Action 4 Botton

Young co-workers add their voice in support of Delrow and Botton communities

7 October 2014

Young co-workers (young guest volunteers) from two CVT communities, Delrow and Botton, have written to the management to describe their concern about the ongoing changes. Camphill households usually consist of a number of disabled residents living with long-term co-workers (often a family with children) and one or sometimes two young co-workers. These households are perfect mini-communities that the young co-workers enjoy being part of, where they are mentored by long-term co-workers and contribute with great enthusiasm, much to the benefit of the villagers. CVT is planning to run these households with young co-workers only in future, with employed staff visiting during the day to carry out tasks according to support plans. Other CVT communities like Delrow, the Grange or Oaklands Park have already been restructured in this way, causing the loss of community and family life, whilst Botton, the first and the largest Camphill community, is only at the beginning of such a process. The Botton letters were signed by over 20 people, the names of which we have decided to withhold.

As you can see from the direct experience of the young co-workers of Delrow, where CVT's plan has already been implemented, considerable concerns have been raised regarding the stability of the household, those they support, community cohesion and the negative effect this has had on their own experience of being in Camphill. These co-workers (often young people directly from school) have contributed hugely and their presence is greatly valued and necessary in Camphills world-wide. This step of removing the long-term life-sharing co-workers leaving only short-stay young co-workers places a significant burden of responsibility on them and could really be seen as an abuse of their goodwill. This is also clear from the Botton letters, which also document the inconsistencies of CVT's plans and that young co-workers are not prepared to cover houses should their long-term co-workers be evicted.