Monica King of Bridport Cohousing has won the award for ‘’Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’’ at the National CLT Network awards ceremony held in Birmingham this month which champions people and projects from around the country that have achieved great things in the past year. She was one of eight nominees and picked because she has worked tirelessly for a decade to help bring our development of 53 affordable eco houses to fruition, and is an unpaid wonder!!
This project could easily have fallen apart so many times. We have faced incredibly difficult challenges from our stakeholder partners, renegotiating agreements with 3 different housing association partners over the years and dealing with the impacts of successive government policies. We have learned to navigate our way through an extremely complicated access agreement with NHS lawyers, and work our way through the local planning process, submitting various plans on a piece of land which has involved buying it in different phases. We have had to find ways of financing ourselves through grant applications, loans, members deposits and community loan schemes – it has been a bit like being on a ghost train ride!! You are going along nicely when something scary jumps out and you do a 90 degree turn that takes you on a different path until the next scary thing jumps out!!
Monica has never lost her nerve, or her calm – just got on with the job in hand in a most professional and diligent way. Her patience, empathy, good humour and experience all combine to make a truly exceptional person, so it is no wonder that in the category ‘’Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’’ she was declared overall winner at the awards.