Anna Kear, Executive Director

Anna’s Blog October 2016

It seems an age ago since writing the last blog and my amazingly hot and sunny camping break in the Lake District; and yes I did manage to climb Scafell Pike and the Langdale Pikes, having not done so since my teens!

Since then I’ve been concentrating on the options for the future of UKCN as both the Tudor Trust funding for the Exec Director’s post and the Big Lottery award are only until March 2017. We are seeking to develop the next stage of the network and have been arranging meetings with funders, progressing the charitable status application, and looking a greater partnership working. The development of a new web platform will give us the technology for the network to work better for and between groups across the UK, making this your network with your input. I’m looking forward to reviewing the expressions of interest in building this platform later this week, to take this to the Board on 25th October. I’m also looking for your ideas on other aspects of sharing ideas and experience between groups, so please do let me know your thoughts. We will be having an open discussion at our AGM next week.

As part of the Big Lottery Accelerating Ideas project, I’ve made several visits this month. On 29th September I went up to North Yorkshire to attend the rural housing Conference, where we are supporting the development of community-led housing through the rural housing enablers. There has been quite a bit of interest in cohousing, including some work with Selby Alive 50+. Last week I went to meet with Central Bedfordshire Council about their strategies for older people, including planning policy and commissioning. On Saturday I had a trip to Brighton to meet with the OWL House cohousing group. We had a really good afternoon looking at the options they might consider in their cohousing journey, including maybe starting with a beach hut!

I’ve been working with HACT (Housing Association Charitable Trust) & the Housing LIN (Learning Information Network) on developing workshops for housing associations, local authorities developers in the Spring. Work is still ongoing on setting up direct local technical support for groups right across the UK, working with local community led housing groups and I hope to be able to update you on progress in the next blog if not before.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the AGM next week in Leeds; and if you’ve not registered to attend you can still come along to the social afterwards at the Victoria Hotel on Great George Street, Leeds from 6pm.

All the best, Anna

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