People of varying ages (all over 55), some couples and some singles, currently make up our membership. There have been workshops with Ecoarc of Kentmere (our appointed architect) to determine how many dwellings will suit the land and to design draft floor plans. We have discussed what we want in our Common House, deciding on shared laundry, kitchen, dining, lounge, conservatory, guest rooms and, of course, a shared garden. Being environmentally friendly is important to us, so we chose PassivHaus standard. This means our homes will be warm and dry with minimal heating needed due to the excellent insulation and air tightness. An air circulation system brings in fresh air every 20 minutes which is warmed by the outgoing stale air. We have plans to link in with the hydro-electric scheme on the River Lune. From time to time we meet socially to discuss guidelines for our community and get to know one another better.
We have a steering group which meets at least once a month. Introducing the steering group:
Chris Coates: Chris is our project manager. He helped to develop the Lancaster Co-housing project which is a stone’s throw away from where we are going to build.
Teresa: I have never participated in an intentional community though I did investigate one in Birmingham with a view….; I have always thought they were a good idea but perhaps a bit wacky and prone to implosion; co-housing seems a more successful model. What I did in my working life was mostly administration, i.e. typing and organising; moved around a lot and temped a lot. My interests are in regenerative agriculture, health and lots of other stuff and I enjoy singing.
Judith: Born in Newcastle upon Tyne where folk move briskly to avoid the biting winds from the North Sea. Trained and practised Occupational Therapy in the UK and New Zealand. Together with my late husband spent 10 years crofting in Aberdeenshire, growing our own organic fruit and vegetables.
Helen: My working life has been an evolution of strands of different interests which include mental health, the arts, horticulture and natural history. I have studied, worked and volunteered in all these fields. I strongly believe in the value of community life and feel we need to do what we can to address the apparent lack of connection between the design and build of our homes and the well-being of human and other life on this planet. Co-housing is one small step in the direction of well-being in its broadest sense.
Chris E.: I’ve lived in Lancaster most of my life. I have worked in health and social care since 1995. I recently took early retirement though I still work part-time on a casual basis. I am a member of a local sailing, cycling, walking and football clubs (the latter in Halton), and of a music group. The main appeal to me of a senior co-housing group is it’s potential to combat loneliness and isolation in later life. I will enjoy the privacy of my own space and the company of others via the common house and other shared facilities. I will also enjoy feeling part of a community. I look forward to living in a new, warm, passivhaus dwelling.
Dora: I abandoned my previous life (and most of my belongings) to join LCH where I’ve shared a house with my daughter for the last 3 years. I was trained in office admin but had a midlife career change to work as an archaeological interpreter – part of a team who illustrated life in the local area of 2,000 years ago. I’m happiest when observing nature and creating/repairing textile items.
Kathy: I was born and raised in Arizona, met and married an Englishman. Happily moved around the country and changed my career several times over the last 35 years. I am currently the secretary for Halton Senior Cohousing and am looking forward to a warm, cosy and environmentally friendly place to live where neighbours socialise and keep active together.
Dave: I am married with two grown up children and am studying for a PhD in health research. I worked as an occupational therapist for 26 years and before that I was an electrician, worked on building sites and in factories. I am a school trustee and the treasurer for the senior co-housing project. I have lived in communities and would like to be part of the more mature approach in cohousing.
Ann: My background is working as a nurse in the NHS and in NJ, USA. I retired after doing Health Visiting for 27years. I was also a part-time accredited counsellor/psychotherapist. I have been involved in some form of cohousing for 20 years, from 2012 to 2018 I was director of Penington Cohousing for over 50 year olds in Glasgow. I enjoy current affairs, economics, badminton, table tennis and doing creative artistic projects. I want to be aware of what I can do to reduce the impact of climate change.
Dorothy: I’ve always been interested in Cohousing, sharing a common house & garden, collective food orders & communal laundry facilities with people who share similar values & ideals. I would like to become more environmentally responsible & reduce my carbon footprint.
I am really enthusiastic about Passivhaus principles & the chance to be involved in the design process.
I was part of a Workers Cooperative for 20 years & have lived in shared houses. I have 3 children & 5 grandchildren & currently live in the Peak District
Janet: I have moved several times and always make efforts to get to know neighbours and encourage community -building. I currently live in a 1960’s bungalow in a rural hamlet and am a member of the Parish Council. Transport and social isolation are big issues here and these are exacerbated by aspects of the design of the built environment. It seems to me that a Senior Co-Housing has a lot to offer those approaching later life. It offers the prospect of mutual support, reduced reliance on private transport and lower energy consumption. I am looking forward to seeing the dreams of a few brave people translate into a real community of real homes.
Would you like to become a member? Members are invited to social events and design workshops and will have first choice of home when they are built. They receive the minutes of steering group meetings and are invited to contribute with their thoughts and ideas. Contact us for more information. email@example.com
Our members so far:
The steering group listed above as well as: Leon M. and Miranda G. .