For the two years I've been involved, it has not always been easy. At one point we struggled to pay the bills, then make sure the room was accessible for as many groups and people that wanted to use it as possible.
So I, one of the world's great sceptics, went along to the brunch and fun day with a certain amount of ... well, scepticism.
I am delighted to report that my scepticism was mis-placed. At least 10 people came to the event, and everybody contributed to making it a really positive and forward looking day.
The day started with a brunch based on houmous, bread, and fruit salad - all provided for free thanks to some skipping that a few people had done the day before. But this wasn't just standard houmous. It had green bits in it as well. Coriander houmous is the way forward!
Having sated ourselves on chickpeas and apples, people then moved on to card games and tidying OARC & fixing things (the cupboard doors now can not only be closed, but they can be opened again - yay!).
After a couple of hours of playing, fixing, and tidying we all came together again for a meeting - we are activists of one type or another, so we cannot do anything without a meeting! We thought about what the future of OARC would be, and what we could do in the short term to make this happen. An extremely positive and energising discussion followed where we agreed many things including:
# Hosting film nights - check the OARC calendar for details http://theoarc.org.uk/cal/index.php .
# Running workshops and facilities that might include providing Internet access for sanctuary seekers, IT for non-techies, and making props for campaign groups.
# The potential to reorganise the layout of OARC to make it more comfortable and accessible to as many groups as possible.
# Hosting a community based radio station.
# And much more that I cannot remember right now.
We all left OARC with a firm commitment to put our grand words into action. And I, for one, felt incredibility positive about the future of OARC.
We agreed that we would get together again in a month's time (likely to be Sunday 17 October - check the OARC calendar [ http://theoarc.org.uk/cal/index.php ] or the OARC mailing list [ https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/oarc ] for the latest updates. If you have been involved in the past, or if you are completely new to OARC, we would love for you to get involved.
 OARC started over five years ago to as a faculty (both a physical space, and also a psychological space) for people to organise radical, community-based, and positive alternatives to the world we live in. Amongst other things OARC has a meeting space, free computing, and a library. OARC is run by volunteers and relies on donations to continue. Anybody is allowed (indeed encouraged) to be involved in the running of OARC or to use the facilities.