We’re getting volunteers together to build London’s first training facility for would-be community self-builders. The innovative building will be constructed in Ladywell, Lewisham on part of the land set aside for a new 33 home affordable self-build housing project. RUSS are working with Habitat for Humanity GB (Homes) to deliver the project which will offer people the opportunity to get hands-on experience of building.

The structure being built is a timber frame single storey building which utilises reclaimed and recycled materials. The planning permission was granted by Lewisham Council on 7th June 2018. To see details of the design, please see our approved planning drawings here.

Volunteers began building the Community Space in May, and it should be complete in October 2019. To sign-up for build-days and to find out what’s involved, please go to our Eventbrite page

We’re also still collecting materials for the build. Please get in touch via sbhub@theruss.org if you have any materials you’d like to donate. Materials in particular we’re looking for are; timber sheet materials, breathable insulation materials, fire-rated plasterboard, timber floorboards, kitchen cabinets and appliances, sanitary ware.

Once built the space will host RUSS’s School of Community-Led Housing with the goal of becoming a knowledge hub to share and inspire other communities in self-building and affordable housing projects. We will also consult with the local community on our goal of creating a permanent community space that can bring new residents and the existing community together.

RUSS led a successful crowd funding initiative in 2017 raising funds for the project from 320 backers. This included funds from The Mayor of London’s initiative, Crowdfund London. Other key donors include CDS Cooperatives, Ladywell Assembly (Lewisham Council), Jon Broome Architects, Weston Williamson + Partners, Footwork, Bringelly and Viridor.


Proposed West Elevation, Ladywell Self-Build Community Space


Site plan showing Community hub building in SE corner