Tspelopdewagen vzw was founded with several goals in mind. First of all, we want to develop a games café and an inclusive coffee bar: a place where everyone feels welcome to play a game, have a drink or a chat. Within that concept, we want to let people with a mental disability take their first steps into the labour market. In this sense, we would also like to take on the role of a training centre, where people with intellectual disabilities from the surrounding area learn how to work. In the longer term, we are also thinking about training for independent living.
The building in which this project is being built is being renovated according to circular principles, and we also want to incorporate these principles in the way we run the bar. For example, we will build up a local network of suppliers, and we will do everything we can to produce as little waste as possible.
In time, we want to expand this basic concept with other exemplary circular projects, such as a material library for games and educational materials, a seed library, a meeting place for workshops and events on circular themes, and so on.
We have succeeded in renovating an existing building of over 200 years old into an energy-efficient building, with a light and cosy interior using reused materials, furniture and appliances as much as possible.
For the coffee bar, we will set up a network of local suppliers and customers, as well as a connecting network to support people with a (mental) handicap within an inclusive setting.
The building offers space for a large meeting room that we can transform into a classroom in theatre arrangement. We want to make the best possible use of this space and open it up to other initiatives and training courses on circular themes.
With this project, we want to focus on the sharing economy. In time, we will run a materials library for games, nature education materials and party materials. There are also plans for a seed library.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
It is important to persevere and to keep believing in the good basic concept of our project, even if things are sometimes disappointing. The corona crisis, for example, has thrown a spanner in the works, but we believe in a good start-up after the corona measures.
We have realised that circularity is not necessarily only achievable through one big idea. The collection of many small actions next to each other can give a much bigger result than expected.
Due to the small scale of our project, we could not implement all the circular ideas we had planned in advance. For example, the LAAS and HAAS system ('light as a service' and 'heat as a service') proved difficult to realise in our building.
It gives a warm feeling to discover that many people are attracted to our concept. We often note positive surprise when we explain the layering of the project.
238games sold (2020)
58 m3cellulose in walls and roof
7.500Wp solar panels
100%local green power
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Due to the corona crisis and the lockdown, we could not yet effectively start the main activity of our non-profit association: the operation of the café and meeting point.
This project has already laid a solid foundation for tspelopdewagen as a future access point for play and enjoyment, for training towards inclusive work and as a sustainable operating point where various basic principles of circular entrepreneurship come together.