Exciting plans are afoot at Matryoshka Haus! As of the beginning of October, we have the tenancy to a property in London in which we can make a home for both our community and much of the work that we are involved with.
Finding a home has been a dream for several years – since 2011 in fact! On several occasions our hopes have been dashed, but at last we’ve found something that we think will work.
St Dunstan’s Wharf is a property located on Narrow Street, right by the Thames, in the Limehouse neighbourhood of East London. The skyscrapers of Canary Wharf are just a 10 minute walk away, and the flat in Wapping that’s home for Shannon & Rachel is just over 20 minutes walk along the river. It’s a building with a lot of character (just like us!) and a huge amount of potential…
What’s it going to be used for exactly? Well, there are some concrete ideas and some less concrete. What we do know is:
- That it will be a hub for all Matryoshka Haus activities – including community meals, meetings, training and resource planning.
- It will be a space in which we can hold large gatherings (e.g. our regular Learning Labs and groups of visitors).
- It will provide a workspace for those within the community who are already working on projects together, but will enable them to physically work alongside one another for the first time.
- It will provide overnight accommodation for guests in a bedroom suite.
That’s just the start – the building has lots of possibilities! In the few weeks since we acquired it, it’s already hosted a baby shower, several overnight guests and a number of large meetings – including several with local social enterprises that we’re helping to resource. Plans are also being made for our first Thanksgiving in our own home in just a few weeks time.
It’s a fantastic space – and don’t just take my word for it – Gav, our very first overnight guest conducted a photographic tour of the building (once Shannon had rescued him from being locked in the garage!).
We’ve still got a way to go in making the space right for us – there are tables, desks, chairs and numerous other bits and pieces that are needed to mould it to our purposes – but at least we finally have a house for Matryoshka Haus, and that is something to really celebrate!
We have now launched a crowd funder to help resource the fitting out of the building. We’d love it if you felt able to pledge your support!