Creative gifts from the Nesta family
Christmas is fast approaching. With online shopping rapidly replacing choatic Saturdays on the highstreet, some of you may already have found and wrapped gifts for your friends and family. If, however, you are still wracking your brains to come up with something thoughtful, have a browse of our list of Christmas goodies. Carefully selected from the wider Nesta family, it includes competition winners, Nesta fund grantees and New Radicals.
The Bike Project takes second hand bikes, refurbishes them, and donates them to refugees to improve their access to services and reduce transport costs. The project - a finalist of the European Social Innovation Competition in 2016 - also sells some of these bikes from their online store. Adult bikes range from £195 up to £800 (if you’re feeling particularly flush) with options including hybrids, single speeds, road bikes and tandems (for the more adventurous rider). Browse the selection.
‘Our earwax is harvested from humans fed on a strict diet of Tinned Fear’. Who doesn’t love earwax? Or, in fact, a tin of ‘Creeping Dread’? If these edible goodies sound too delicious to miss, then head to the Ministry of Stories’ shop Monster Supplies in Hoxton - or online - for monster themed gifts. All the profits from the shop go back into education programmes run by the Ministry of Stories - a project supported by Nesta’s Digital Arts and Culture Accelerator - which helps and encourages children to achieve their potential through writing. A box of cubed earwax from is £5, while Creeping Dread - black and white humbugs - will set you back £15 and includes a short story. Read more about their gruesome products.
Fancy learning a new skill in 2018? Treat all your friends at once with a Migrateful cooking lesson. Founded by former Year Here graduates, Migrateful is a cookery initiative that provides a platform for refugees and migrants to teach their traditional cuisines, ranging from Cuban to Ethiopian, Nigerian to Syrian, either in the comfort of your own home or in a separate venue. A personal class in your own home, for up to eight people - and delivered by a Migrateful chef - costs £200 and includes all ingredients. However, there are other options available, so get in touch with them if you have a specific request. Find out more about the lessons.
Give the kids in your life a great head start with an introduction to coding. The Micro:Bot, created by Tech Will Save Us - a Nesta Digital Makers Fund grantee - gives children aged 11 and older the opportunity to build and code three different robots. For £39.99 you can get the complete package; both the Micro:Bot and the Micro:Bit. For younger ones, the Electro Dough Kit (£22.99) allows children to experiment with circuits safely - giving them the chance to create dough sculptures that buzz and light up. Read more.
An ideal gift for the serial 'New Year's resolution maker': 45 minutes of hard graft, outside, designed and led by ex-offenders. Based in Angel and Southwark, London, Hard Yard classes run throughout the week and cater to all fitness levels. A bundle of five classes will set you back £50, while a bundle of three workouts is £36. If you’re feeling particularly generous, three months of unlimited workouts is £150, and could be the perfect way to start a healthier 2018. Read more about the Year Here venture.
Chatterbox, one of the projects supported by the ShareLab fund, trains and employs refugees to deliver language lessons, either in person or online, giving you the opportunity to converse and learn from a native speaker. From Swahili and Urdu, to Mandarin, Arabic and Hindi, the range of options is extensive. Buy a gift card from the online store, or invest in a package of classroom sessions. Prices start from £15 for an online conversation class, to £150 for a bundle of five classes in London. Find a language that interests you.
WEvolution, a 2016 Nesta New Radical, supports women from disadvantaged backgrounds to get together in self-reliant groups to create opportunities for income generation. The initiative, based in Scotland, helps the women to save £1 per week to buy materials for their creative products. From a handmade shopper (£20), to a large canvas tote bag with the motif ‘Dream Big’ and a handmade tassel made from recycled aeroplane material (£7.50), check out their selection of products in their Etsy store. Browse the products.