Our first two homes

A one-bed home for John, and a two-bed for Toni + her daughter

Toni and Amancia

A 2-bedroom home for a young mum and her daughter

Toni is one of WeCanMake’s pioneering residents, living in one of our first two homes. She is a young mum who likes photography and taking care of her garden. Her daughter Amancia is three and enjoys counting and jumping on beds. 

Toni and her daughter were living in the spare bedroom of her parents’ council house. They needed more space and a place of their own, but finding anything affordable was proving impossible. Toni’s parents came to a WeCanMake community event. They had a large garden and thought the approach could work for their daughter’s situation.

Toni was involved in every stage of the planning and co-design of her home, including helping to fabricate and assembly the parts in our community micro-factory, and working on site to lay the floors, paint, and plant the garden. Her new home has helped Toni to establish her independence while still having family close by to help with childcare. 

Build info


Complete June 2022
Size: 2 bedroom single storey home (61 m2)
System: BlokBuild OSB timber cassette system
Cladding: Larch
Energy: 100% electric, solar panels and air source heat pump
Architect up to planning: White Design

I was living with my daughter, at my mum and dad’s. Space was quite cramped. It was hard. I couldn’t imagine how we could ever get a place of our own. I’m so proud I’ve helped make a home for me and my daughter.

John’s home

A one-bedroom home

John is an ex-bricklayer, who after splitting with his wife was experiencing homelessness. He works as a groundsman for an environmental charity. In his spare time he loves cycling, going to live music, and volunteers mending bikes for a local youth charity. Bill lives with his son Liam in a council house. He’s a former goal-keeper, loves sci-fi, and is a keen cook. Liam loves Bristol Rovers and his PlayStation. Due to ill health, Bill was struggling to maintain their large garden.

Through our open community participation activity, which includes open call-outs, social meet-ups, and hands-on workshops and events, both John and Bill got involved with WeCanMake. John and Bill were supported to explore if the WeCanMake model would work for their situations, which included a facilitated match-making process.

Bill and Liam opted in to transferring some of their garden over to the WeCanMake community land trust, for a low-carbon, locally-made WeCanMake home to be built and rented at an affordable rate by John. For Bill, getting a smaller more manageable garden while also helping someone else to get a home of their own was a win-win for the family.

With a traditional construction background, John was able to put his skills to use and get involved in the process of building the first two homes, and has put his own stamp on his house by kitting it out with DIY salvaged furniture. You can listen to John tell the story of how he got involved on the WeCanMake Chatshow podcast here. As well as getting involved in various part of WeCanMake since we first met John many years ago, he will work alongside us as we begin the construction of the next batch of homes.

I’d just finished a messy divorce and was a single dad. John was in a similar situation and I thought I would try to do something good for the community. I’ve been homeless and it isn’t the greatest thing in the world. To give someone the opportunity to have a home was a good thing. It was just nice to be able to be nice to someone

Bill, resident of the host home

We are literally building our community from the bottom up. That’s the most important thing to come out of this – it’s given me ownership of my community. It’s giving people different choices, better choices about how things can be. And it feels like it’s only the beginning.

John, resident of the WeCanMake home


  1. Complete June 2022
  2. Size: 1-bedroom single storey home (44 m2)
  3. System: BlokBuild OSB timber cassette system
    Cladding: Larch
    Energy: 100% electric, and air source heat pump
  4. Architect up to planning: Studio Bark