Action 4 Botton

Botton's CVT Manager prevents learning disabled people from speaking to the BBC

The BBC One TV programme Look North had asked officials of the charity Camphill Village Trust (CVT) to pass on an invitation to the learning disabled residents of Botton village so they could speak directly to people who are affected by the dramatic changes to their homes and community. He refused to do so, and BBC reporter Carla Fowler was not allowed to film inside Botton village but instead had to film outside. The Danby Vicarage offered a safe place where one villager, who clearly had the capacity to do so, was able to talk about his wish to live with the Co-workers as they have been able to do up to now. Another young man was happy to be interviewed in his mother's home. CVT Chief Executive Huw John, who also features on the BBC news item, demanded to know the names of Co-workers who supported the villagers to speak to the reporter.

The next day all Co-workers supporting the Botton Declaration were stripped of their community management roles. We also noted that, instead of coming to talk to the people of Danby at the public meeting to which they had been officially invited, CVT personnel observed it and took photographs. Other personnel watched in the car park at Botton as community members set off to go to the meeting.

In the words of the BBC reporter, "the Camphill Village Trust has told Look North to stay away from Botton Village and they denied us permission to film with any of the residents inside." This contrasts with one of CVTs commonly used phrases that “the people we support are at the heart of all we do".

Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

You can watch the clip on the BBC website