Bill Phelps, Laura Smith and the Fishwick family

Bill Phelps, Laura Smith and the Fishwick family

Cohousing communities are intentional communities. They are created and run by their residents. Each household has a self-contained, personal and private home but residents come together to manage their community, share activities, eat together.

Cohousing is a way of combating the alienation and isolation many experience today, recreating the neighbourly support of the past. This can happen anywhere, in your street or starting a new community using empty homes or building new.

Bill, Laura, Robin, Sarah, Rosa and Grace are all part of the UK’s rapidly expanding cohousing movement – a way of living that emphasises sharing and mutual support without sacrificing privacy.

Bill has lived in Chapeltown, Leeds, for 45 years and is a founder member of ChaCo – currently negotiating with Leeds City Council to acquire the land to build a 30-unit community-led housing scheme.

Laura is a teacher, loves to grow food and has put in a lot of the hard work to help make LILAC happen. She was motivated by the vision to create a positive contribution to three challenges which we face – the breakdown of community, climate change and the economic growth fetish which has seen housing costs spiral beyond the reach of increasing numbers of people.

Sarah Fishwick is a primary school teacher. Robin Fishwick is a songwriter, a player of many esoteric instruments, a Quaker Chaplain to Leeds Universities and also works with homeless people. They will be accompanied by Rosa age 11 and Grace age 9 who will share their experience of cohousing.