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Random Camel (Ipswich)


Random Camel Housing Co-op

23-27 Foundation St, Ipswich, IP41BQ
01473 213 575 / Hel 07582 731 084
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Random Camel Housing Co-op of Ipswich, Suffolk, have bought 23-27 Foundation Street, Ipswich. We're Ipswich’s first housing co-op. Our core aim is to house those who find it hard to access decent accomodation. It’s actually three terraced 2-up 2-down properties next to one another, two of which have been knocked through, one remaining as a self-contained entity. In all, it can house up to 9 tenants. We're Ipswich’s first housing co-op. Our core aim is to house those who find it hard to access decent accomodation.

The house is versatile, spacious - big rooms and lots of storage spaces - rather worn in terms of decoration (flowery and geometric wallpapers and carpets of multiple generations!!), structurally sound and a prime opportunity for a group of people to create a base of community action and live as an intentional community. It’s the most appropriate building we’ve come across because the end house that stands alone would suit two or three people who wanted to be involved in the co-op but would need a little more privacy from the main area.

The family who sold it told us all about the history of the place - all seven siblings grew up there, their mother lived there for 75 years, until this January! The house has a calm, cheery, homey atmosphere, which we’d be proud to inherit.

There are three separate kitchens which is a godsend, because there can be vegan and veggie kitchens! Also three bathrooms.
It’s in the middle of town but standing in the rose and honeysuckle back gardens it feels like a secluded oasis. The other buildings on that street are offices which don’t generate traffic after 5pm and some almshouses for the elderly. There is no reason for anybody driving into town at night to use the road, its not a shortcut to anywhere. So no excessive noise.

Our aim is for the ‘Transition Terrace’. We want to live sustainably, in as low impact fashion as possible in an urban environment. We’d like to link up with the Energy Co-op that the Transition Town group is starting, which can mean them bulk buying solar panels and installing them on our roof so we use the electricity generated, but they sell the surplus back to the grid using the new Feed In Tariff scheme. We’d like to build a compost loo or modify the existing toilet facilities to be compost loo-able. The humongous 29ft by 7ft garage can be used for workshops, classes, training courses on the eco-renovations that we’ll do to the building as well as old skills like preserving and brewing.
The two cellars can be used as band practice spaces and there are enough drummers involved in the project to ensure they are well used! You can stand up fully in one of the cellars and they both have electricity.
A room within the house can be turned into a community resource centre and info hub, putting to good use all the experience we’ve had in voluntary projects in our town. This could be used as meeting space for local groups.
We’d like to demonstrate what can be done with a small urban garden to turn it into a permacultural food unit And recreational space!
And lastly, we’d like to paint beautiful murals describing co-operative projects on the garage door :-)

Our town used to be known as 'Red Ipswich’; prominent as a site of protest. By providing much needed meeting space and resources we seek to rejuvenate this culture of civilian resistance to unwanted and harmful development. We plan to respond and adapt to climate change, whose affect on this region will be massive.
We want to install professional sound-proofing in the property so local bands may hire space cheaply to practise their music..



    A weekend of talks and skill shares for anyone interested in or involved in autonomous social centres and spaces


    Info and skill-sharing on:

    - Setting up social centres
    - Making social centres last
    - Making autonomous spaces in unusual places
    - Strengthening autonomous networks




    Ideas for the gathering, such as the list of themes above, are the ideas of a small group. But we want this weekend to be created by all who participate; a space that is filled and held by everybody.


    If you want to come to the gathering, then we would love your contribution to making the event happen now.




    For more information on the event, including a draft programme, visit socialcentregathering.noblogs.org
    or contact: sumac @ riseup.net (delete the spaces in the email address)

  • Radical Routes Ireland Speaking Tour


    Radical Routes Ireland presents


    How to set up a housing co-operative 


    All-Island speaking tour 2014:Cork Oct 25th, Dublin Oct 26th, Galway Nov 1st, Derry Nov 2nd.


    Today in Ireland we find ourselves with an acute housing crisis, but the general discourse implies that all the power to affect change lies with private business and government.We want to promote and encourage the ideas of a grassroots-led approach to solving the housing crisis.

    People can empower themselves by working together in their communities to make housing a collectively-owned resource rather than an asset to be speculated on by developers.Co-operative housing could offer a way out of the precarious rental market and the trap of long-term mortgage debt. 


    Read more...  
  • Radical Routes were invited to talk about cooperatives at the Dublin Anarchist Book Fair in April

    A packed pub basement listened to two members describe the history and principles behind cooperatives and how Radical Routes works. There’s been a growing interest in starting a cooperative network similar to Radical Routes in Ireland and this was reflected in both the turnout and the questions that were asked at the end of the session. The feedback afterwards was all positive and enthusiastic, serving as a good reminder of just how liberating coops can be. Seomra Spraoi Social Centre in Dublin has held fundraiser events for funding Radical Routes excursions into Ireland, to spread the word about cooperative living. Hopefully the network will be able to support in some way.  A number of Seomra Spraoi members have attended gatherings and others hope attend as well to see a radical cooperative network in action.

  • Norwich Bicycle Repair Co-operative Ltd (NBRC) seek a new member

    Radical Routes associate member NBRC is seeking a new member for a paid position in its busy bicycle workshop based at the Dr Bike Cycle Repair Centre, University of East Anglia, Norwich.

    We're looking for someone who wants to mend bikes, but more than that is also interested in becoming a full and active member of our workers' co-operative with joint responsibility for the organisation, management and development of our ethical business. We've currently got two full members. We've only been trading since January 2014 so are still at an exciting stage of developing our co-operative business.

    The position is initially for 24 hours per week (potentially rising in the future) with a structured 6-9 month trial period (paid) which will have to be successfully completed before you can be accepted as a full-member.


    More information and details of how to apply are on our website 


  • Neds hosts Nottingham housing co-ops social

    In May, Neds organised a co-op social night to bring together the different housing co-ops in Nottingham. There are three other housing co-ops in Nottingham (that we're aware of anyway) plus two un-housed co-ops, and whilst some of us know one or two individuals from other co-ops informally, we were aware that without a more formal network in place there wasn't much contact between us all. We decided that the time had come to change this, and invited everyone round for an 'Indian banquet' in our Factory.

    Over 20 of us attended the event and many interesting conversations were had about the in's and out's of living co-operatively.

    Read more...  
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