Category Archives: common house news

Common Ground Festival

Common Ground: bringing community initiatives and activist groups together for fun and action filled afternoon

The Common House is co-hosting a street festival on Middleton Green, together with Teesdale & Hollybush TRA and Phytology from the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve.
We are going to bring what happens inside community spaces outside – ‘Common Ground’ will be a one-day party with stalls, music, talks, performances, workshops and games on Middleton Green, acting as a chance for connection between local community groups, spaces and people.
We are hoping to enable local groups and organisations to connect with the communities and individuals who live in the immediate area, so that we can meet each other and build community in the local area.
Learning how much is going on within community spaces behind closed doors is inspiring, so we hope Common Ground will facilitate more chances for encounter and sharing. The opportunities to share skills and resources will help work towards building a local network of spaces that can support each other in different ways.
This event will be free and open for all to attend, and all of the activities put on by each participant will be free.
The festival will take place on and around Middleton Green and we will provide some covered spaces in case of rain.
Two accessible toilets will be available, a compost toilet at Phytology which is on Middleton Street, and in Keddleston Community Centre, E2 9QT.
If you have any accessibility needs or questions please get in touch

Supported by Mayor of London’s Culture Seeds.




Contributors include:

Swadhinata Trust, Teesdale & Hollybush TRA, Nightsniffing: Bats, Data and Development, Rocky Park Community Garden, Phytology, Queer Kickabout, Earthlings, United Voices of the World, London Renters Union, Screen Printing, Feminist Fightback, Concrete Action, Art and Aroma, Positive Money Tower Hamlets, Non Violent Communication, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, Radical Towels, St Josephs Hospice, Fuel Poverty Action, Green Anti-Capitalist Front, Contact Improvisation, Catwalk4Power & ACT UP London Women, NELMA, Sam Berkson Slam Poetry, Facepainting/Bubbles/Henna

Middleton Green


Teesdale & Hollybush TRA – painting of the day, map making of where people have come from
Common House – Information about the Common House alongside pay by donation / freecycle shop
Alpona (Swadhinata Trust) (also known as rangoli, in west india, chowk in north india, kolam in south india and alpona in east india).
Alpona is an art form originating in india, dedicated to decorating floors, here i have adapted it to creating templates that celebrate the patterns from all corners of india so that people can colour them in. in indian cultures, all guest and visitors occupy a very special place, and alpona is an expression of this warm hospitality. therefore indian festivals are widely celebrated with alponas, as people visit each other’s homes to exchange greetings and sweets.
Art and Aroma –  Fragranced room spray making workshop, and selling fragranced room spray with essential oils
Screen Printing Workshop & Info Stall (London Renters Union) – Join London Renters Union to screenprint t-shirts with empowering slogans for renters. This will be a fun and creative way to engage with the public and raise awareness about LRU and renters rights.
Positive Money Tower Hamlets – Sharing leaflets and booklets, offering information and answering any questions about how banking and the economy works and what we can do to change it.
Nightsniffing: Bats, Data and Development (Cliff Hammett) During the day, there will be a stall exploring the relationships between bats, datasets and regeneration. Then an 8.15pm there will be a bats-data-development walk. The walk will consist of a combined exploration of bats, development and gentrification, with two devices:  heterodyne bat detector to find bats with – and London development datasniffers to find planning data with.
Non Violent Communication – Stall for offering empathy. If there is interest we can demonstrate some simple grounding tools that people can use and ways of holding connection to ourselves and others. These are best offered in the context of a full workshop though where people can try these new skills out and practice them. Offering empathy using some simple connective language. Using feelings and needs cards to help identify these feelings that arise and what they may be signposting to. This is not a workshop or counselling environment, so this would be a light and brief introduction to what could take longer to explore. It usually lands as an enriching and rewarding experience.
Contact Improvisation –  Join us for an introductory session to basic principles of contact improvisation! CI is a playful improvised dance form, that takes from martial arts and dance. During the session we will warm up into our bodies which will lead into a few exercises exploring momentum, weight sharing and balance. The session will be taking place outdoors in Middleton Green and will be facilitated by Mira and Luc.
Green Anti-Capitalist Front Info Stall – The Green Anti-Capitalist Front is an alliance of groups and individuals united by a belief that capitalism is one of the core causes of the environmental crisis threatening us all, and that if we do not act soon the costs of that crisis will fall on the poor and powerless.
Radical Towels – Radical Tea Towel fundraiser for Phone Credit For Refugees
St Joseph’s Hospice Stall – We would like to run an information stall and talk to people about the services available to the community and what support people could receive from us and how everyone could get involved in helping people with life limiting conditions to live their lives to fullest.
Dementia Friends Workshop (St Joseph’s Hospice) – A 1 hour dementia friends information session that is an interactive session to help people to be more aware about dementia and become a dementia friend.
Catwalk4Power & ACT UP London Women – A stall providing info about the issues on women and HIV and how to get involved
Climate Justice at Home (Fuel Poverty Action) – Conflicts between climate and social justice are nuanced. What is best for the climate is not always best for people. In our day to day lives, these conflicts are best understood in the home. Green tariffs can be the most expensive, the imposition of much needed insulation can be dangerous, and energy efficiency can become a punitive measure. Let’s skill-up about fuel poverty and the perils of greening the home, to continue the work for genuine climate and social justice.
Sam Berkson – Slam Poetry; Sam Berkson is a poet, published by Influx Press. He has been running live events with Hammer & Tongue since 2005, part of the biggest network of slam poetry in the UK and performed at festivals and venues including Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall. He hosted a show on NTS radio for 5 years.
Reclaim the Hides Birdwalk – Reclaim the Hides radical bird walk are like an outdoor Ted Talk, where we take a gentle stroll around a local park while exploring the examples common birds set us when it comes to solidarity and cooperation
United Voices of the World
Concrete Action
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
Queer Kickabout

