cohousing

cohousing , life in community

26 women, aged 50-87, the Older Women’s Cohousing group, will this week take possession of a block of 25 newly built flats in Union Street, High Barnet. Together they will form a self-managing community, based on the shared values of neighbourliness and mutual support. A mix of home-owners and social renters, they want to act as a demonstration project to encourage other older people to plan their later lives and develop similar initiatives.

Having lived mostly alone all over London and beyond, these independent minded women have met regularly to develop their own mini-neighbourhood in High Barnet, design their building and plan their future together. Some OWCH members are still working and others have long retired – many from the public sector. Aware that advancing old age can mean increased frailty and possible isolation and loneliness, they have joined forces to plan ahead. Most of all, they want to stay in charge of their own lives. They also want a lively mix of sociability and shared activity plus clear boundaries for personal space and a private life. They intend to look out for each other and share resources as well as reach out to their locality. One of the earliest actions they plan is to invite the whole street in for coffee to see the building that has been under construction, causing inconvenience for a considerable time. They intend to enjoy becoming known as the pioneers of the country’s first ever senior cohousing community, establishing here what has been a feature of Dutch and Scandinavian life for decades. More here, http://www.owch.org.uk/

art , cohousing , life in community , news

Congratulations to Ted who had his photograph of the Great Oak West node featured as part of The View From Your Window — click on the picture below to see the feature.

annarbormi830am

cohousing , life in community

Parenting is a complex, difficult and harshly judged affair. Being a new parent is to be full of self-doubt and anxiety (at least it was for me). I can’t think of a more ringing endorsement for parenting in cohousing than this cheeky article:

My idea of childcare is a large field. At one side is a marquee
serving local ales. This is where the parents gather. On the other
side, somewhere in the distance, the children play. I don’t
bother them and they don’t bother me. I give them as much
freedom as possible.

Maybe cohousing isn’t all that in the specifics, but Great Oak (apart from the darkest and coldest winter stretches) is certainly about as close to that that I’ve seen in my, admittedly limited, parenting years.

art , cohousing , life in community , music , news , performances

Great Oak just celebrated its 5th anniversary with a fabulous talent show and party!

Great Oak 2007 Anniversary

We  had music, dancing, snakes, dragons, grape-hoarding, band-name unveiling, storytelling, stage-shyness, anti-art and much, much more!

cohousing , news

Although considering and choosing a community and then living the reality of Cohousing in one is likely an enriching, complex and difficult process, it might help you to know some of the resources that can help. Living in Cohousing is a learning process and so constant re-evaluation is the norm! To get an overview of the range of intentional communities around the world, ic.org is invaluable, and in particular, if Cohousing interests you, make sure you know about cohousing.org and the Cohousing-L email list.

Of particular interest might be the article, Is cohousing right for you? on the cohousing.org website and the similar list of questions in a Cohousing-L posting entitled People who are considering cohousing may want to ask themselves some questions. A diverse range of people live in cohousing, some are just starting out, some are old-hands, but everyone is learning how to live in community — even some brave introverts!

No, we’re not all gregarious and extroverted, and there is a huge variety of personalities that live in Cohousing, and that is the richness and challenge.