Our co-op is part of the Radical Routes network. At the last gathering in August in Oxford the network agreed to a £40,000 loan for to act as a deposit for our purchase.
Radical Routes is a network of radical co-operatives whose members are committed to working for positive social change. The network is made up mainly of housing co-operatives of various sizes (none with more than 17 members), a few workers’ co-operatives and a couple of social centres.
Radical Routes is a form of structured mutual aid. In other words, it is based on people helping each other in organised ways. Radical Routes is about people taking control of their own housing, work, education and leisure activities. People set up co-ops to manage these activities themselves, removing the need for managers, owners, bosses or landlords.
Being part of Radical Routes means that we as a housing co-operative have access not only to financial services but also to the knowledge of the network. This knowledge has assisted FHC in financial, legal and logistical issues, allowing our members to gain understanding and solve problems together. Being part of a growing movement means in the future we will be able to support aspiring co-operatives.
As a member of Radical Routes, FHC will attend and help run quarterly Radical Routes gatherings. This means we all participate in the management of Radical Routes. These gatherings are an opportunity for co-ops to support each other, share skills, and monitor our successes and weaknesses. Being involved in a larger organisation will help our co-op stay strong and successful, and support and help out other co-ops as they get started. In addition to this Radical Routes previously approved (conditionally) a loan for £60,000 for a house we were aiming to buy over two years ago, and we hope they would again come the May gathering. This demonstrates the faith and support of a group incredibly experienced in the world of co-operatives.