About us

UK Cohousing Network

The UK Cohousing Network was established following the UK’s first Cohousing Conference in Lancaster in 2007, to promote awareness of cohousing and support the development of new cohousing communities.

The UK Cohousing Network is a membership organisation with a mission to enable communities to use the cohousing principles to create better places to live by reducing isolation and loneliness, and by sharing facilities and services reduce living costs.

UKCN is a resource for members interested in Cohousing, enabling them to share information, advertise related services and connect up to discuss shared issues and learning. Our primary focus is to find ways to make cohousing more accessible, and to help shape the policy and public funding environment to achieve this goal.

Read our submission to the DCLG Housing for Older People Inquiry here

The Network has access to a range of associate advisors and consultants with direct experience of co-creating with groups and making a success of community living and community owned assets and enterprise.

The UK Cohousing Network is a Company Limited by Guarantee. No 06313462. Registered address: 10 Marmalade Lane  Cambridge, England, CB4 2ZE

Contact the Network via the contact form. The Network is funded by its membership fees.

The Directors are elected from the membership and are responsible for the management of the Company’s business.

UK Cohousing icon

UK Cohousing Network Directors and Cohousing staff (from May 2022)

Owen Jarvis

Owen Jarvis, CEO of UK Cohousing Network

Our CEO, Owen Jarvis has over 20 years-experience of leading community and social enterprises mostly tackling housing issues. He is a Clore Social Leadership Fellow and alumni of the Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship. He is an advocate of using design thinking for social change and has also published on how third sector organisations can scale their impact through collaborations. Owen is delighted to be working for UKCN, having spent many happy years of his life living in community-led housing and ecovillages.

Angela Vincent, UKCN Chair, Group Member Director (Kent Cohousing)

Angela has a background in marketing communications. She is co-founder of Kent Cohousing and has ambitions to create, and live in, an intergenerational, self-build, eco community.

Dan Dunleavy

Dan Dunleavy, Individual Member Director

Dan has a commercial track record in the international technology business. He has a keen interest in eco-housing and cohousing. He currently lives and works in central London.

Barbara Simpkins

Barbara Simpkins, Group Member Director (Cannock Mill Cohousing)

I’ve been a member of Cannock Mill cohousing since its inception about 15 years ago (I have tried to stop counting the years!). I was Chair for the first few years, established sub groups, organised an away day to help build and sustain the organisation by sharing the workload and integrating new and old members into a cohesive organisation. I’ve been an active member of the finance subgroup and drafted our successful major bid to the Homes and Communities Agency. Since the development at Cannock Mill has taken off, I have participated in other subgroups, particularly the garden, social and legal ones. Although now retired, I spent my working life in community economic development and was CEO of a third sector organisation so becoming involved in cohousing is a natural extension of my working life.

Dr Simon Bayly

Dr Simon Bayly, Group Member Director (Copper Lane Cohousing)

I am a resident co-founder of Copper Lane Cohousing in London and Reader in Drama, Theatre and Performance at the University of Roehampton. My work as an academic researcher converges with my lived experience of cohousing in a long-standing engagement with intentional communities as experimental spaces for collective learning and mutual aid. I have a particular interest in grass-roots forms of organizing, the psychodynamics of non-hierarchical groups and the development of the role of social enabler, both in support of new community-led housing initiatives and in shaping the ways in which they subsequently interact with their wider neighbourhoods. As a director of UKCN, I am committed to the contribution we can make in supporting community-led housing projects and allied ways of thinking that engage a range of interlocking contemporary issues, from the the crises of the climate emergency and affordable UK housing to rising levels of social isolation, loneliness and psychological distress.

Frances Wright

Frances Wright, Company Secretary. Group Member Director (Cambridge K1 Cohousing)

I first became interested in cohousing at the time Spring Hill was being built. I really want to support others to achieve their dreams and for cohousing to became a realistic option for many more people. I was involved with Oxford Cohousing before moving to join Cambridge Cohousing’s K1 project just before the tendering process for an enabling developer. I moved into the community in December 2018. I took the decision recently to resign from my work as Director HR & Governance of a national learning disability charity to work with TOWN in a role focused on their work with other cohousing projects. I am now slowly developing my understanding of the developer perspective.

Neil Stephens

Neil Stephens, Individual Member Director (Treasurer)

Passionate about Sustainable Architecture, Passivhaus and all things Co-housing. Firm believer of Housing for the people by the people. I'm also a Senior Architect at MDR Associates Architects.

Chris Coates, Group Member

Chris Coates, Group Member Director (Forgebank Cohousing Lancaster, Lancs)

Founder member of Foregbank Cohousing; Editor of Diggers and Dreamers; Squatter turned eco-property developer.

Sacha Woolham

Sacha Wollham has global experience in innovative product and service delivery. Currently working on the Hope Cohousing project in the Orkney Islands, she has first hand experience of the complexities of developing housing.

Paul Jennings

Paul Jennings

Paul Jennings is an engineer and the most experienced airtightness tester in the UK, working on most UK Passivhaus projects, including Halton Cohousing and Cannock Mill Cohousing.

He has been involved in cohousing for decades, after an early visit to Postlip Hall (outside Cheltenham). The attitudes and behaviour of the teenagers growing up there provided a dramatic contrast to the delinquent teenagers he was then working with through the Youth at Risk charity in London. After several false starts, he was a founder member of the Trelay community, near Bude in Cornwall, and is currently working on the newbuild Cohousing scheme in Cirencester and on rural refurbishment cohousing with Jackie Carpenter in Cornwall.