Release date, 4 January 2019 – RUSS, the Community Land Trust behind an innovative 33 home affordable self-build project in Church Grove, Lewisham, has released details of the first four open meetings it has scheduled for early in 2019.

On Wednesday 16 January there will be a talk about architect Walter Segal and the unique self-build housing projects that he built in Lewisham in the 1980s. Alice Grahame – author of ‘Walters Way and Segal Close: The Architect Walter Segal and London’s Self-Build Community’ will explain how the original Walters Way self-build project came about. She will be joined by Kareem Dayes, who grew up in Walters Way. Kareem went on to set up RUSS, and he has been the driving force behind RUSS’s current project in Church Grove, which is due to start on site later this year.

On Wednesday 20 February Ted Stevens will deliver a slide presentation looking at a number of innovative group self-build projects that have been built around the world. Ted was the founding chair of the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) and he spent two years touring Europe visiting community-led housing projects. His presentation will include examples from France, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Uruguay and the USA. He will also showcase several recent UK schemes. Ted is now a Trustee of RUSS.

On Wednesday 20 March another of RUSS’s Trustees, architect Megan Ancliffe will talk about the innovative Community Hub building that will be constructed as the first phase of RUSS’ new Church Grove development. The Hub will be built by volunteers and is designed along Segal principles. Finance for the Hub came from a crowd-funding initiative that was supported by more than 300 people. The building will showcase a number of innovative construction techniques, including walls made from straw bales and rammed earth. This talk will take place just before construction starts on the Hub.

And on Wednesday 17 April RUSS is organising a talk about community gardening. This will be delivered by Malcolm Cadman from Deptford’s John Evelyn Community Garden. The Garden is one of the main initiatives run by the Pepys Community Forum – a local regeneration Not-for-Profit organisation aiming to create an empowered multi-cultural community in Deptford through training for employment, enterprise and green projects. The Forum is 100% led and managed by local people. Malcolm has been its chair for many years.

The venue for all the talks is the Café of Good Hope at PLACE/Ladywell (261 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6NJ). The closest station is Ladywell.

Each event starts at 7pm and is scheduled to end around 8.30.