16 December 2017 - Happy Christmas to all our wonderful donors and supporters. Action for Botton and the Esk Valley Camphill Community (EVCC) would not have been possible without you. And Botton without our resilient co-workers would be completely lost. Here is our latest newletter with updates and more. There are two versions:
- This is the lower resolution version, which loads quickly.
- This is the high resolution one, with sharper photos but it takes a little longer to load.
SUBMISSION BY BOTTON VILLAGE FAMILY GROUP (BVFG)
North York Moors National Park (NYMNP) Planning Policy Review – 2017
29 November 2017 - The BVFG is a group of 90 family members of Botton Village residents who have been actively campaigning on behalf of their loved ones in Botton Village since 2011. This is a general statement of shared views and proposals with regard to the current Planning Policy Review. It relates to a planning application by the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) to make alterations to Botton Village referred to as the 'Masterplan'.
Please find the BVFG submission by clicking here.
15 June 2017 - Well folks. The sun is out, the grass is ris, You must wonder where the mediation is? Well there is an answer in our newsletter, though not a rhyming one.
We hope that it all comes to a happy conclusion before too long. AfB as you know remain committed to seeing the mediation through and campaigning has been suspended for the time being. We remain circling however in a holding pattern but ready to soar back into action, just like the grass and the birdies, should needs must.
In this Midsummer newsletter, we offer also an update on the latest activities of the Esk Valley Camphill Community from Jonathan, Mark and Marcello. We offer some more memories on two of the most dedicated Camphillers its been our privilege to share life with, Chas and Marta. We have also some notes about a wonderful Buddies’s wedding and of Chas's second son Francis's wedding who was brought up in Botton and Ringwood but now lives on the delightful Isle of Wight.
This issue includes some pictures of Botton Village old and new. Guess which ones are from recent times.
An AfB newsletter would not of course be worth its digital space were we to fail to bring you entertaining news of CVTs latest plans to create their particular avowedly non-Camphill version of new heaven and a new earth in dear old Danby Dale. Will it be heavenly, earthy even….or..
Click here to read the Summer Newsletter
As we enter Spring we still await the outcome of mediation and are honouring our commitment to the Co-Workers and other claimants in the High Court Action not to campaign against CVT during the mediation process. Like Spring it does all seem ‘a long time coming’ but we live in hope. An update on progress is provided in this newsletter.
This issue of the AfB newsletter features the first two of four tributes to two of the most significant figures to have been involved in Botton and Camphill in the post-Roth era, Marta Frey, who I first met in Tourmaline in 1975 when I visited Mrs Koenig, and my dear friend and Camphill hero, Chas Bamford, whose untimely death was a deep shock to us all, but not un-related to events arising from regime change within Camphill Village Trust.
From the tributes you will recognise the life of the old Camphill, and the commitment of these two wonderful individuals to the founding principles of the Trust and the shared living and caring that it brought to pass within the lives of so many, which was its cornerstone. Some will say that this is in sharp contrast to what has come to pass. Others would say that the changes that took place were inevitable. Were they?
The spirit of Camphill in its original form thrives in Scotland, with the full support and encouragement of the legislature, as elsewhere around the world. And I have included in this edition a piece by Dave Mitchell of Loch Arthur which shows the old Camphill Way determinedly facing the challenges that lie ahead.
Here in England, history will judge whether the new CVT, whatever their stated reasons for changing the communities they manage, have made a terrible turning or not. I am personally in no doubt that they have. Is Botton a better place than it was twenty or even ten years ago? I don’t think so. If you went there all those years ago you might even have been fortunate enough to see Marta or Chas in action, selflessly helping others and promoting the cultural life of the community and everything that went with it. Compare what it is like now with what it was like then. And if you were not there before, talk to those that remember.
Brendan Quayle, Chairman
Please click here to read the Newsletter (it is a large file so may be slow to load).
Our dear and lovely friend Chas Bamford, who many will know from his many years at Botton, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at home in Stroud on December 9th, at 2.30 pm. Continue reading ...
30 October 2016 - After a little while of silence, however not inactivity, we are pleased to share with you our latest Newsletter. Please click here to read it in full.
July mediation update
21 July 2016 - Dear Friends, here is the agreed statement from the latest mediation meeting. “The Camphill Village Trust and claimants from the Botton, Delrow and Grange communities are pleased to confirm significant progress was made towards a final settlement at the most recent mediation session held last week. Continue reading ...
