It’s been a few weeks since we last blogged about what we have been up to. We bit off more than we could chew with promising weekly updates. We’re hoping to blog every 2-3 weeks from now on depending on how much we have to report back on!

What we have been up to the last few weeks

  • Our main focus has been getting everything lined up to start groundworks this coming week. There was more to this tasks than meets the eye, with getting quotes, approval from the RUSS board, letter dropping to the neighbours, performing a risk assessment, providing the contractor with all the details he needs e.g. about where existing services are etc. But we are now all set to get the contractor on site and to start clearing!
  • There is a project nearby which will be dismantling a cob art installation and we are working out the logistics of collecting some of the bricks we have been very kindly offered for free. We have worked out that we need about 650 bricks, so it’s no mean feat getting them to our site!
  • We had a really good comms strategy workshop run by Ted Stevens, a RUSS trustee and Katie Hudson, a RUSS volunteer. We identified the key internal and external stakeholders, how best to communicate with them, and how frequently. The next step will be to turn this into a comms plan.
  • Some fab new volunteers have joined us recently, looking at different aspects of the design; the cob wall, the entrance structure, and how to solve our sewage conundrum! It’s great to have some new faces on the team, and they have brought some more energy and momentum to the project too.
  • We had a great day a couple of weeks ago covering up the logos on the personal protective equipment (PPE) – a fancy way of saying high-viz vests and hard hats! Crossrail has very generously donated a load of equipment to the project, but have requested that we cover up the branding. We made some great RUSS stickers for the hard hats, and got some paint to cover up the logo on the vests. Thanks to all the volunteers for coming and helping!

What we will be focussing on next

  • The groundworks kick off this week, which we’re very excited about. It’s the first real work that we’re having done, and it will allow to get some containers on site to store some of the materials that have been generously donated to us. The scope of the work is to clear the site, lay some crushed concrete to make it safe for vehicles to drive onto the site, and to put up some hoarding and access gates.
  • We need a big push to get through building control. We need to make some final decisions and finish off the designs so we can submit them to our building control inspector. We’re having a meeting this Tuesday to identify the steps outstanding to get us there.

Here are some pictures of the site now, watch out for the after shots in the next update: