Review of TURF @ Goodspace in Newcastle upon Tyne
This was posted as a review to Coworker.com as part of the nomination for the 2019 Coworker members' choice awards. I am reproducing it here for longevity and access, in case someone searches for Goodspace and the original review is no longer up
It is hard to describe in words how unique and special TURF @ Goodspace is, and how much good it has done both for personally for me and the city of Newcastle at large.
To get the standard stuff out of the way: the staff are beyond friendly and incredibly helpful; the wifi is blazing fast and can handle international conference calls (Google, Skype) without breaking a sweat; the facilities are great (unlimited tea and coffee for your stay); the space is very comfortable with a variety of desks, nooks, and crannies to cosy down in and get some work done; the rates are incredibly affordable (since they're a non-profit) and flexible. You can come in for half a day or book a permanent desk (like I do). The space is always immaculately clean and the atmosphere is always relaxed and productive.
Further to being just a generally good place to work, spending even a short amount of time in the space should be enough to realise that TURF @ Goodspace is special. TURF itself is a large open-plan space operated as a co-working space within "Goodspace" who also provide affordable office space to small charities in the Newcastle area as well as the most affordable bookable meeting spaces in the city (for groups such as political parties, churches, activists, etc). This means that when you come to work in TURF you'll be meeting charity workers having impact on local peoples' lives and joining a vibrant community of people who genuinely care for each other. Goodspace is managed by a charity which means they're not motivated by profit and aren't liable to cut corners; they're motivated by creating a space which is friendly and safe and to have that impact the city positively through the work they enable.
This spills over into the culture there. You don't just rent a desk from Goodspace -- you become a member during your stay there. If you're around long-term you'll get a say in the overall running of the space, but members visiting for a few hours or a few days are equally valued. Since the charity which runs the space cares about the staff they're both passionate and well-skilled at their roles and will bend over backwards to accommodate you -- and they're always looking for ways to make Goodspace even better. In addition to their outstanding performance at their roles Goodspace go above-and-beyond by creating regular events for members and staff such as on thursday where tea and cake are brought out to encourage everyone to take a well-deserved break. It's an opportunity to catch up with everyone's projects and personal lives, and swap ideas and learn from each other. In the space reception there are regular collections / distributions for food banks, the Red Box Project and many more. The community at TURF and Goodspace all look out for each other and in turn have a great deal of positive impact in the city.
Even though TURF @ Goodspace is the most affordable co-working space in Newcastle, I would pay to come here even if it were double the cost of competitors. It's like somebody consciously took all of the positive aspects of working in an office, and replaced all the negative aspects with empathy and respect for each worker there. Additionally every single pound spent here goes directly back into the Newcastle community since Goodspace provide: charities with affordable infrastructure; their workers with a living wage and good living conditions; and impact through affordable bookable spaces. In a world where co-working is dominated by WeWork and Regus I feel very lucky to be able to access Goodspace every day.