As a charity we are on the cusp of a new chapter in our story as we transform our existing community centre and launch the Roundhouse.
The Roundhouse is a place where community can come together, tell stories, learn more of the world we live in, eat good food, and support each other as we journey through life. It is a place where we build on what connects us together and not focus on what divides. Where we learn how to be better stewards of what resources we have. It is a place where we can come and blether or just be. All are welcomed.
The Roundhouse will be made up of three distinct but connected parts.
1: Centre for Global Learning at the Roundhouse
The central idea behind the Roundhouse is to help educate the next generation about approaches to sustainable development and explore our own impact on the world; ultimately leading to an expanded understanding of the world, and a reduced environmental footprint. A variety of immersive teaching approaches will be used including virtual reality and hands on, outdoor learning to help young people understand some of the complexities of poverty as well as our rights and responsibilities as citizens of the UK and the world. This blended approach will enable young people to, for example, learn practically in the Centre’s garden how food grows and look at the rise of Foodbanks in the UK; and then move onto exploring what that looks like in an East African context using virtual reality films and interactive workshops. Interactive exhibits will showcase some of the practical responses to challenges faced by many around the globe – from rainwater harvesting and irrigation systems, to solar lanterns, water filters, and fuel-efficient stoves, among others. These will not just focus on success stories but use failures as a point of learning too.
2: Food at the Roundhouse
Central to our vision is a café which will provide a regular food service to visiting groups and the general public. The café will focus on sourcing ingredients from “intercepted foods” (i.e., useable food from supermarkets and restaurants otherwise bound for landfill) and food grown in our garden and other local allotments. The café will have a pay it forward scheme which will allow everyone to eat while ensuring a consistent income. Alongside the structured teaching within the Centre for Global Learning, the café will itself become a learning tool for visitors keen to better understand our relationship with food.
3: Space at the Roundhouse
To further sustain the centre, high quality, serviced office, and meeting space is offered to charities and socially conscious businesses at competitive prices, creating something of a melting pot of like-minded people. There are currently three charities and a social research company based at the centre, with a further six organisations running regular sessions; and all working to serve the needs of the local and global community. Additionally there are rooms available for use by the community for a variety of classes and gatherings.
We hope the Roundhouse will be up and running by 2021.