~ KIDS ~

Facepainting – Supernova Faces
Giant Bubble Making

In and around Bethnal Green Nature Reserve with Phytology:


Earthlings – Poetry Trail around the gardens, with evening poetry readings & feast, + workshops and activities. Trail Map by Soofiya.

Join us for a creative treasure trail around Bethnal Green’s amazing community gardens. So many hidden stories and treasures to discover – the trail will begin at the LADA / Simple Gifts garden > Middleton Green > Rocky Park > Keddleston community Centre + surrounding gardens > St Margaret’s House > Bethnal Green Nature Reserve

Nature Connection Workshop (Shaira Begum),

Henna (Hafiza),

Billboard making workshop (Saif Osmani),

Mobile Apothecary tea and wellbeing stall (Shumaisa Khan and Melissa Moore)

Feast by Fadi Sultagi Bethnal Greens

Reading corner (facilitator tbc)

Mobile Apothecary – Herbal tea and wellbeing stall

Calling all radical groups looking for a home!

The Common House is looking for new members! If your group is committed to challenging oppression and exploitation, building movement infrastructure and a radical, inclusive organising culture then in touch.

We offer very low (and no-) cost meeting, organising, and co-working space for grass roots groups from across London. Suggested donations are £5p/h or £1.25 for co-working based on 4 groups sharing. All we ask if that you help us keep the doors open somehow: cleaning, helping make decisions, fundraising, sharing skills…

For groups who are time poor but still want to use Common House, then we have a sliding scale based on what you can afford.

Sound any good? Get in touch:

Common House Folk Fundraiser

On Saturday the 23rd September The Common House will be throwing a folk fundraiser with food and merriment in aid of both us and another radical London based community, The London Catholic Worker.

The London Catholic worker is a community of destitute migrants and Christian activists who live together under the principles of community, hospitality and resistance. Half of the proceeds will be going towards supporting them.

The event will kick off at 5pm at 49 Mattison Road, N4 1BG, and will showcase trad and folk musicians, as well as opening up for jamming and open mic.

As this is a community accommodating vulnerable people, this event is strictly no alcohol and will be finishing up at 10pm sharp.

See you there for tasty musical fun times and solidarity.

Facebook event here


What’s next for Common House – we’ve got plans, come get involved!

