Wednesday, 20 February 2013

New member desired at Random Camel!

Hello everybody who would like to live in an urban community of 7 adults, and 2 part-time children (theyre here every other weekend!). We have a vacancy for a new member coming up at the end of March.

Rent for the room is £55 per week, which is within the local housing benefit rate, and there is no council tax to pay. The room available is 12ft x 10ft, with a wooden double bed included. One of the chimney breast alcoves has shelves built into it. The window faces south east east.

We're looking for a proactive, motivated individual who doesn't need badgering to muck in with the building work required at present, or if that isn't an option then the radical social change or local community engagement, or administrative sides of running the coop. We're a community in it's infancy so your influence will make a strong impact. Our vision is to create a better Ipswich! We'd like you to be respectful of fellow member's needs, open to listening, honest, and supportive.
We expect to give the same in return, and we're open to questions, suggestions and feedback, especially constructive criticism!

Our housing coop is a member of Radical Routes network. We're a vegetarian/ vegan household (one kitchen each), and its no smoking indoors. We don't all eat together every night but some of us like to, and we cook from fresh ingredients every day; sourced via the Community Supported Agriculture scheme in Rushmere - this provides us the opportunity to work on the farm a day a fortnight-ish. We also usually pool resources in order to buy organic, fairtrade and local produce communally from our independent food cooperative. We split all bills equally. We have wireless broadband in half the houses, including the room that's available. There are 2 showers (and a third thats going to come online soon), 1 bath, and 3 toilets, a large 'events' room/dining room, and a cosy woodburner living room. Our current project is to get the healing space and band practice space sorted to generate more income. The central heating covers most of the house inc your room, as does the plaster.... :-) Some of the house has only half-plastered walls...

Existing members are between 24 and 42 years old, some work at the museum st veggie cafe in town, the library, the parks and in gardens and care homes. We put on bicycle balls, intentional community gatherings, help run the Ripple food coop, are involved in Transition Towns, make recycled and textile and line-drawn art and costumes, like cycling, herbalism, tribal belly dance and tango and 'normal' dancing, comics, music of many genres, singing folk tunes, seasonal celebrations, fire, natural; sustainable and traditional building technologies. We go hunt sabbing and protest against GM wheat and unnecessary road building, grow food and preserve it, WWOOF, make films about the privatisation of the NHS, promote cooperation and autonomous community action, and are mostly anarchist in politics. Whoo!

Our criteria for assessing whether you're right for us:

1) Your immediate housing need - have you got anywhere else to go?
2) Your commitment to co-operative principles and radical social change
3) Your understanding of cooperative communications
4) Personal connection with existing members
5) Your commitment to participate in 'homemaking' - energy efficiency/ construction/ tidying and washing up!

We hope you will be able to decide, having read this advert and upon meeting us, whether we're right for you! It's a two way thing, so make sure you state any concerns and ask for what you need and want.

We have an evolving set of agreements for how we live together in this space, called our Secondary Rules, & these are available upon request - and will help you decide on our mutual compatibility. 

The way you go about joining us is:
  • You read our blog, secondary rules and the Radical Routes website
  • Ring us up and express your interest - 01473 213 575 or  Helen 07582 731 084, have a chat.
  • We'll email you an application form; you fill it out & send back
  • Come over for tea or dinner and meet the gang; could take a couple of goes as we're not often all free at the same time! You'll get invited again if we establish a rapport.
  • Come help out on the work we're doing around the house, or another of our projects like the Prisoner Solidarity letter writing, hosting vegan snack stalls, making pads for international women's day
  • Come to one of our meetings -Sunday evenings - to see how we work
  • Stay with us for a trial weekend, or/then a trial week
  • Have a meeting specifically to discuss your potential membership
  • Join! Become an officer of the cooperative, pay your pound joining fee
  • Move In
  • Go to a Radical Routes gathering and attend the Introduction workshops - next one is in Cornwall; May 16-18th, we'll be there setting up the week beforehand (its a holiday really!)
Hope this post isn't information overload! Or too demanding-sounding: we need to make it clear this isn't some house share where you just pay your rent and occasionally have nice chats with fellow housemates :-) We only moved in 5 months ago and have lots to do, and could use some extra energy to help move it along.

Speak to you soon xx

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Our cute kitchen!

This is the kitchen in No. 23 house - we just moved that sweet blue and yellow melamine cabinet into it! Ahhhh! It replaces an ugly grey and white crap kitchen unity.
This is the vegetarian kitchen. It is now my favourite kitchen (out of our 3) in the houses.
Oh oh oh. What a frivolous blog post.

Healing Space is being decorated

 We've returned from winter hibernation! To get back into the ecorenovation groove. Here and up north, where our friend Rob is refurbishing a house in Withington, also for a housing cooperative but to much more holistic and professional standards than us :-)
This space will be used for shiatsu and other massage practice, by our resident healers and those living elsewhere. If you want to use this space to practice your therapy in a month's time let us know, and if you want to Be massaged do the same!
It has had its wallpaper stripped, woodwork painted, underfloor cavity insulated, dead plaster removed and repointed bricks and patched up plaster the mo we're stripping paint off the walls. Its laborious! We've used Homestrip, which you can get from B&Q, its non-toxic stripper. Get in touch if you want to help us do this! Its going to take a few weeks yet, then we hope to have a LAUNCH event for the space (perhaps free massage will be involved!) as it will also be our 6 month anniversary in the house!