Regenerating Buildings, Revitalising Communities
Swansea Cohousing Chair, Licensed HeartMath Coach, RSA Fellowship Councillor, Community animator. Co-founder of Pinakarri Housing Cooperative (Perth Australia)
Leonie's background includes Multi-media design and HE lecturing as well as documentary and training video production in Perth Australia. While completing her M ED she was invited to work at ULTRALAB in Chelmsford, Essex, co-heading up the research and development team for the National College of School Leadership's headteacher online communities of practice initiative. She subsequently delivered Staff Development at Anglia Ruskin University, before immersing herself in Community initiatves via the RSA's Changing Chelmsford work and the Chelmsford Ideas Festival and Chelmsford Ideas Hub.
Leonie's commitment to cohousing goes back to 1993 when she became co-founder of Pinakarri Housing Cooperative (Perth Australia). She sees safe, congenial housing as fundamental to social cohesion and thriving community. She is a strong advocate of the concept of "Community as Developers" and since moving to Swansea has become heavily involved in community initiatives around the Mount Pleasant area.
Mount Pleasant is at a crucial point in time. As students move into large scale student housing, empty HMO's will invite either more development by out of towners who already have significant assets or... if effective mechanisms are in place, provide opportunities for secure housing for people who don't currently have the means to have wonderful and safe homes. This outcome requires people who are willing to actively participate and contribute with positive energy, to come together as "Community as Developers" and establish initiatives like Rent to buy housing, Mutual Home Ownership, Rental Co-operatives or simply just co-buying one of the fabulous old houses in Mount Pleasant and transforming them into congenial homes.
Of course, the benefit will ripple out to the wider community via cohousing spaces such as gardens, kitchen dining room cafe's, workshops, library study spaces and play spaces are built into their heart to foster connection and understanding across boundaries.