Sunday, January 19, 2020

Free Monthly Co Working at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle

How do you feel about co-working? As someone who works from home and is now into my 5th year of freelancing full time, it is something I have dabbled with in the past but I have never really found it to be productive.

However, I have now realised that this is because the environments I had been choosing were all wrong. Rule number one of co-working, do not attempt this with your best friends as you will spend the whole time chatting and not actually get anything done. This is what always happens when I have tried to arrange co-working with fellow bloggers in the past.

So when Rachel (aka the Culture Vulture) announced she was facilitating a series of co-working sessions at the Biscuit Factory in Ouseburn and the sessions were to be open to a huge variety of creative freelancers and self-employed folk, I decided to pop along and give co-working another try. And what do you know, I loved it! 

Free Monthly Co Working at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle

These co-working sessions are free to attend and usually take place on the first Monday of every month from 10am - 2pm . You can find them under the Culture Vultures event tab on their Facebook page. You can just drop in at any time but make sure you click confirm attendance under the Facebook event so Rachel knows how many people to expect. 

Each session has a loose theme. The session I attended last week was based around setting goals and resolutions. The next session on 3 February is based around social media - the perfect environment to ask questions about social media and bounce ideas around a room full of creatives. 

Free Monthly Co Working at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle
Credit : Marion Botella - Creative Photographer & Set Designer 

Those who know me well will tell you that I kind of have a split personality. Sometimes I can be super confident and outspoken whereas other times I can be painfully shy. As I have grown older (and personally), I do feel like the shyness is nowhere near as bad as it was but still, turning up to work with a bunch of strangers can be daunting.

This little group was fab though. We were booked into the rear of Factory Kitchen and everyone was lovely. There were a few people I have spoken with online but never really met properly in real life (hello Angela and Marion) and other people I had not met at all.

There was a real mix of people in attendance with calligraphers, videographers, a drag queen, student-teacher, photographer and more. Some of us wanted to get our heads down and get some work done, others wanted to chat about their goals but most did a mix of the two.

Because the group was fairly small, it was easy to dip in and out of conversations and get some work done at the same time too.

Free Monthly Co Working at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle
Credit : Marion Botella - Creative Photographer & Set Designer

The structure of the session was very chill - arrive and leave at any time, co-working from 10am-12noon, networking/chatting about the points provided from 12noon (if you wanted to - no pressure to join in) and then lunch at 1pm (purchased by yourself). All attendees received a 10% discount at Factory Kitchen on the day and a decent cup of code was only £1.80 which is a steal when compared with some city-centre venues.

I LOVE this free prompt sheet provided by Rachel and I am going to try and set aside some time to work through it this week.

Free Monthly Co Working at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle

I am often asked how you can take your blog from a hobby to a full-time job and something I will always recommend is networking. Getting your face out there and making new connections can pay off ten-fold. You can chat with people online and over email all you like but take it from me, nothing beats a face-to-face meeting and it really does lead to opportunities.

At the event last week, as well as making new connections, I was able to join two North East Facebook groups for fellow freelancers which I previously had no idea about - who knows where this could lead. 

It was also SO good to chat with other self-employed folks who understand how work can just encompass you sometimes, how we feel guilty when we aren't working, how we stay up all night making plans, what happens when we burn out....the other people in the room really understand and it is brilliant to have a sounding board and realise that I am not alone. 

I chatted about my goals for the year with a couple of people and they really helped me to dream big - watch this space! 

Oh and yes, I managed to get some work done too. I scheduled my Facebook posts for the week and published a Linkedin article that had been on my list in forever (you can connect with me on Linkedin here). Not bad going! 

Free Monthly Co Working at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle
Credit : Marion Botella - Creative Photographer & Set Designer
I attended the session from 10:15am - 12:30pm. Just over 2 hours and I hope you can see just how much I got out of that short space of time.

The next session takes place on 3 February - same place, same time. It is open to all creatives/self-employed folk/freelancers in the North East. Make sure you click to confirm your attendance in the Facebook event here.  Maybe I will see you there! 

The Biscuit Factory has a small (free) car park or there is off-street parking nearby or you can park in Ouseburn. Click here for directions.  As I left the session, I could not resist a browse around the galleries. Thought-provoking stuff!

I would love to know your thoughts on co-working. I really believe that there is a co-working session for everyone and it is a case of trial and error. Let me know if I will see you at the next one.

About Me

Hello! I am Sam and best known for my website North East Family Fun which receives 100,000 monthly page views and has a social media following of 60,000. I share family days out, travel and life with tweens and teens. North East Family Fun is my main business and bread and butter.

This website is my new project which I share with my husband Steve. Visit Newcastle aims to bring you the best things to see, eat and do in the greatest city in the world - Newcastle Upon Tyne. You can find out more about this site and working with us here.

You can follow Visit Newcastle on Facebook here and Instagram here

Free Monthly Co Working at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle



  1. Such a great idea, I think working in an environment where there's a bit more structure means you'll get far more work done! I definitely couldn't ever sit with a friend and get anything done and I also struggle to work from home sometimes because the TV and housework really distracts me!

  2. thanks Sam. Going to try this x


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