Toolbox Emmen is a “makerspace” in the former Emmen Zoo. Highly motivated technical and creative people come here to socialise, learn, create and do business. People with a disadvantage on the labour market can develop themselves and work on their career prospects which makes them feel part of society again. Adriaan Pals, one of the initiators, talks about the project the social impact it has, the challenges in times of pandemic, and social impact.
From flexible workplace to learning workplace
A few years ago, Adriaan rented out flexible workspaces to working people. He saw many collaborations and new projects emerging. To stimulate the creation of new projects or products, he also offered flexible workplaces to makers – people who work with their hands. Besides, he wanted to give access to people with a disadvantage on the labour market. “And that’s how it evolved into what we are today,” says Adriaan.
Adriaan now describes Toolbox as a “socially inclusive, circular craft centre”. “It’s a place where a community has been created that starts all kinds of projects and activities to see if they can provide work for our participants,” Adriaan explains. “We have a carpentry workshop, herb garden, bread bakery, IT company and much more.”