty, clean it. If misplaced, tidy it. You should aim to always leave the Makerspace in a better condition than you find it.

Clear up after yourself; put projects away, return tools to the correct locations, clear up piles of sawdust, wash up. Help with the general tidying (eg the bins, hoovering, cleaning the Workshop etc.

Changes or enhancements to the fabric of the building, the equipment, utilities and infrastructure should only be undertaken with permission of the Steering Committee.

It is a condition of our lease that the landlord has 15 minutes access to the garage. Anyone parking in front of the garage must leave their keys and give us permission to move their vehicle if required when leaving the premises for any period. Smoking or vaping is not permitted on Makerspace premises.


Compliance with UK law, local authority regulations, the conditions of our insurance and our lease is required at all times. If in doubt stop and ask a member of the Steering Committee

Under 18s may not enter the space without a responsible adult. Said responsible adult assumes all responsibility for the actions and safety of said minor. Anyone 18 or over may become a member.

Tools and Materials

Equipment should be treated with care and respect.

If a tool is damaged while you're using it, you must tell a Committee member. If you damage a tool due to misuse the Committee may ask you to contribute towards its replacement or repair - especially if the cause was avoidable and covered by training.

You must pay for consumables used including laser materials, printer filament, and tuck. Assume all materials and supplies are owned by the Makerspace and not for general use unless clearly indicated.

All waste must be disposed of correctly. This includes using the correct bins for recycling and general waste.Check material safety datasheets if you are unsure

Membership and Fees

Keep your membership up to date and ideally help the Makerspace by setting up a direct debit mandate.

It is your responsibility to ensure that all fees are paid promptly including meeting or monthly fees and membership renewals.


When donating items, consider carefully its true usefulness.

Seek permission from the Steering Committee prior to making any donations.


Members are allowed to store personal items in the space, but they must comply with the storage policy. The Makerspace accepts no liability for loss or damage of personal items stored at the space.

Internet and Social Media

The internet at the Makerspace is provided for fair use for legal and responsible activities and should not be abused. We reserve the right to monitor our internet traffic and restrict access.

The Makerspace social media channels are for the promotion of the Makerspace and to facilitate interaction between members. Remember that anything shared is public and will reflect on the Makerspace.Please avoid posts of political, religious or sexual nature. We reserve the right to remove posts that are deemed inappropriate without notice.

Intellectual Property

The free exchange of ideas, improvements, techniques, and processes is a fundamental benefit of the Makerspace community. Each member understands that it is his/her own decision whether to divulge any information regarding a member’s ideas, designs, processes, and the like and that each member does so, or does not do so, voluntarily.

Each member is responsible for the protection of their own intellectual property of whatever nature, and each member agrees that the Makerspace has no responsibility to protect any members’ intellectual property and no liability with respect to any member’s intellectual property.

Each member agrees that while at Ipswich Makerspace or using any of the Makerspace’s resources they will not knowingly infringe any intellectual property rights of another member or any third party, and if advised that any member activity does infringe any such rights the member will immediately cease the infringing activity.

No equipment, space, computers, or other resources of the Makerspace will be used in any way to infringe the intellectual property rights of others (including, specifically, the counterfeiting or duplication of any third-party’s products or designs).

Health and Safety

Statement of intent

It is the general policy of Ipswich Makerspace to provide adequate control of the health and safety risks arising from our activities:

  • We will provide, maintain and oversee safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all members and visitors
  • We will provide such information and supervision as is needed for this purpose
  • We will implement suitable emergency procedures in case of fire or other significant incident
  • We will ensure safe handling and use of hazardous substances, in line with COSSH regulations
  • We will hold Public Liability Insurance

This policy will be reviewed and revised as necessary, no less than annually.


Overall and final responsibility for upholding the health and safety policy and carrying out any required risk assessments at events and activities organised by the Ipswich Makerspace lies with the Steering Committee. This responsibility may be delegated to a named volunteer for events or activities as deemed appropriate.

