Following a long, forced closure period due to Covid19, the Military Coworking Network (MCN) has opened its doors once again to military spouses and partners of serving personnel at Sandhurst. The Coworking Hub also serves nearby military bases at Aldershot and Pirbright.
MCN Coworking Hubs provide a place where military spouses and partners of serving personnel can go to work and connect, and are an invaluable asset on every military base.
About the MCN
The MCN is a tri-service initiative. Its purpose - to make it easier for military spouses and partners to create independent, professional lives alongside military life and to improve their wellbeing by connecting them to a community of like-minded people. They do this via their Online Network and Coworking Hubs.
The opening event was well attended, with representatives from different elements of the Armed Forces Community.
Major General Eastman MBE (General Officer Commanding Regional Command Aldershot), Colonel Phaedra McLean (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Commandant) and Lieutenant Colonel Sam Hull, RMAS Station Commander represented the military. Chris Jackman, Station Staff Officer at RMA Sandhurst alongside many military spouses and partners for whom the hub has been set up, represented the RMA Sandhurst Community. Also, in attendance were Richard Castell, Operational Relationship Manager and Tim Redfern, MD of AMEY Defence as well as Gary Thompson-Bowers, one of the training providers the MCN is working with to bring new learning and development opportunities to their members.
The unveiling by Major General Eastman MBE of a specially-made plaque commissioned by Chris Jackman, marked the official opening of the coworking hub.
Major General Eastman MBE, GOC Regional Command commented:
“As modern working practices develop and evolve through improved technology and a changing culture, working from a mobile setting is becoming much more feasible and prevalent.
“Defence has a real opportunity to reduce the impact of service life on our spouses and families through the provision of support to the Military Co-working Network to take advantage of these new ways of working.
“This represents fantastic innovation and will hopefully help more of our spouses and partners to remain in work or run their own businesses throughout their service partner’s career. With that in mind, I was delighted to be able to open the RMAS Military Co-Working Hub as part of the widening network.”
Colonel Phaedra McLean added:
“I was hugely impressed by the fantastic facilities provided by the Military Co-working Hub, but more so by the drive and commitment and successful team effort of all those involved to get this done.
“The facility will provide long-term support to our families, without whose support those serving would not be able to do what they do, and gives them a community not just while they are at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst but wherever the service may take them.”
Chris Jackman stated:
“It has been a pleasure working with the Military Coworking Network team to bring this wonderful Hub to Sandhurst. There are many benefits of joining a Hub, from just being able to get out of the house to work all the way through to improving skills and getting support to grow a business. The aspiration to roll Hubs out across the country is bold and I have no doubt that with their passion, the Military Coworking Network team will achieve it.”
Lieutenant Colonel Sam Hull, RMAS Station Commander remarked:
"I am very pleased the Military Coworking Hub at Sandhurst has been officially opened. The Hub is a great facility to have onsite and will improve the lived experience of the service community, and I look forward to working with the team to continue this vital work.”
Kelly Wales, MCN Hub Liaison Lead for Sandhurst said:
“Our members have spent the past few months building a fantastic Coworking Hub with a great vibe and friendly community - you instantly want to be a part of it as soon as you step through the door. It is a lovely space in a great location, designed to help you focus and be productive.
“Everyone involved in the project is extremely excited about the Hub’s potential and the impact it will have on the spouses who use it.”
About the Sandhurst Hub
The Sandhurst Hub offers a contemporary office space with secure WI-FI. There are 9 hot desks as available as well as a meeting table, which is perfect for more collaborative activities. Each desk is equipped with lockable storage. There is also a separate office space, ideal for confidential working, virtual meeting attendance or even events. Members have access to a colour printer, scanner and copier as well as unlimited tea and coffee. There’s a fantastic breakout area, where members can chill and relax with their fellow coworkers. Toilets and parking are also available.
The Hub has been subject to a stylish makeover during the Covid19 break, facilitated by the amazing team at AMEY Defence led by Scott Donovan and supported by subcontractors DDR, Hendersons, and JFK.
AMEY took on the task of transforming the outdated to modern, the mundane to stylish, and the ordinary to extraordinary, including all the painting and decorating in line with the MCN branding palette, the installation of heating as well as a fully functional kitchenette, including plumbing and wiring, as well as laying new carpets to complete the new MCN look. Together with the support of the MCN members and Central Team, they’ve created a truly remarkable coworking space for all the military spouses and partners at Sandhurst and surrounding military bases.
Maria Lyle, Director, Royal Air Force Families Federation, concluded:
“We are thrilled to see Sandhurst up and running again, looking even better than before following a complete rebrand and refurbishment.
“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the Naval and Army Families Federations, who are helping us to raise awareness of this fantastic initiative and supporting our endeavours to make this the success it deserves to be. A special recognition goes to the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund who have supported and funded us, and the Royal Air Forces Association, who are working very hard with us to deliver this project.
“I would also like to say a special thank you to Richard Castell and Scott Donovan from AMEY Defence who have supported us with the transformation of the space at Sandhurst, and done a really incredible job to a very high standard.
“And finally, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to our team of volunteers, who have been working tirelessly with the MCN Central Team to get this Hub ready for launch – we couldn’t have done it without them.”
The MCN is also offering free trials to any military spouse who would like to explore the option of becoming a member first before committing to a subscription. These are offered on a ‘no obligation’ basis. Full details are available on our Sandhurst Hub Page.