On The Brink Community - Who we are!
Meet some of the lovely people who make up our cohousing community. We are not identikit people, but we do all believe in similar things when it comes to ecological and social values and playing an active part in our local community.
As a cohousing group we share a lot of things including cars and bikes, most tools and appliances, communal spaces within the building and a large impressive garden. We also enjoy regular get-togethers, creating the garden and hosting community events.
Aejaz is an engineer, designer and researcher developing technologies for disability. His work spans academia, industry and the health service. Although he has lived and worked internationally for much of his career, he has found a community in Sheffield that he can always call home.
Catriona chose to move to OTB because she wanted to live more closely with other people whilst sharing resources and living a more interesting life. Cohousing is definitely interesting! Catriona works with vulnerable adults and she feels that the growing movement of cohousing is one answer to the problem of loneliness and isolation that so many people face in our communities.
Jeremy is an artist, Principal Lecturer in Media Arts and Quality lead at Sheffield Hallam University. In his spare time he is a keen climber/cyclist and walker enjoying being out in the landscape. He makes and collaborates on short vfx films, 3D projects, multi-screen installations and photographic work.
A recent collaborative project https://www4.shu.ac.uk/mediacentre/walk-speed-light-new-mobile-app-sheffield
Jane worked with post-16 students with special educational needs, reaching the pinnacle of her career aged 26 and then progressing downwards. She specialised in working with people with sensory disabilities and specific learning differences, meaning that she knows how to swear in BSL and deafblind manual alphabet. Now in semi-retirement, she is a zero hours contract Assessor of Study Needs for the Disabled Students’ Allowance for HE students. Jane is happiest when OTB kids are marauding through her Flat and is looking forward to the new kids in the pipeline. She is putting her head in the sand about the ‘teenage years’
Lisa is living the dream at Brincliffe House. She was advised by her aunt, then living in a care home, to start looking for people to live alongside, to try to make a home where life was fun and where people looked out for each other and the planet before it got too late. On The Brink looked like an answer. Lisa is a retired nurse whose career was mainly spent, very happily, working with people living with dementia. She now enjoys being a grandmother, singing as often as possible with a number of choirs and small groups, voluntary work with a variety of organisations, a stained glass class, sculpture workshops and making jam.
Mariam has lived in Sheffield intermittently since 2006, having now finally settled here to raise her young family. She is a full time employee of Danyal and Raya incorporated and part time linguist. Previous adventures include many travels, some exciting documentary film projects in Pakistan and a production at “The Globe”. She hopes at OTB she is part of a community that will live the change they want to see in the world - and it’s been a promising start.
Jo is an artist, researcher and lecturer. She is undertaking a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University and is a Research Associate at MMU. She loves dancing and making fires and sometimes runs up and down hills for fun. Not her own cat.
Kate is a founder member and Chair of On the Brink. Her quest has been to create cohousing in the community of Nether Edge where she has lived for 25 years - 4 years later, the vision is now reality! Kate’s working life has been with the voluntary and community sectors including economic and community development in regions and neighbourhoods. In Sheffield Kate set up a strong and successful network of Out of School clubs across the city and was a member of many citywide strategic partnerships. In long gone days Kate was a member of Red Ladder Theatre and she still enjoys event management and facilitation (being bossy some might say)!
Martin is a musician & teacher who taught in a mixed-needs special school for many years in south London, where he still has a base. His musical journey has taken him from classical beginnings through modern jazz, to Eastern European Balkan and Klezmer, recently studying at Plovdiv Academy in Bulgaria & SOAS in London & working as musical coordinator with London Gypsy Orchestra. He particularly enjoys and is inspired by, the ‘song/ dance based’ community aspect of music-making. He’s a keen cyclist, swimmer and hill walker, and hopes that On The Brink will flourish and develop in ways that can bring us together as a community with vision & purpose.
Sharron is a musician, composer and writer inspired by landscape, folk traditions, surrealism and magical literature. Her musical projects include solo work and collaborations with artists, academics, poets and other writers, and she enjoys a balance of solitude and shared endeavour, in work and in leisure. As well as her musical projects, she is currently working on a book on heightened or 'magical' experience. Some favourite things: singing, trees, foxes, owls, cohousing, walks, books, coffee, moonlight, flea markets, exploring. www.sharronkraus.com
Jeannie Feminist socialist. Likes words, mostly written. Loves dancing.
Charlotte joined On the Brink in the early days, she has lived in shared houses and was part of a group that set up the Women's Housing Coop in Sheffield back in the 1980s. Originally from Kent she came to Sheffield with her son in 1977 only intending to stay for six months! She made her living as a plasterer and later trained as an Occupational therapist as a mature student. She then joined the NHS and worked mainly in dementia care and supporting unpaid carers. On retirement she walked with her sister across Spain, carrying everything they needed. She realised she need to change her life, to downsize to get rid of ‘things’ and live in an intentional community. OTB has given Charlotte that opportunity. Charlotte sings in Outaloud, Sheffield's LGBTQ+ choir, she enjoys many creative and fun projects and looks forward to OTBs growth and development.
Tom is a product of the baby boomer generation. The son of refugees fleeing the holocaust he has all along enjoyed the benefits of the welfare state (free orange juice, vitamins and a decent pension). After what seemed like a lifetime working in the two greatest British institutions (The Open University and the NHS), he is dismayed at their being undermined for ideological reasons. Co-housing is an opportunity to take part in a social experiment with like-minded people. He is looking forward to the next phase of life together with the Brinkies, bicycles, vegetables, fruit trees, grandchildren and chickens.
Rose is an artist, Senior Lecturer of Fine Art and PhD scholar in the Cultural Communications and Computing Research Institute (C3RI) at Sheffield Hallam University. She is a board member of Bloc Projects and a member of the Artist Advisory Board for Making Ways; Sheffield. She makes short films, multi-screen installations and photographic works most of the time, on occasions she makes a nice damson cheesecake.
We are a young family who enjoy having adventures with the rest of our community. Between us we care about cars, playing in the mud, books set in magical worlds and social justice!