We are a group of people, aged over 60, living in Orkney. Some of us live alone, some of us are in partnerships. In 2018, talking together about our future housing needs, several faced changed circumstances. We began to consider the idea of living co-operatively in our old age. Cohousing, with its ethos of living independently in a sharing community, offered a way forward that appealed to us all.
Hope Cohousing was formally established early in 2019. We want to live independently in old age and value our privacy but recognise that friendship and support from neighbours and friends are crucial for our wellbeing. There have been some changes in our membership since then but the same vision has remained as has the determination to make it a reality.
We bring a variety of skills and knowledge to the project, from artists/craftspeople to teaching and social care, to experience in business, to years of working in community groups and community-led housing. Some members of our group have been involved in running the village craft co-operative for over 40 years. Others established and tend the community garden in St Margaret’s Hope. We are also involved in helping to organise events in our local community hall.
Hope Cohousing is a Community Interest Company (CIC). This is a special type of social enterprise: a limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders [see gov.uk]. Its assets can only be used for its social objectives. It is overseen by the UK Government Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies
Picture: the view across our site to the bay and Scapa Flow.