In early 2018 Angus got into the habit of sitting in his back garden, and sense God showing him a vision of what the leafy suburbs of Shipley could look like with small homes built in back gardens. These homes were to be used to house the destitute and particularly those who had fled war and persecution to find asylum in this country. The vision for "garden homes" was born, and it was to create a safe space where the most vulnerable could find a haven. Green Pastures provided a grant in order to help Angus and the team at Hope Housing hire a workshop space so that they could help and train employability skills by empowering their residents to build the "garden homes".
Angus' brief for the homes is to design structures that can be constructed without significant disruption to the ground beneath, can be constructed cheaply, can be built using techniques that are easily taught, can be taken down/ moved easily and re-sited, and provide sufficient space and light in which one person or a couple could live for one year or more.
The aim is to serve both the needs of those seeking asylum, whilst also giving the residents of Hope Housing's homes an opportunity to gain skills. The key here is that the homes should be easy to build to allow as many residents as possible to get involved!
Up to now the lives that have been mainly affected by the plans are that of Angus and his wife's as they have sought to find a solution to the aforementioned brief. They continue to work towards fully establishing the project and have faith in the God that Angus the vision in 2018 to provide.
The team were able to run a workshop in October 2019 which they invited a number of Hope Housing clients to. It was a fruitful and fun day with instruction given on how to use various woodworking tools, as well as fabricating some wooden frames which have been used to form the structure of a wooden studio now situated proudly in Angus' back garden (pictured above).
Over the last three years numerous conversations have been undertaken with architects, designers, builders and structural engineers to get the project right. Most recently, Angus has been working with Colin Usher, of Microtecture. The hope is to raise £35,000 in order to build a prototype garden home based on Colin's design. From there, we hope the money generated can be used to secure a loan to enable a second garden home to be built and therefore create a self-sustaining project.