Vivarium Trust
Vivarium Trust


An interesting seminar in the early days of Vivarium






Our seminar on 6 March was a great success. Over 60 delegates from a wide range of organisations across Scotland and further afield (including a dozen or so Vivarium members) assembled at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline for a day of presentations, workshops, discussions and informal exchanging of information and ideas.


The main presentations were:


1.         Co-Housing: Background, Developments and Benefits

Maria Brenton, Founder Member, UK Co-Housing Network 

2.         The Vivarium Trust – Over 50s Co-Housing Pilot Project

Hugh Hoffman, Chairperson, The Vivarium Trust

3.         National Housing Strategy for Older People - An Overview - and Co-Housing's Fit with its Priorities

Angela O'Brien, Team Leader, Independent Living in Housing Options and Support Division, Scottish Government

4.         A Housing Association Perspective - Working in Partnership

Bill Banks, Development Director, Kingdom Housing Association

5.         The Need for Change - Ageing, Social Isolation and Choice

Lesley Riddoch, Broadcaster and Journalist


Three workshops gave delegates the opportunity to discuss and contribute to the following themes:


1.         Health , Wellbeing and Taking Control

Facilitated by Maria Brenton (UK CH Network) and Jim McCormick (JRF)

2.         Partnership Working and Developing a practical and affordable model

Facilitated by Scott Kirkpatrick (Kingdom HA) and Grace MacDonald (Vivarium)

3.         National Strategy and Innovation

Facilitated by Amanda Britain (JIT Associate) and Hugh Hoffman (Vivarium)


In addition there were question and answer sessions and plenary discussions; as well as much informal discussion and networking and an excellent lunch.


Overall the seminar went very well, with a great deal of interest shown in the event and much positive feedback from delegates (both formally and informally). The presentations were all highly informative and thought provoking, even inspiring. The only minor criticism from delegates was that they would have liked the day to have gone on even longer!


We were pleased that so many relevant issues were raised and were delighted how well the speakers were able to present their own areas of interest and expertise in a way that related directly to Vivarium and to Co-Housing. The talks stimulated a great deal of reaction and discussion and as organisers we felt that many significant comments and suggestions were forthcoming, both from speakers and from the audience, that we can learn from as our plans continue to progress in the future. Learning was definitely a two way process.


Thanks are due to a number of people and organisations. Jim McCormick of Joseph Rowntree Foundation was an excellent chairman who ensured that everyone who wished to contribute to discussions or ask questions had an opportunity to do so; while at the same time keeping the day more or less to timetable.


JRF must also be thanked for their financial contribution towards the costs of the event. Other sponsors whose support was much appreciated were Awards for All and the Tudor Trust. Vivarium members assisted with stewarding, taxi-ing and general administration on the day.


The seminar was planned, organised and delivered by the hard-working trio of Aileen Tulloch (Development Trusts Association Scotland) and Grace MacDonald and Senga Bate, both of Vivarium, who all deserve our heartfelt thanks for bringing the seminar to fruition and providing everyone who attended with such an informative and stimulating day


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