Some good news at last - the Danby Health Shop
27 April 2016 - On 1st April, Botton Camphill Community purchased a health shop in the neighbouring village of Danby. Here is their announcement Continue reading ...
Mediation joint statement, February 2016
February 2016 - Representatives of Co-workers and families from Botton, Delrow and the Grange Camphill communities (the claimants) have just had the third mediation meeting with CVT representatives, and have produced the following joint statement for publication. Continue reading ...
Newsletter from AFB Chairman Neil Davidson
January 2016 - Please click here to read the latest AFB Newsletter.
All-Party support for the Vocational Camphill Model at Botton
December 2015 - An Early Day Motion - No 249 - filed this Parliamentary session which supports the preservation of the proven Shared Living Community model at the Botton community for the learning disabled near Whitby has won support from over 40 MPs drawn from every UK political party. Continue reading ...
"A Shared Life is a Healthy Life"
December 2015 - "How the Shared Lives model of care can improve health outcomes and support the NHS." It's official: Shared living is good for you! After Botton's GP recently presented data from his longstanding practice demonstrating impressive health benefits of the Camphill way of life, a brand new report by Shared Lives Plus lends further support to the enormous health benefits for people with learning disabilities. In a foreword, Simon Stevens, Chief Exutive of the NHS, welcomes the approach as offering people the best chance of long-term health and resilience. Such very significant endorsement must give comfort to our co-workers who have been speaking and standing up for this approach for a while. Please click this link to access the report.
The Camphill Village Model
November 2015 - In the context of new legislation, the Care Act, and the UN declaration there is renewed interest in models that people actually want, that offer living together with others, in real shared homes, living in (the) community. It goes without saying that Camphill has been a leader in this field since decades and has acquired a degree of experience like few others in the sector. Equally like few others, Maria Lyons has a knowledge and understanding of Camphill and has applied her excellent research skills to produce this literature review and discussion of the benefits of living in Camphill community for people with learning disabilities. Published by the Centre for Welfare Reform, her paper is balanced and carefully argued and will be essential reading for anyone caring for people with learning disabilities. Please click this link to access the report.
Action for Botton Chairman Neil Davidson voted Community Champion 2015
2 November 2015 - Retired solicitor Neil Davidson, who lives in Glaisdale, has been voted 2015 Community Champion by the readers of Coastal View and Moor News magazine and website. Neil was nominated for his work as chair of Action for Botton, an action group established last year to ensure both the preservation of shared living at the Botton village community for the learning disabled ... Continue reading ...
Action for Botton Newsletter October 2015
AFB Chairman Neil Davidson comments on encouraging developments in the mediation and shares the latest joint press release after further mediation talks on 22 October 2015. Click here to read it.
The Botton Village Camphill Community (BVCC) Association
3 October 2015 - The Camphill community in Botton Village has been celebrating its 60th Birthday this year. In this year we have also renewed our intention to continue and develop the work of Dr Karl König, who founded our village in 1955, and his vision of a community where people with and without learning disabilities share their lives, work together and celebrate cultural events.. Continue reading ...
Joint statement by CVT and Claimants
5 October 2015 - “A senior team from the Camphill Village Trust and claimants in the legal action against the charity met on 30th September to discuss the future of Botton Village. The discussion was open and frank and both sides felt that progress has been made in a helpful spirit towards a mutually acceptable solution. In particular it was agreed by both sides that work should begin immediately on exploring a shared lives or personal budgets model. It was agreed that Caroline Tomlinson, an expert on the shared lives model and a pioneer in introducing Personal Budgets, should be appointed to help the claimants explore the feasibility of introducing these models within a number of houses in Botton. Caroline, who enjoys the confidence of both parties, has agreed to undertake this task. Both sides acknowledged that many hurdles needed to be overcome but agreed to work together to support a successful outcome.“
Ways forward for Botton's Camphill community
25 September 2015 - We have been fairly quiet in the recent months, since we agreed with the charity that what CVT saw as negative campaigning would pause during legal mediation. We are now half-way through this process, during which the claimants, co-workers and parents and their advisors, have been busy exploring options for shared living to continue in Botton. The charity has facilitated presentations by Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, and Caroline Tomlinson, a national expert in personal budgets. Both have been very helpful, the discussions are positive and we feel we are making good progress. We will soon be able to provide you with further information about the developments. In all this we are always aware of and grateful for the immense support you are providing us with, morally and financially!