All members have a duty to:

  • co-operate with the Steering Committee on health and safety matters
  • not interfere with anything provided to safeguard their health and safety
  • take reasonable care of their own and others’ health and safety
  • use equipment correctly in accordance with instructions
  • only operate machines and equipment upon which they have been trained
  • report all health and safety concerns to an appropriate person.

Risk assessment

  • General Risk assessments of our permanent venue will be will be put in place and reviewed annually by the Steering Committee. Responsibility for observing the mitigation measures detailed in the risk assessment lies with all members.
  • Risk assessments for one-off events or activities will be carried out by the member who is planning that activity. That member is responsible for liaising with the volunteer in charge (may be the same person) to ensure hazards are dealt with as outlined in the risk assessment. This assessment does not have to be formal in nature, although significant hazards should be recorded on a written assessment; an appraisal of likely hazards and ways to mitigate them is all that will usually be required.

First aid and accidents

  • A First Aid Box (including eye-wash facilities) will be permanently located in the space, along with other personal protection equipment (goggles, ear-defenders, etc). The Committee are responsible for checking the contents every quarter.
  • All accidents are to be recorded in the Accident Book - the book is located by the first aid box inside the kitchen, completed records shall be kept locked away to comply with data regulations.


  • Suitable fire extinguishers will be located at key locations around the Space, easily accessible near potential hazards and highlighted on the fire plans located around the space.
  • A fire blanket will be present in the kitchen.
  • Fire extinguishers will be inspected annually and serviced as appropriate
  • Escape routes shall be well signed and kept clear at all times

Regulated and unregulated equipment

Some of the equipment is valuable, sensitive and/or dangerous (e.g. 3D printers, laser cutter, workshop power tools), and needs some measure of training to use safely and without causing damage to persons or property.  These items are to be indicated as such via red tape on the handles (or by the power buttons), differentiating them from all the minor tools (e.g. pliers, soldering iron).

  • Unregulated equipment can be used by anyone, subject to:
    • Be sensible; ask if you don’t know what you’re doing
    • You accept liability for any accidents (including damage to the equipment)
  • Regulated tools are only to be used by members, and only once they’ve had an induction from an appropriately skilled existing member, as per the training policy:
    • Consult the tool chart in that room to find members who can provide training - please contact them to arrange an induction
    • Once the induction is complete, you will need to self-certify that you feel competent to use the equipment - if you don’t feel competent, don’t use it!  
    • Some of the members may be able to provide additional guidance or support - contact them directly
    • The tool charts will be updated on a regular basis

Reasonable level of risk

We will take steps to avoid unnecessary risk and very high levels of risk. However, some activities inherently involve some risk. Learning about, and employing, risk management is a necessary part of “making”. We therefore aim to protect our members from unnecessary and high risk, and provide guidance and support to help members manage risk for themselves.

Fees and Payments

To become a member all we ask is a yearly membership fee of £50 as well as the meeting fee of £5. If you want to attend regularly as a member you are entitled to set up a monthly payment of £20 allowing you to attend any meeting without further costs.

Becoming a member gives you voting rights at the AGM and any other EGM. You will becoming a member of the Ipswich Makerspace Company which is limited by guarantee, if the company fails you are liable to the sum of £1 only, this is guaranteed.



The Makerspace is a place for people to attend and:

  • Socialise
  • Build, maintain, develop and repair projects
  • Use the equipment and machines available to progress your projects
  • Have access to a social community with vast and wide experiences to allow further education, project collaboration and trouble shooting
  • Contribute to a social community by helping, educating and collaborating with others


At the end of each session it is your responsibility to clear and tidy any shared areas, equipment, or facilities you have used, so that these are available for use by other members. We require that all work in progress and project-specific tools, equipment and parts are cleared away from common areas such as tables, desks, floors and on or around shared facilities and equipment.

Continually moving tools, equipment, parts and work-in progress to the Makerspace and away again can be annoying, inefficient, and risks loss or damage to delicate items. We understand that members will often wish to leave such things at the Makerspace during and between sessions, but it is important that each member's need for such storage does not restrict the use of the space by other members or provide hazards or inconvenience to other users of the Makerspace.

