The Cannock Mill Cohousing’s AGM is the perfect opportunity for the group to be together for a full long weekend. It is a time for consolidating friendship, discovering new members and consensually finding solutions to unresolved issues.
The AGM proper never last longer than a morning. We send all papers, nominations and any legal stuff well in advance on our Intranet to give ourselves time to study them calmly, ask questions and discuss points in subgroups.
The night of the AGM we share the evening meal. Eight years ago it was relatively easy to be around a table together. Today as the group is approaching its mature size, it is becoming a challenge to find a restaurant able to accommodate us and our respective tastes. It cannot be called an enchanting evening but it is definitely a lively one that a lot of us carry on in the bar of the hotel, arguing everything except cohousing matters.
After the AGM and numerous cup of tea or coffee, we all pour over the plans of our future homes and common house. It is stimulating to have explained, PowerPoint slide after slide, the what, how and why of the decisions needed to be taken by the Building subgroup, after consultation with us the Board. We can see our houses taking form. We are very much aware of the risks but also of all the mitigating measures we are taking. We are also conscious of each other’s needs. Potential members are invited to participate, note vote, but share ideas.
The Sunday is ‘cohousing time’ for old, new and potential members alike. On our site in the Bourne Valley, we work together cleaning the garden, the pond and the common house; maintaining our common asset before building starts. Some prune the trees, others make tea. Some clean out the stream, others pick up paper before our afternoon activity to enjoy a walk together. We have a great time imagining our life in two years’ time while enjoying the process of building trust and friendship.
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PS One of the papers approved at the AGM was our Annual Report.