It takes a village…

group-thumbnail1There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and in many cultures this task is done within the extended family. In the UK however, it is increasingly rare to be surrounded by a close community with whom you share your day to day life. Branching Out – a group at Speedwell Children’s Centre that I facilitate – offers a place where people can come together to be themselves, whatever that might mean on any particular day.


It might be that people want some time just for themselves to enjoy a break. It might be that people talk an issue through with others and get some new perspectives. It might be that people celebrate their successes or share their hopes and dreams for the future. It might mean being creative together – making maps, books and banners. Or it might be – as in these sessions – building a village of cardboard houses.


People are very willing to share ideas and help each other in this group, and in this way their houses became more detailed and beautiful than they might have first imagined.

People made some wonderful designs with balconies, fences, gardens, shutters and attics.

We have some great cooks in our group, and our sessions are often fuelled by delicious treats people have made. These are little brioche flavoured with orange zest and vanilla.



When we had finished the houses we took them out into the garden.


It was very enjoyable to put the houses all together in our imagined village.

It looked very handmade and friendly – just the sort of place we would like to live.

Everyone seemed to really enjoy making their house. Here is a downloadable pdf that gives a basic method for you to make your own house from a cardboard box. You could make the house you grew up in, the house you would like to live in or you could put several houses together and create a village like we did.
You can download the pdf here