The Makerspace has a number of storage boxes available, available on a "first come, first served" basis for storage between sessions. Each storage box has an allocated space to which it should be returned, and where it should remain when not in use. Note that the provision of a storage box is not guaranteed, particularly if they are all in use. If you have a storage box and have not attended the space for over six months you may be asked to empty your box to allow it to return back to the pool of active members.

Exceptional Storage

Sometimes, there will be cases where your project will not fit in your project box. These are classified as exceptions. In these situations, a request must be made to the Steering Committee before commencing the project, detailing the following:

  • What do you want to store
  • How large is the item/s you want to store
  • For what duration will you need to store exceptional items
  • What area of the building will the build /storage take place
  • Do you anticipate the build/storage of the project will prevent or inconvenience normal use of any facilities or equipment of the Makerspace

These details and any other relevant information must be submitted to the Steering Committee email address The Steering committee will then arrange to discuss the project with you and conclude whether the storage exception will be granted.

General use of the space

Other than project boxes, all storage areas within the space, unless agreed in advance via the exception process above, shall be used to store Ipswich Makerspace equipment and tools.

All areas must only be used for their designated purpose.

The kitchen is a kitchen, it is not an extension of the making area. This area should be kept tidy, clean and hygienic. It is an area to make drinks, prepare food and have general discussion.