Please find here a summary of the two presentations.
Choice for Intentional Community and Shared Living
15 September 2015
Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster
Papers, videos of talks and handout now available following the link.
A parliamentary presentation on the benefits and methods of Shared Living and Intentional Community for the support of learning disabled adults.
Shared living and intentional community are demonstrably components of the most successful models of support for learning disabled adults, and deliver tremendous value. Many of these models are under threat unnecessarily to the detriment of both the learning disabled and the wider community. Continue reading ...
Action for Botton Chair nominated for regional community award
23 July 2015 - Action for Botton chair Neil Davidson is being nominated as a candidate for the annual Community Champion award organised by Coastal View and Moor News magazine. Continue reading ...
Mediation settlement agreement in High court case
4 July 2015 - In the battle for the soul of the Camphill communities there is now a light at the end of the tunnel and it's not an oncoming train! For those of you who have followed this saga and have supported us, our teams ended two days of legally binding mediation with the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) at 3:00 am (!) on Thursday morning with an agreement which, while not perfect, made significant steps in the right direction. There is now real hope that we can recover some of what has been lost. Continue reading ...
Camphill Families and Friends Charity supports shared living way of life in CVT communities
1 July 2015 - Camphill Families and Friends (CFF) yesterday issued a powerful statement supporting shared living and the way of life in Camphill communities, restating their “huge appreciation for the co-workers, employed or not, and what they brought to the lives of the people being supported.” Continue reading ...
Another Good CQC Report for Life-Sharing Co-worker Community at Botton Village
4 June 2015- The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) latest inspection of the Botton Village community (carried out on March 19th) has been published today showing the care to be classed good in all categories measured, as it has been for all bar one (2011) of the last sixty years. Historically Botton has been run as a shared-life VVC (Vocational Volunteer Co-worker) community, globally recognised as the gold-standard for care of the learning disabled. Continue reading ...
Why are they doing this?
1 June 2015 - We have just exposed the catastrophic cost-explosion in the Camphill Village Trust under the management of CEO Mr John, which again raises the question that so many have asked so many times: "WHY are CVT doing this?" This letter http://bit.ly/1FoDbqV from a parent offers a glimpse behind the scenes and some context to the disastrous decisions of CVT in the recent years. Furthermore, we reproduce a commentary by a relative a longstanding Botton resident offering further analysis and similar conclusions. Continue reading ...
Changes to Charity Operational Model Exposed as Uneconomic and Inferior
29 May 2015 - Top accountants confirm CVT’s switch away from its original Vocational Volunteer Co-worker (VVC) Model has already reduced Frontline Services by 13% and costs nearly twice as much to operate. Meanwhile separate figures show increased cost to taxpayers by 3000% through in-work benefits. Continue reading ...
Charity Commission grants permission for legal battle over Botton, Delrow and Grange communities to go the the High Court
28 April 2015 - Charity Commission grants permission for the legal case supported by Action for Botton and your generous donations to proceed to the High Court as intended. This is good news for the 23 claimants - Co-workers and relatives from Botton, Delrow and the Grange communities - and the many supporters of their cause from within the communities and from far away. Continue reading ...
Local election candidates face questions at Danby Hustings
17 April 2015 - With support from UNITE and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, in the form of a parliamentary motion, and with the Labour and Lib Dem local candidates pledging their support last month to the campaign, UKIP candidate Sam Cross has now also pledged his support for the campaign. Continue reading ...
CVT's misinformation corrected
9 April 2015 - On this page we offer clear and simple evidence that corrects the statements made by the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) and their new PR firm in relation to their reasons for enforcing the controversioal changes onto its communities. The thrust of CVT's argument is that various authorities have forced them to abandon the tried and tested and most popular life-sharing model where vocational co-workers live together with disabled people in freedom. The evidence presented here shows that it was in fact CVT's choice, they have not been forced. Continue reading ...
See also our April 15 Newsletter for more information.
Shared living arrangements temporarily preserved at Botton
2 April 2015 - Campaign group Action for Botton has confirmed the shared living arrangement of Villagers and Co-workers at the Botton community has been guaranteed for the next several months following an agreement reached today (1 April 2015) at the High Court with Camphill Village Trust (CVT). Continue reading ...
