Leeds Community Homes (LCH) Launch Event

January saw Leeds Community Homes (LCH) launch a Hub in Cross Green: a new space where community initiatives can meet, share and learn from one another. It was another opportunity for meeting local, like-minded souls, writes Penny Redwood, from Otley CLT.


Lots of people from a range of projects attended the launch and it was a great way to meet others and spread the word about Otley CLT.

There was a short introduction to the Hub and the official opening by Rose Seagrief, the Programme Manager for Housing & Places from Power to Change, who I later chatted to about OCLT. I also talked to the Ecology Building Society about our plans.

Compassionate community project cuts emergency hospital admissions

A compassionate community project is cutting emergency hospital admissions, writes Penny Redwood, of Otley CLT.

A scheme aimed at tackling the connection between social isolation, loneliness and ill health has been shown to reduce hospital admissions by 17% with a reduction in costs by 21%.

A lot has been written recently about how chronic loneliness increases the risk of early death by more than 20%. This project was set up in 2014 by Health Connections Mendip, the community development service at Frome Medical Practice.

They developed a directory of volunteers, care providers, local charities and other groups who could provide a range of community care services from dog walking to attending to physical or emotional needs. They trained local people as Community Connectors to help people find the right service for them and they now have nearly 400 groups and organisations offering support, advice, companionship and creative activity. GP services are integrated into the system.

Read more in Resurgence & Ecologist no 307

Locality Refurbishing Properties Workshop

Late January, I attended a ‘Refurbishing properties workshop’ run by Locality in Leeds, writes Penny Redwood.

Lots of food for thought, particularly recognising that Leeds City Council has already supported the development of several co-housing projects… so there’s hope for us!

I met up with some inspirational projects around the north/north east:

  • Keighley Food Co-op who are looking to self build as we are;
  • Middleport CLT (Middlesborough area) who are looking to renovate empty properties through the Community Right to Build (CRTB) process;

…and told about many others.

Jon Fitzmaurice from Agents for Change took us through the processes for project development and Leeds based co-housing projects LATCH and CANOPY shared their learning and experience. Always great to meet with others and learn from one another.

Keep track of Otley CLT’s upcoming events

We have a new online calendar where we will be logging all of our upcoming events.

Click here to view the calender of upcoming events

This includes:

  • Public meetings – where anyone can come along, hear the latest updates and sign up as a member. (Click here to complete sign-up online).
  • Sub-committee meetings – for members of particular sub-groups, focussed on specific areas of action such as Public Engagement and Land & Buildings. (Click here for more about our sub-committees).
  • External events – events run by other people at which Otley CLT will have a presence.

Take a look and see if there’s anything you’d like to come along to.

And, if there’s an event that you think we should be attending, let us know!

Click here to view the calender of upcoming events

Atmos Totnes

Here’s a great video from ‘Atmos’ in Totnes, Devon. They’re a group doing some similar stuff to us, albeit they are much further along the process.

Atmos Totnes is the first project to be led by Totnes Community Development Society, an Industrial and Provident Society committed to pioneering community-led development in a way rooted in local economies.  Atmos takes an old milk processing factory in Totnes and, led by an exemplary and highly creative community consultation process, and in partnership with a mainstream developer and the site’s owners, is redesigning it as a vibrant,  mixed use development design as the heart of a new economy for Totnes.

Read more at www.atmostotnes.org