  1. NAME
    a) The name of the Makerspace shall be Ipswich Makerspace, hereafter referred to as the Makerspace.
    a) The aims and objectives of the Makerspace shall be:
    i.To provide shared facilities that enable members to meet, learn, swap skills, and work on projects either as individuals or collaboratively;
    ii.To promote and encourage craft, technical, scientific and artistic skills through social collaboration and education.
    iii.To organize and host workshops and events focused on teaching specific or broad skills related to tinkering, using tools, and making things to members and the community
    a) The Makerspace is fully committed to the principles of the equality of opportunity. No participant, volunteer, job applicant or employee of the Makerspace will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, colour, disability, ethnic origin, parental or marital status, religious belief, social class or sexual preference than any other;
    b) The Makerspace will regard discrimination by any member, participant or volunteer as grounds for disciplinary action under the relevant Makerspace rules.
    a) To further its objectives the Makerspace may do all such lawful things as may further the Makerspace’s objectives and, in particular, the Makerspace has power:
    i. to raise funds, and to open a bank account to manage such funds;
    ii. to buy, take on lease or in exchange, hire or otherwise acquire any property and to maintain and equip it for use;
    iii. to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of all or any part of the property belonging to the Makerspace;
    iv. to enter into any partnership or joint venture arrangement with any other Makerspaceor organisation;
    v. to publicise and promote the work of the Makerspace and organise meetings, training courses, events or seminars;
    vi. to employ staff, engage consultants, and take on volunteers as necessary.
    vii. to enter into contracts or agreements for services provided to the Makerspace.
    a) Membership and access to the benefits of membership, hereafter referred to as the Benefits, shall be open to all on payment of relevant fees (if applicable);
    b) The Makerspace may determine categories of membership, assign members to a category and determine the Benefits between such categories
    c) All members will be subject to the regulations of the Constitution and by joining the Makerspace will be deemed to accept these regulations and codes of practice that the Makerspace has adopted
    d) The Steering Committee shall have the power to refuse membership to an applicant, where it is considered such membership would be detrimental to the aims, purposes or activities of the Makerspace.
    e) The Steering Committee shall have the power to terminate the membership of a member for any behaviour in violation of the regulations or codes of practice. Notice of this termination shall be made in writing to the member.
    f) Any member of the Makerspace may resign their membership by giving to the Secretary written notice to that effect.
  6. FEES
    a) The rate of fees will be managed by the Steering Committee. Members shall be given 2 months advance notice of changes to the fees;
    b) The current rates of fees shall be prominently publicised;
    c) Fees shall be payable in advance in order to access the Benefits;
    d) Any Member who has unpaid fees in excess of 6 months may, at the discretion of the Steering Committee, have their membership and all associated rights, privileges and benefits revoked;
    a) All members are responsible for their own safety, they should read and understand the Health and Safety Policy, together with the operating instructions for any equipment andtools they plan to use. Members who identify any Health and Safety risk, or any act or omission, that could harm members or bring the Makerspace into disrepute should rectify it and / or report it to a Committee member immediately;
    b) Members should satisfy themselves that they have adequate insurance to cover themselves for their personal injury and liabilities when undertaking their activities;
    c) Membership of the Makerspace is conditional upon:
    i. providing up-to-date contact details including name, address, phone number and email address (personal data will only be retained as is necessary for the purposes of the Makerspace, and will thereafter be securely erased);
    ii. abiding by all of the rules of the Makerspace and the reasonable directions of the Steering Committee, including but not limited to the Makerspace's Health & Safety Policy.
    a) Directors of the Makerspace may appoint other Directors, by majority agreement of the existing Directors, at any General Meeting;
    b) Directors must appoint additional Directors until there are a minimum of three Directors;
    c) The Officers of the Makerspace shall be:
    i. Chair;
    ii. Secretary;
    iii. Treasurer.
    d) The Officers shall be appointed by the Directors at a General Meeting;
    e)All Directors and Officers shall be Members of the Makerspace;
    f) Directors may also serve as Officers.
    a) The Makerspace will be managed through the Steering Committee;
    b) The Steering Committee shall consist of
    i. the Directors;
    ii. the Officers;
    iii. any Members appointed by the Directors.
    c) All Steering Committee members shall be Members of the Makerspace;
    d) The Steering Committee shall meet at intervals determined by the business of the Makerspace and a quorum shall be 3 members of the current Steering Committee on the day the meeting is held, of whom at least 1 shall be Directors of the Makerspace;
    e) Only members of the Steering Committee have the right to vote at meetings of the Steering Committee;
    f) The Steering Committee will be responsible for adopting new policy, codes of practice and rules that affect the Makerspace;
    g) The Steering Committee will be responsible for the financial affairs of the Makerspace including but not limited to setting budgets, allocating funds and maintaining accounts;
    h) The Steering Committee shall be empowered to appoint sub-committees and co-opt members as may be required from time to time for any special purpose or purposes;
    i) The Steering Committee will be responsible for disciplinary hearings of members who infringe the Makerspace rules/regulations/constitution;
    j) The Steering Committee will be responsible for taking any action of suspension or discipline following such hearings.
    a) The Operational Committee will handle the practical aspects of running the Makerspace,including but not limited to such matters as construction, maintenance, installation and improvements, as instructed by the Steering Committee;
    b) Operational Committee Members shall be appointed by the Directors as required;
    c) All Operational Committee members shall be Members of the Makerspace;
