The Vivarium Trust was given the opportunity to hold an exhibition in the Scottish Parliament over a three day period in March 2012.
We set up a stall in the Garden Lobby area with banners, posters, leaflets and other display materials and were able to meet and talk to over 40 MSPs from all parties, and a similar number of staff and other contacts. We were able to explain what Co-Housing is all about and what Vivarium is trying to achieve. We reminded MSPs of the Scottish Government’s recently published Housing Strategy for Older People (Age Home and Community) which refers to Co-Housing as an innovative housing option for the future and draws attention to Vivarium as an interesting case study.
The response from those approached was almost universally positive with many MSPs showing great enthusiasm for the principles of Co-Housing. These contacts will be followed up where appropriate. We were happy that we had succeeded in enhancing awareness of and support for Co-Housing among key decision makers.
Our exhibition was sponsored by our local MSP, Roderick Campbell, SNP member for North East Fife, to whom we express our thanks. The opportunity to hold exhibitions is part of the Scottish Parliament’s policy of openness and inclusion. The stall was manned by six members of Vivarium – Cecilia Titchmarsh, Clare du Boulay, Senga Bate, Grace MacDonald, Ben Bate and Hugh Hoffman.