Radical Routes is a network of radical co-ops whose members are committed to working for positive social change. The network is made up mainly of housing co-ops of various sizes (none with more than 17 members), a few workers co-ops and a couple of social centres.
Four times a year, the member and associate member co-ops get together at "gatherings". These weekend events have a social function, but are also the places at which all important decisions are taken. They are open meetings and anyone is welcome to attend. The following are typical items that appear on the agenda at these gatherings.
- It may be that we have to assess an application to join by a co-op;
- An existing member may want to apply for a loan or ask for a loan repayment holiday if they have financial trouble;
- A new piece of housing law may be discussed as different co-ops share experience of dealing with their local councils. We often discuss arguments that have worked in bringing about favourable outcomes for our co-ops;
- Areas of the Radical Routes policy document may be reviewed;
- Possible new services that we can offer our members may be discussed;
- Co-ops wishing to join at the next gathering give presentations;
- Work carried out by member co-ops is reported, and the next quarter's work is shared out around the network.
In addition there is a parallel programme of introductory workshops for new groups and individuals at every gathering.
The next gatherings are:
17-19 May, Cornwall (this will also be our AGM)
16-18 August, Shropshire
15-17 November, Nottingham
Radical Routes is able to make loans to member co-ops due to our ethical investment arm, Rootstock. Radical Routes made its first loan in 1991, and since then has lent out over £573 000 to member co-ops without any bad debts from loans. Rootstock enables people to invest in grassroots co-operative projects while building on the unique track record of Radical Routes.
Radical Routes is a form of structured mutual aid. In other words, it is based on people helping each other in organised ways. Radical Routes is about people taking control of their own housing, work, education and leisure activities. People set up co-ops to manage these activities themselves, removing the need for managers, owners, bosses or landlords.
Setting up a successful co-op isn't always easy, but by joining Radical Routes, co-ops can benefit from the experience of others who have done it before.
Radical Routes Enquiries
For more information look at the list of Radical Routes members or contact our enquiries point:
Radical Routes Enquiries
c/o Cornerstone Resource Centre
16 Sholebroke Avenue
LEEDS LS7 3HB
0845 330 4510 or
0113 262 9365