Some Radical Routes Co-ops
Catalyst Collective Ltd is a worker co-operative. They help people set up and register co-ops and in the last ten years over 75 housing co-ops, about 30 worker co-ops, a couple of charities, and a variety of different companies with co-operative aims have been registered through catalyst. They have worked with various existing co-ops, as well as groups intending to set up co-ops and on issues such as group-working, legal structures, conflict resolution, financial viability of proposals, co-operation and meeting skills etc. They love working with and promoting co-ops (especially ethical & eco-friendly ones), and have a wide variety of skills & knowledge available.
Cornerstone Housing Co-operative
Cornerstone owns two large Victorian houses in Chapeltown, Leeds, which have space for 16 members. They have a shared focus on social and ecological justice. They are developing an ecological lifestyle, growing food in the gardens and setting up workers co-ops, including Footprint (a printing company). Their small resource centre and cellars have hosted campaigns including Green Events, Leeds Earth First!, Rodent Rescue and Chapeltown Community Centre Action Group, as well providing assis tance to many other groups. They are the publications and contact point for Radical Routes.
The Cowley Club
The Cowley Club is a social centre on London Road in Brighton. It houses a cafe and bookshop during the day, a members bar during the evenings, a library, and is a base for a variety of other projects.
The club is collectively owned and run as a base for those involved in grassroots social change and those sympathetic to such activities, giving us control over our social space and resources. It is run entirely by volunteers - no one gets paid, and no one is making any profit. Instead, we are trying to provide a much needed alternative to everything else around us.
Talamh Housing Co-op
Talamh is Gaelic for earth or soil, and this Lanarkshire co-op is fortunate to be set in 50 acres of fields and mixed habitats with a 17th century farmhouse (in need of constant maintenance!).
Talamh has been in existence since 1993, and a housing co-op since 1996 and has housed many people over that time. Talamh currently houses nine adults and two children plus often extra visitors. Talamh has gardens, woodland, wetland, a lake, veg terraces, a polytunnel, and lots of wildlife about. We either live in the farmhouse or in caravans on the land.
Over 10,000 native broadleaf and conifer trees have been planted on the land not including hedgerows. Although rural, Talamh is adjacent to large open-cast coal mines, the M74, dairy farming and a gravel quarry.
Walden Pond Housing Co-op
Walden Pond is a thriving small housing co-op based on the South Coast in St Leonards on Sea. We have nine housed members and a shared focus on anti-war and environmental activism. We bought our first house, a five bed Victorian terraced property near the sea, in 2001 using loan stock, a mortgage from Triodos Bank and a top-up loan from Radical Routes. Two years later we bought a nearby flat solely with loanstock we raised ourselves and a further small Radical Routes loan. In recent years we have rented additional flats from private landlords to house an expanding membership, but we're trying to work out our next steps in terms of taking more housing into collective ownership. Having a stable home has totally transformed our lives. Our houses are bases for our activism, local community engagement, work, fun, parties, child-rearing and skill-sharing. None of this would have been possible without the Radical Routes loans, and the support and encouragement of Radical Routes. We would encourage everyone to consider making an ethical investment in Rootstock as a way of supporting practical co-operative alternatives.