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Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Local Co-operatives celebrate Co-ops Fortnight with workshop at the White Rock Hotel

Three local co-operatives will be running a free workshop on worker- and housing- cooperatives this Saturday (28 June): 2–5pm in the Sea View room at the White Rock Hotel (1-10 White Rock, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1JU).

The event – part of Co-operatives Fortnight, a UK-wide celebration of the strength and vibrancy of the co-operatives sector – will enable people to learn more about co-operatives: what they are, how they work, and how they can help people to work together to take control of their work and housing.

The three local co-ops who will be running the event are Hastings-based worker co-ops Trinity Wholefoods and Wave, and St Leonards-based housing co-operative Walden Pond.

According to a just-published report by Co-operatives UK, co-operatives – the democratically-run organisations owned and controlled by their workers (worker cooperatives), consumers (consumer cooperatives) or tenants (housing cooperatives) – currently contribute more than £37bn to the UK economy. There are over 6,300 co-operatives in the UK alone!

The event will be accompanied by an exhibition about Radical Routes (RR), the UK-wide network of radical housing and worker co-operatives, and copies of the booklets ‘How to set up a housing co-operative’ and ‘How to set up a worker co-operative’ will be available.

Wave co-founder and member Felix Lozano said: “Wave design co-operative have now been running for over 26 years, working exclusively for the not-for-profit sector. We now have nine members, and neither being a co-operative nor living in Hastings has hindered our choice to work with a specialist niche market.”

Walden Pond member and St Leonards resident Emily Johns said: “By setting up housing co-operatives we empower ourselves to take control over one of the most important aspects of our lives: our housing. But setting one up can seem like a daunting prospect. At this event we plan to  de-mystify the process by looking at a concrete local example.”

Posted 20:10 Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 In: Home Ground

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