A group of 15 squatters in Lower Clapton, Hackney, are organising community events to engage with their new neighbours, the first taking place on Valentine’s Day.
The group, who call themselves the Mothers Square Squatters, took over Maitland House on February 1. The property was used as a care home from 2011 to 2013, before being sold to Trilogy Property Ltd for £1.5 million in early 2014.
The house development is named after the former Salvation Army hospital for poor and unmarried mothers.
Mothers Square Squatters say that it is important for people to share a sense of a community.
Community activist Adam Yunj has been squatting for 3 years. He said: “Primarily squatting is a way to deal with living in a city. We have the space, we are all very community focused, whenever we had the space we tried to collaborate with local people. A community meeting on Sunday night with 25 people attending brought up a lot of interesting ideas to further develop: such as running our own coffee shop, library and even a charity shop.”
On February 14, the community in Mothers Square will run workshops from 6pm to 10pm and are inviting locals to participate for free. The events will include yoga, tango classes and raw-chocolate making.
Video by Jamie Jo Whelan and Anna Scepetilnikova