Earlier this week, a team from CDS volunteered on-site at RUSS Lewisham’s Community Hub self-build site. RUSS is a members-led Community Land Trust based in South London. Founded in 2009, the group’s first project is a sustainable development of 33 homes with shared open space on a site in Churchgrove, Ladywell. Ahead of the building of these homes, the group has Crowdfunded for the materials of a self-build community space. It was this space that the team were helping to build.
The day was enjoyed by a group from CDS that was made up of members from across the Housing, Corporate and Promoter teams. It was great to be able to contribute in a small way to the Hub’s progress and we are excited to see the end result of RUSS’ maintained and impressive efforts. When finished the Hub will be used as London’s first dedicated training space for community-led housing, hosting the RUSS School of Community-Led Housing. CDS will also make use of the space in order to promote growth and training across the sector. The volunteers were keen to learn about the project and it was great to get the chance to hear from the RUSS team about the longer-term plans for the Church Grove site. Working alongside Habitat for Humanity (UK), the team were briefed on-site safety and the aims of the day before work began.
The Hub is largely being built using reclaimed, recycled and donated materials and tools, keeping costs down and further highlighting the potential of an active and supportive community. As you can see, the volunteers were put to task throughout the day. Some of the team were responsible for prepping the shell of the building for waterproofing by installing cladding batons before securing the waterproof membrane to the structure. This membrane will ensure the building remains watertight whilst allowing it to breathe and stopping condensation from getting trapped. The team was also responsible for cutting timber and staining facia trims along the top of the building. The group had a great day working together and enjoyed learning some new, practical skills.
The group of volunteers would like to extend their thanks to the RUSS team for their warm welcome and patient teaching on the day. Everyone at CDS is proud to support the project and is looking forward to seeing its continued progress in the coming months. If you want to learn more about RUSS and the Community Space then have a look here. If you fancy volunteering yourself then have a look here – remember, no experience is necessary!