Who we are

The Open House Project Team in 2018

Open House Project Team 2018


The Open House Project Team in 2014


xmas2008 040Greg

I design and field test outdoor clothing – a follow on to a career in outdoor education where I enjoyed a multitude of group experiences and made many friends. Both forms of employment have provided a good excuse to spend time exploring mountains and adventuring in the outdoors. My family have supported me throughout so now, as a grandfather, can I bring some of my experience to our group to help build a genuinely open minded community?

2006-01-04deepdale 030Sheila

 I am one of the oldest, probably one of the prime movers, and definitely one of the most excited members of the project. I am mother or grandmother to several of those also involved, but I am very keen to extend the benefits of mutual support to others and look forward to new members joining. I have some experience growing things and am delighted that we have the polytunnel and the orchard already productive. I am particularly thrilled with the quality of the architectural design of the conversion which offers us all a wonderful and unique home.

leo photo 2Leo

I am an architect/university teacher and our cohousing project is a unique opportunity for me to offer and develop my professional skills, whilst creating a more community-focused place for my family to live. I am really interested in the process of creating a cohousing group as well as looking forward to living there, and I am hoping to undertake a PhD based on the project. So far, I have really enjoyed working with family and friends in a relaxed, but professional way, which has revealed otherwise hidden skills and qualities of people I thought I knew! When the build is complete I am really looking forward to communal al fresco meals made from the produce that we have grown on site!

kate photoKate

I am an Optometrist and mother of two girls (Emily 9, Lucy 6) and a boy (Alex 2). My main interest in the cohousing project is in creating a great place for our family to live that my husband, Leo, has designed and to which I have had a major contribution. I love the idea of living in a semi-rural location but with the opportunities of a city on our doorstep – a place for children to grow up in safety with their extended family. The project is challenging and scary at times, but I really like the idea of getting on with the build of the project and moving in and achieving something epic!


I am married to Polly and we have three children (Raymond 9, Lydia 7 and Sylvie 4). The other members of the group are family and friends. I envisage a flexible approach from all when it comes to living arrangements (especially during the build process) but ultimately I would like to live in my own unit with immediate family.  My personal interests are all sports (particularly football) and I am very proud of creating our own on site football pitch. I am very interested in social justice and want to be part of a community where people embrace equality, freedom and fairness. I guess I am experienced in risk assessment as I hold a BSc in Disaster Management! I have worked as a council gardener where I excelled in digging large holes! I am learning more about building techniques and extraordinarily complicated legal procedures . Mostly I want my children to grow up with space to enjoy an element of freedom, fun and adventure.


Joe and I have three young children who are benefitting in so many ways from this venture. We lived and worked in London for ten years and moved to Sheffield 3 years ago. We currently live near the site and are getting very excited about the next phase of the build which will renovate our future home. We are loving having a quieter rural lifestyle. Being closer to family and friends has made a massive difference to our lives and starts the co-housing ethos even before we all live there. I am most interested in using the amount of space and resources we’ll have to benefit the co-housing group and the wider community. I am a great organiser and I get most satisfaction from doing a job properly. During the build I have tried my hand at lots of different things and enjoy a break from childcare! Co-housing in this location means my children will benefit from a safer, healthier environment where they will learn so much more from being around different adults/children.


I have been a friend of the rest of the group for many years, whilst the younger members were children. I belonged to a cooperative group in Manchester in the 70s, so this project is a happy return to an intentional community lifestyle. Our group is unusual because our demographic spans a wide age group.

I am mother to 3 adult daughters who are actively supportive.  My professional life was in education and employee health, safety and welfare; though I am now happily recently retired. I have many related skills that I can give to this project through the building and development phases, yet my life- long learning will no doubt continue! As our momentum gathers pace, I am intent on enjoying the journey and look forward to sharing this with existing and new members of the group.