Housing conference highlights co-operative links

Just over a year ago I blogged about the benefits of volunteering…

I have continued to volunteer as a co-opted board member for Trivallis and recently was fortunate to be able to attend the Chartered Institute of Housing Conference in Manchester as a visitor. It was an opportunity to visit over a hundred of exhibitor stands with a range of products from complete modular homes, ‘Comms Hero’ t-shirts, and Housing Quality Network, to local support services in Powys. There were half a dozen different theatres on the exhibition floor, separate from the main conference, and each giving a range of community led and technical presentations to suit all visitors and delegates, of which there were thousands.

These were well attended and gave an opportunity to learn about housing across the UK, and inform as to what was happening in Wales. There were informal networking opportunities with the devolved nations’ ‘Celtic Fringe’ and with other Community Mutual Housing Associations. It is mid Calendar year and is a marker to reflect on progress and give encouragement to develop more community led co-operative housing.

The event reminded me of the 5th and 6th International Principles of Co-operation. The 5th is Education, Training and Information

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

And 6th Principle is Co-operation among Co-operatives

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

This housing conference was a collective national event that helped individuals from social enterprises and industrial provident societies fulfil these principles, which is why I was pleased to attend and I look forward to attending with the same, and more co-operators, next year.

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