Hamilton House was a vacant and neglected office block for many years. In 2008 the owners, Connolly and Callaghan invited a group of friends to create a centre for the community. Ever since, Coexist has been working hard to create a space in which the community can grow, share, collaborate, and learn what it is to live in coexistence with each other.
We have grown organically and will continue to do so, open to respond to what is needed by the community within and without the building. Our direction and action has a single purpose – to support innovative solutions for all. This means personal, social and collective, within and without the space we facilitate, and for current and future generations.
Hamilton House currently hosts over two hundred building users as a part of this vibrant community, including: painters, designers, illustrators, textile designers, environmental groups, charities, music agencies, festival organisers, radio stations, animators, film and music producers, community groups, social enterprises, upholsterers, weavers, costumiers, record labels, dance groups, alternative therapists, career advisors, consultants, architects, fashion and accessory designers, street artists, writers, puppeteers, jewellers, photographers, clown troupes and all sorts of food, arts and health activists.
We are open seven days a week offering community space, meeting rooms, events and exhibition spaces. We also run the Coexist Community Kitchen, InAlignment Dance Studios, the Wellbeing therapy centre. The Canteen and Bristol Bike Project can be found here, you can rent studios or offices, or join our co-working/hot-desking community in the Hamilton Hub.
Come along and see for yourself…
Coexist would like to thank everybody who has supported Coexist since its conception and especially our partners Connolly and Callaghan for continuing to support the Hamilton House project to achieve its long term social, environmental and financial sustainability.
Coexist is a social enterprise, setup as a community interest company based on a philosophy of open hearted and active engagement. We empower members of the community on Stokes Croft to lead its development and have incubated new creative projects and social businesses from conception to sustainability. We believe that the successful and much needed regeneration of our community is sustainable only if the growth is organic and from the bottom up!
Coexist believes in being the change we wish to see in the world. We don’t think this is a hard task. In fact we are seeing that it can be done. We are all already entirely capable of innovation, of clarity and to effortlessly coexist with ourselves and each other. Each of us is a pioneer. Each of us has a unique contribution to the whole. Each moment is ours to make the most of. Here, coexisting naturally, we see that together we are capable of so much.
Coexist create spaces that best provide for the community.
Coexist – To live or exist together at the same time or in the same place.
Create – make possible, offer, rent, facilitate, bring about, connect up, introduce people to, inspire.
Spaces – rooms, places, areas, events, projects and connections – real time, virtual, indoor, outdoor, political, cultural, financial, social.
Best provide for – hold the space safely and responsively so communities can come together, explore and innovate for the most basic and ultimate needs that support the community as a whole in relation to; Food – Energy – Innovation – Creativity – Health – Transport – Economics – Built environment.
The Community – us, everyone in the building, everyone in the local area, those who are interested in the diverse program of activities.
We remain open and find ways to be more open to new communities: people who could benefit from the activities of the building.
Coexist is based on grass-roots leadership. This is not an ambiguous term. It means that every individual is the leader they are looking for in order to bring about harmony in their own lives and in the lives of others.
Every individual is capable of empowering themselves and others to act from a disposition of equanimity and benefit.
Leadership in Coexist is there to serve what the community wants not to dictate what the community should want – we create projects in response to community demand and those who self-elect to be a part of it.
To be creative is the act of doing something original that has value. This is a key tool and strength of Coexist. We approach situations and people with creativity, open to our own and that of others. We have the freedom to respond and solve situations creatively to achieve our core purpose.
Every interaction, every conversation, activity and meeting can be conducted with open heartedness. It is so powerful to be in a debate and remain open hearted, listen totally, let your own ideas and thoughts freely evolve – be inspired and enriched by others. We relax and realise we can be open hearted because we understand everyone.
Coexist’s structure is one of support not superiority, it is built on a culture of self-responsibility and co-inspiration. We support each other in tasks, in play, in life.
We support the whole community through all our activities and communication.
In our manner, speech, activities, building, writing – we are accessible and work towards making it the case.
Responsibility not blame
We view situations as opportunities to learn and find solutions for moving forward, not to find blame looking backwards. We can learn on the fly from situations, sharing and incorporating this learning into our lives. We have compassion for ourselves and others.
We take responsibility for our selves, our ideas and actions.
The safety and security of the community (internal and external) is paramount. We ensure that all activities and events are held and delivered responsibly.
We respond to situations as they arise even if this simply means acknowledging a situation. To ensure effective responsiveness we can ask for help from our team members with prioritising tasks. We respond to one and all equally, whoever they are.
We all input. Solutions are formed through individuals openly offering suggestions to the collective wisdom. We remain open to how our individual contributions might be used by whoever is responsible for decision-making. Those who take on this responsibility approach the process with openness and can always ask – what is best for the mutual success of all?