The Common House Emergency Crowdfunder is now officially OVER! Sit down, kick back, it is done. We’re thrilled to have made it to £15,300, with the generous donations of 355 supporters. This will make a huge difference – it means we can stay open and keep providing space for so many great projects. Thank you all so much!

But this is just the beginning – everyone’s donations will take us through into June but we want to continue far beyond that. At our next Common House Assembly on 10th September, we’ll look at how Common House is structured and how we can make it not just sustainable, but more open and accessible to crucial causes, marginalised communities, and low-income people. Following this, we will have a special weekend 23rd- 24th September, which will feature an exciting musical fundraiser night and opportunities to get involved with the space in new ways. Watch this space.

In the meantime, if you’re able and willing, the Friends of Common House scheme is still open, where you can make a regular donation or one-off to keep Common House going:

Thank you again to everyone who contributed to the crowdfunder, made lots of noise about it, and helped us out in so many ways, big and small. Keep on commoning!

With love and solidarity

The Common House

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – Save the Common House crowdfunder extended by a week

Exciting news – has offered us an extra week to get towards our target, and we’ve decided to accept! So we’ve seven more days to make one make one last push, and help to ensure the future of Common House and the many great projects it supports.

Thank you to everyone for all your support and help so far – we’d never have got here without you! Please keep spreading the word.

To donate, please go here:

And in case you haven’t seen it already – here’s our video!


Save the Common House! – what a commons makes possible

Over the last two weeks we’ve been showcasing the projects that make the Common House their home, and in turn make the Common House possible.

Please support our emergency crowdfunder so these and other projects can continue their amazing work!

SAVE THE COMMON HOUSE: Emergency Fundraiser

Save the Common House crowd funder banner

The Common House is running an Emergency Crowdfunder!

The Common House is part-funded by a generous grant that pays a substantial portion of its rent. We’ve recently learned that this grant will end in September, leaving the Common House with a major shortfall. We have generated ideas for how to make the Common House sustainable in the long term, but September is fast approaching and we need some emergency funding in order to implement them.

In a city where social space is increasingly private, we have been carving out a common space shared by a wide range of groups and projects. It is a space where individuals and collectives can meet, come together to share skills and ideas, support each other, heal, grow, and use our shared experiences to support political action for social, economic and environmental justice in East London and beyond.

Please support us and spread the word!

Fundraiser for CRIBS: support for babies in Greek refugee camps

May 30th: 7 pm

The Anarchist Federation is organising a fundraiser for this refugee solidarity group. One of our comrades in AF Manchester has been working with this group for some time and is coming to tell us something about the group and the issues of refugees in Greece. We will be providing food and drink for donation as a way of raising funds. Please support!

Here is a description of the group from their website:

CRIBS started as an initiative by several independent volunteers who had been working in the woman and baby space in a camp near Chalkida, Greece. The idea was born (quite literally) with baby Ahmed, whose mother required an emergency Cesarian section. Clearly, sleeping on the dirt floor of a tent was out of the question for a woman recovering from major surgery, and alternatives needed to be found for during this crucial recovery period. While Ahmed and his mother were very kindly put up by a local family, the isolation from the rest of their family was difficult, and they returned to their tent earlier than ideal because of this. With approximately one in ten refugee women pregnant and the Cesarian section rate in Greece at an astonishing (and we don’t mean that in a good way) 70%, it was obvious that a mum and baby flat would be a useful thing.

ATF SPECIAL: Nappy Printing and Healthcare Cutting

Nappy printing workshop flierMums, dads, carers, kids and friends! Join Autonomous Tech Fetish at the Common House for an afternoon of making our own nappy cloths prints using the freshest monthly maternity statistics, while discussing the latest healthcare reforms in maternity services.

May 6 @ 11:00 am4:00 pm at the Common House

Nappy Printing and Healthcare Cutting – full details

May Day Warm Up + Social!

Come one come all for a nice get together before May Day hijinks. We will be putting on food and selling booze, meeting old friends and new, and generally hanging out.

Date: 30th April at 6-9pm.

Facebook event here

See y’all there.

p part y2