Community Guidelines

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Where we are coming from

SSW’s mission is to expand the possibilities of what sculpture can be – always working towards positive social and environmental change. One of the ways we are working towards this is to recognise the historic and ongoing omission of diversity within technical workshops and the cultures that this can create within these spaces. We believe that this has led to narrower visions for what sculpture can be and who is able to make and enjoy it. 

The following guidelines highlight the values SSW holds and the actions we can collectively take to make sure anyone coming to SSW feels included, supported and respected so that we can all  learn, share, grow and contribute in SSW spaces. We hope people will feel welcome and included to participate in our programme regardless of their gender, ability, age, ethnicity, size, class, religion, culture, marital status or sexuality. 

At SSW we value

  • Transformative access
  • Listening, learning & making change
  • Collaboration & skills sharing 
  • Respect & empowerment

What we expect

Whether you are visiting, working or making at SSW you are forming part of the community here and as such you are also responsible for ensuring a welcoming and inclusive culture thrives. We expect everyone to:

Prioritise working safely 

  • Respect the Health & Safety policy and listen to H&S related instruction from the designated SSW team members. 
  • Be respectful of shared spaces and clean up after ourselves. Do not expect others to do this unless it is offered. 
  • Do not use power tools or enter the foundry, forge or red shed when staff are not on site.
  • Be considerate of each other’s safety and take care of your own too. 

Work inclusively and respectfully

There are many things that we can all do to nurture a culture of inclusivity and respect at SSW. This includes:

  • Do not make assumptions about people – always respect others’ identities, abilities and ideas including pronouns and names.
  • Ask permission to take photos of others and their artwork and ask whether they are happy for you to share them publicly or not.
  • Take responsibility for your own words and actions. Be aware of the way your words and actions may affect others, regardless of your intentions. Respect others in the space, with a willingness to adjust your behavior to uphold our values.

Empower each other

We want to support many forms of  knowledge and culture to thrive at SSW and ensure that a diversity of people, ideas and knowledge can come together. To support this:

  • Refrain from making judgment statements about peoples works or ideas – instead, get curious!
  • We encourage peer learning and exchange but be aware of giving unsolicited advice when it is not requested
  • Celebrate positive outcomes, learning and achievements together.

Communicate and respect capacity, abilities and timeframes

We recognise that people come to workshops excited by the possibilities of what can happen within them. It is important to hold onto this but we also need to be realistic about what is possible when respecting the making process. As such we will:

  • Always work with your capacities, abilities and timeframes and express our own and how this may impact yours. 
  • We understand that timelines shift as do ideas and energy levels and we commit to communicating this with you if things change.

If you ever need to step out of the workshop or studio, feel free to do so – the wellbeing room is available for you to lie down and take time out.

Our promise to you

The SSW team understands that they have additional responsibilities to uphold and activate these guidelines and the policies that underpin them. The team are subject to a staff code of conduct and are active in their learning in areas of Equity Diversity Inclusion (EDI), Safeguarding and H&S.

SSW will call in behavior that does not meet its values and will not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination on its site. If you see or hear a harmful event taking place, please inform the SSW Director or another member of the staff team so we can deal with the matter appropriately.

By respecting these guidelines, we create a more compassionate and kind space for the benefit of all SSW communities. If you notice anything happening at SSW which doesn’t seem in line with our guidelines, please let us know. We can be reached at admin [at] ssw.org.uk.

Remember, we are all learning!

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