Environmentally and financially sustainable
We look for the solutions that best provide – in quality, responsiveness and longevity. Everything is as sustainable as it can be in line with what is best for the community.
Coexist remains open to all and plans its activities to be as inclusive to all as possible, if there are areas of the community who are not accessing positive services we look at ways to include them, naturally, in ways that they would appreciate and benefit from.
If we see a problem in the running of Coexist we are empowered to find a solution and suggest it to the management team.
Innovative solutions arise when we are able to go beyond all ideas, even our own.
We see every limitation as a potential to improve the workings and effectiveness of the organisation, and we step up to implement that.
All problems are a direct line into the solution. Our activities are constantly producing solutions. If someone is complaining we invite them to propose a solution, if we get stuck we ask for help to see the solution.
Listen to this audio documentary, produced and edited by Jake Wittlin, about the story of Coexist and Hamilton House in Bristol.
facebook.com/RamajamrecordingsMr Babilla – Unforscene
Taken from the album ‘Return of the Wob’.
unforscene.bandcamp.comGolden Sand by Cécile
(taken from Ten Past Twelve. ℗ & © 2015 Cécile Cailleau. All rights reserved.)
Find out about Coexist’s Pioneering Period Policy here.
Coexist CIC needs to retain and process certain personal information about its customers for the purposes of administration and management. Coexist is committed to ensuring confidentiality is maintained and is aware of its legal obligations with regards to storing and sharing information under the Data Protection Act 1998.
What information do we collect?
We collect information from you when you register on our site, fill out a form, or contact us for an enquiry. We may collect the following information:
- Name and job title
- Contact information including email address and phone number
- Demographic information such as postcode, preferences and interests
- Other information relevant to customer surveys, events, and mailing lists
What do we use your information for?
We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better
service, and in particular for the following reasons:
- Internal record keeping
- Contractually for any space hire or use
- We may use the information to improve our services and events
- We may send promotional emails about special offers, events, or other
information we think you may find interesting, to the email address which you have provided. If, at any time, you would like to unsubscribe from marketing lists, you will have the option at the bottom of every email received
How long do we store your information?
We will retain your information for 6 months,
Controlling your personal information
You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the
- Opt-in boxes for marketing emails. For those we have contracts with there will be an option to opt-in to our marketing newsletters we will send via email.
- If you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct
marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by emailing us at email@example.com
We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties without explicit permission.
We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which we think you may find interesting via our newsletters.
Users have the right at any time to know whether their personal data has been stored and can consult Coexist’s Data Manager to learn about what information we hold on you. If you believe that any of the information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to us as soon as possible and we will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.
How do we protect your information?
We have implemented appropriate technical and organisational controls to protect your personal data against unauthorised processing and against accidental loss, damage or destruction. Unfortunately, sending information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data once with us, we cannot guarantee the security of any personal data sent to our site while still in transit and so you provide it at your own risk.
This policy applies to information we collect via our licensee or room booking agreements. This includes forms that are embedded onto our website, including our marketing form and room booking form. It also included anyone signing up to our mailing list via our website.
We work with several third parties each of whom have updated their privacy policies to comply with new GDPR. If you would like further information on who and where these parties are please get in contact.
By entering into a contract with us we have a legal basis for collecting and storing your personal information.
Owner and Data Controller
Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY
Owner contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coexist really helped me to get my courses on “Art for the Afraid” up and running in Bristol. They have been so supportive, allowing me to use their beautiful community arts space at a very reasonable rate, and offering lots of advice and enthusiasm. I’ve felt very much part of the community since moving to the area and starting up work here as a teacher and an artist; all the folk who work at Co Exist have been so friendly, approachable and full of encouragement for new ideas and projects. It really feels as if anything is possible here!Emma Burleigh (artist)
As Sing With Soul Choir takes a break for summer I’d like to thank you for your support and encouragement so far. We’ve seen you show up at performances, sing our praises to your friends and happily hand out leaflets. We couldn’t have better cheerleaders!
A magical place where dreams come true. Inspirational and creative environment with committed, supportive and loving staff. XxxButzi Schlaadt (fashion designer)
[Community Kitchen Coordinator] Ari and her team were so helpful and accommodating in planning our French pop up cafe opening. Working with the children they showed patience, enthusiasm and a real passion for their craft. The children we given fresh ingredients to make delicious French recipes from scratch and the food they made was absolutely delicious.
Everyone was buzzing from the opening with many teachers and parents saying how it was the best thing they’d ever been involved in and I know our children will remember their French op up cafe for many years to come.
Thank you Coexist!