Brambles is a Housing Cooperative that began as a Radical Routes co-op in 1992. It shares two adjacent houses in a vibrantly multicultural but economically poor area of Burngreave. It is usually home to between 6-9 members, a variety of urban wildlife, and act as a stop-off point for many more folk.
Brambles has an amazing permaculture garden, dubbed ‘Paradise in Pitsmoor’ by a previous member, complete with fruit trees and bushes, vegetable beds, upcycled hot-tub, rainwater harvest system, greenhouse, community workshop, fire pit, frog pond and compost system.
One of the houses has an integrated heating system, which incorporates water heated from solar thermal panels on the roof and the wood-burning stove. In addition to this photovoltaic panels on one of the houses generate electricity.
The main aim of Brambles is to give its members control over their housing in order to create an affordable, supportive and secure space to live. This enables members to not simply work for profit but to pursue more creative and socially responsible jobs and activities. Brambles also aims to act as a springboard for social change work – offering a nurturing and energising home space as a foundation for personal inner change and meaningful outer work, through political action, mutual aid, and work in various fields such as healthcare and education.
Recognising that we live in a society which has been negatively shaped by patriarchy and capitalism, Brambles strives to create a world based on fairness, respect and mutual aid. Members believe that living communally allows them to share resources, have a lower impact on the environment and try to move away from the individualistic nature of a capitalist society.
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