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Rooms of our Own is an innovative social enterprise with an exciting new business model which will provide accessible, affordable and secure premises for the voluntary and community sectors. Our plan is to use housing to provide an income stream to fund the construction of accommodation for voluntary groups.
Our objective in the first instance is to build a Women’s Centre. We have been saddened by the ongoing loss of women’s organisations and women’s spaces over the years, and want to find a new financially sustainable way of providing premises for these vitally important purposes. We have taken our name from Virginia Woolf’s famous essay in which she argues that a woman must have money and a “room of her own” if she is to be a successful author. We have borrowed this concept and extended it to contend that the women’s movement needs spaces of its own if it is to grow and succeed.
We formed ourselves into a company limited by guarantee in September 2012, and are now in the process of establishing a Charitable Community Benefit society. This will enable us to issue Community Shares which means that everyone who supports our idea will be able to own a piece of the action.
We were ready to build our project on the site we were in the process of buying from London Borough of Waltham Forest when the Portfolio holder retracted. The site is still empty, so we do have a petition going to get the issue debated in full Council. (see below) Meanwhile we are talking to Councillors and Officers in Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Hackney and TfL about procuring a site elsewhere to create this amazing project. Lots of organisations are supporting us, and we are confident we WILL find a suitable site in due course.
Follow us on twitter @roomso4own