    d) Steering Committee Members may also serve as Operational Committee Members.
    e) The Steering Committee will maintain oversight of the Operational Committee and may act to limit or override its decisions.
    a) Member Voting:
    i. Every member shall have one vote at General Meetings;
    ii. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution a resolution put to member vote by the Chair at a General Meeting shall be decided upon by a show of hands, or paper ballot. Any such resolutions must be agreed by a majority of members present. In thecase of equality of votes the Chair shall have a second or casting vote;
    iii. The quorum for General Meetings will be 20% of membership on the day of the meeting, of whom at least 3 shall be Steering Committee members and at least 1 shall be Directors of the Makerspace.
    b) General Meetings:
    i. Any member may submit items to the agenda of General Meetings. To consider any resolution submitted by a member, any such Resolution shall be sent to the Chair duly proposed and seconded at least 14 days before the date of the General Meeting;
    ii. General Meetings of the Makerspace shall take place on a regular basis, at a minimum of every 12 months;
    iii. The purpose of these meetings is to ensure that Members are given the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process of the Makerspace, review the business planning and management processes and to ensure the Makerspace manages itself in accordance with its Constitution.
    c) Annual General Meetings:
    i. The Makerspace shall in each calendar year hold a general meeting of the Members as its Annual General Meeting (AGM);
    ii. The AGM shall take place no later than three months after the end of the financial year;
    iii. The business of an AGM shall comprise, where appropriate:
    (1) Consideration of accounts and balance sheets;
    (2) Approval of an annual operating plan;
    (3) Approval of a schedule of delegated matters and committee appointments.
    d) Calling a General Meeting:
    i. Directors of the Makerspace, may, in writing, call a General Meeting.
    ii. All General Meetings shall be called giving 28 clear days’ notice to all Members but may be held at shorter notice if so agreed in writing by a majority of the Steering Committee together comprising not less than 50% of the total membership of the Steering Committee.
    iii. It shall be the responsibility of the Steering Committee to arrange and publicise a date, time, a venue and an agenda for each meeting;
    iv. The accidental omission to give notice of a meeting to, or non-receipt of notice of a meeting by any member shall not invalidate proceedings at that meeting.
    e) It shall be the responsibility of the Chair to chair all General Meetings or a designated deputy in his/her absence. All General Meetings must be minuted and the minutes shall be available to all members of the Makerspace.
    a) The financial year of the Makerspace will run from 6th of April and end on the 5th April the following year.
    b) Any money acquired by the Makerspace, including donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the Steering Committee in the name of the Makerspace. All funds must be applied to the objectives of the Makerspace and for no other purpose;
    c) Bank accounts shall be opened in the name of the Makerspace;
    d) Any income/expenditure shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer who will be accountable to ensure funds are utilised effectively and that the Makerspace stays within budget;
    e) Official accounts shall be maintained and will be presented at the Annual General Meeting. The accounts will be available to all members upon request.
    a) Each Member of the Makerspace is invited to lend to the Makerspace such money as they can afford
    b) Loans will be accepted in units of £100 each
    c) One numbered Founder's Bond Certificate will be issued to the Member for each unit of £100 lent
    d) Each loan will be for a minimum of three years, after which it will be repayable within 3months of the Member's resignation from Membership of the Makerspace or to the Member's estate on death or in such other circumstances as the Steering Committee may in its absolute discretion determine
    e) Founder's Bond holders will rank as ordinary creditors of the Makerspace
    f) Founder's Bond holders will become Foundation Members in place of the existing category of their membership
    g) The annual subscription rate for Foundation Members will be the annual subscription rate for the time being applicable to the former category of membership less an amount equal to 3 per cent of the value of the Founder's Bonds held, up to the value of the annual subscription
    a) All complaints regarding the behaviour of members should be submitted in writing to the Steering Committee;
    b) The Steering Committee will meet to hear complaints within 28 days of a complaint being lodged. The Steering Committee has the power to take appropriate disciplinary action including the termination of membership if the complaint is upheld;
    c) The outcome of a disciplinary hearing will be notified in writing to the person who lodged the complaint and the Member(s) against whom the complaint was made within 28 days of the hearing;
    d) There will be the right of appeal to the Steering Committee following disciplinary action being notified. The Steering Committee will consider the appeal within 28 days of the Steering Committee receiving the appeal. The appeal must be lodged within 7 days of initial outcome being notified, to the Steering Committee;
    e) The Steering Committee or the Member against whom the complaint was made has the right to have the appeal heard by 3 members of the Makerspace who have not been involved in the complaint in the first stage.
    a) Amendments to this Constitution must be conveyed to the Secretary formally in writing. The Steering Committee shall then decide on the date of a meeting to discuss such proposals;
    b) This Constitution may only be altered by a majority vote at a Steering Committee Meeting and if an amended copy is subsequently circulated to all Members within 28 days;
    a) The Makerspace may be dissolved if deemed necessary by the Steering Committee in a majority vote at a General Meeting;
    b) Once all debts and costs of dissolution have been paid, any donated assets shall initially be offered back to their original donators. Any remaining assets or remaining funds will be transferred to local charities or similar Makerspaces at the discretion of the Steering Committee.

Operating Model

Below is an overview of the Ipswich Makerspace 'Operating Model' It describes the interaction between the various groups, these being:

  • Steering Committee
  • Operating Committee
  • Members

Please refer to Committee Responsibilities for detailed responsibilities.

Operating Model.png