Despite the hurdle of Covid restrictions, our group is slowly growing, along with our enthusiasm! We are getting to know each other better and defining our vision and values more tightly as a community. We are excited to have welcomed two new members in recent months.
Therefore, we have decided to take the time to introduce ourselves through a series of interviews – discussing our motivation to join the project.
This month, we met with our newest member, Laura Hackett. Laura generously shares her values, motives, and inspiration for the project – thanks Laura!
- Tell us a bit more about you
My name is Laura I live in Birmingham with my husband and 2 daughters
I was born in Moseley. I have always lived in Birmingham. I am a teacher by trade - specialised in Social Sciences for Colleges and 6th form.
But I was teaching in secondary school until lockdown and then I was furloughed.
I decided not to go back into teaching and I am attempting to start my own writing business. I have been writing for about 6 years. I have a personal blog and I am writing little for extinction Birmingham.I have a personal blog where I take every day experiences and look them through a therorictical glance and explore the day to day life more deeply. Very reflective
- What led you / motivated you to be part of the Community Cohousing project?
The first motivation was the children and their future. Being a climate activist, I feel that the S… is going to hit the fan and if we carry on with this kind of trajectory the future will be quite bleak. Being part of this community I believe will help us to be more resilient and have a certain level of food security, energy security. I believe this security will be an absolute necessity in the future.
- Who are the three people who have been the most influential? I
When I thought about this question, I realise that it was very difficult to answer as there are many people that influence you in different ways and at different time in your life. When you think about ‘ people who influence you’ we tend to first think of people that influence us positively but we can also meet people that influence us negatively but actually lead to positive outcomes.
If I think of people who influenced me positively, I think about James and Caroline.
I was brought up in a church, Pentecostal Church, and I was about 13 years when I met this couple, James and Caroline. There were about 10 years older than me.
They were incredible and they were everything that I wanted to be. I was just getting into rock music, moving from New Kids On The Block and started to get into decent music. This couple ey was into very cool stuff. James was doing a Philosophy Degree and it really opened my mind to some amazing ideas. Their house was full of books as my house wasn’t.
We had the bible and that’s it! With James and Caroline, we had those incredible conversations and ideas.
And Then the third person is James my husband!
- What are the best resources that have helped you along the way regarding Climate Change?
Activism, being part of a group, developing a network.
Every time you join a group, you are in contact with more people and more groups, and you learn more about the issue… so it is probably the best resource to understand climate change. Through activism, I have learnt to live in a way that is more sustainable and I have become more aware of the issue but also more aware of the solutions.
What led you to be more activist/ to get more involved?
The catalyst was the children. My oldest child she is 14 and she cannot listen to David Attenborough anymore. She found the climate change issue very upsetting.
My 7 years old she came to the conclusion a few months ago that people know what is happening in the world and no one is doing anything about it. This really upsetting me!
I believe children need to have the confidence that the grown-ups are doing soemething and that people care. This was the catalyst and led me to be more involved, realising how it is impacting on the kids.
- How do you help your children to understand the issues regarding climate change and perhaps manage their anxiety?
We get the children involved with campaign. As we say, Action is antidote to depression, so we are trying to show them that people do care and that they can also make a difference.
- What advice would you give to someone who wants to get more involved and make a difference regarding climate change?
Sign up to a group that you feel most comfortable working with. I would like to say join Extinction Rebellion Today! But most important join a group that you feel comfortable with their tactics. you also have Green Peace, Friends with The Earth, The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill Campaign, Brum and Breathe. If you try to do things as an individual (i..e recycling), it can feel so overwhelming and you just feel powerless. There is so much strength in number and in group you can achieve incredible things!
- How do you think we can debunk some of the myths around Community Cohousing?
Some people believe that people who join a Community Cohousing are some kind of hippie or polyamorous. I think what we are doing now is making a difference: Talking and sharing about the project with others. Talking about the project will demystify the stereotypes around the project
- If you could step in my shoes, What question would you have asked your self?
What are my expectations and worries regarding Communal Living?
My expectation Is that we will work in a way that is cooperative and respectful, that we will interact in a meaningful way everyday, that we become mindful of our interactions.
I also would like to be completely Off the grid and to become completely reliant regarding food and electricity. We could grow our own food so We do not rely on shops and we could form network with other communities to exchange goods.
My anxiety would be how my insecurities about myself might manifest themselves within a community settings: How do I come across? Have I offended people? Do people like me? etc.
For more Information on Laura and Activism against Climate Change:
Laura’s website: https://ethicalwrites.co.uk/
Laura’s blog : https://lordible.wordpress.com/
Extinction Rebellion Website : https://xrbrum.org.uk/
Laura’s blog on Extinction Rebellion Website : https://xrbrum.org.uk/2020/is-the-earthshot-prize-really-necessary/
Interview completed by Marion and Cara