The Heart of Botton - shared living has been saved for now but at a cost
By Neil Davidson, 2 April 2015 - Botton is under virulent attack and at the High Court on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week much was given up to save the heart of Botton, which is and has always been the relationship and life-sharing between the learning disabled Villagers and the Co-workers. If an application had not been made by 9 parents and Co-workers then on April Fools Day the 1st April 2015 CVT would have ended 60 years of sharing and caring by preventing the Co-workers from carrying out the support for the Villagers and moving to execute the Notices to Quit served upon each Co-worker. Continue reading ...
Charity representative fails to show up after Councillors’ invite them to public debate
25 March 2015- A requested representative of charity Camphill Village Trust (CVT) failed to appear this morning before North Yorkshire County Council’s ‘Yorkshire Coast and Moors Area Committee’ for a debate on the crisis at Botton Village. Representatives of the Botton Village Camphill Community and Action for Botton attended along with interested members of the public and Assistant Directors for Adult Social Care Operations Anne-Marie Lubanski and Mike Webster, who were invited from Council headquarters to answer the questions from concerned community members. Continue reading ...
Bishop Tom Butler on the Botton Village community - 19 March 2015, Thought for the Day - BBC Radio 4
Thought for the Day
High Court puts temporary stop to proposed dismantling of learning disabled residents’ homes
13 March 2015 - An order obtained by Bindmans LLP temporarily halting the far-reaching and controversial changes being made by Camphill Village Trust (CVT) to the living arrangements of three of the learning disabled residents of Botton Village – a community administered by CVT – was made by the High Court. Continue reading ...
Questions raised in the House of Lords about the forced restructuring of Botton Village as the Action for Botton campaign continues to gain political traction
13 March 2015 - Following the petition last month presented at Downing St by learning disabled Botton residents and now with over 30 concerned MPs of all colours writing to David Cameron, and other government departments, Baroness Hollins has highlighted the plight of the community at Botton Village with reference to the pervasive mis-application of the Mental Capacity Act in a speech this Tuesday. Continue reading ...
Packed Public Meeting attended by local Labour and Lib-Dem candidates - Botton Campaign now in a crucial phase
10 March 2015 - Supporters of the campaign group Action for Botton have been told that their fight against changes being imposed by the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) had reached a crucial stage. Neil Davidson, the group’s chair, said: “Our battle now moves to the Courts and legal action on several fronts is underway. We have only got this far thanks to your hard work and generosity and with the volunteer Co-workers now facing eviction from their homes we have certainly reached a decisive moment.” Continue reading ...
4 March 2015 - Dear friends and neighbours of Botton Village -
From the other end of England I write as Chair of The Mount Camphill Community, on behalf of our trustees, co-workers, staff and Association members, to send our warm support for the efforts of so many people in defence of Botton Village. Continue reading ...
4 March 2015 - As a prelude to an application for an injunction and High Court proceedings, campaigners have issued a Letter Before Action over worrying governance issues within the UK’s 60th largest charity. Continue reading ...
Heartfelt pleas to charity leaders
28 February 2015 - Supporters of Camphill and Botton for decades, Brendan, Nicole and Catherine urge CVT to reconsider their strategy and eviction plans. Knowing Botton and why it became so attractive and successful, they warn CVT of the disastrous consequences of pushing on with their current approach regardless - their operation was succesfful but the patient is dead. We suggest you read their letters in full.
In their letter to Felicity Chadwick-Histed, Chair of the Board of the Camphill Village Trust, Brendan and Nicole Quayle, write:
“It is wholly in your power at the present moment to step away from this willful godforsaken process of hurt, malice and destruction in which you have engaged. Do so before you bring Camphill Botton to its knees and further deepen the mire of controversy into which the Camphill Village Trust has stepped and may remain for many years to come. Once again, we ask you to withdraw the eviction process immediately and re-engage with the Co-Workers and their chosen representatives to determine a way forward that is actually coherent with what everyone else - except yourselves - recognise as Camphill.” Continue reading ...
In her letter to Frances Wright, Catherine van Dam writes:
“I urge you Frances, before it is too late, to reappraise your actions, use your influence positively to ensure that the Camphill Spirit (in its truest sense) continues to thrive in Botton, so that it may offer a beacon of hope and inspiration for many more generations to come. Show compassion and understanding to the remaining co-workers and their reasons for resistance. In doing so you will recognise that the real hope for Botton lies in the strength that mounts such a resistance and the personal sacrifice these co-workers are prepared to endure for worthy and nobel ideals.” Continue reading ...
27 February 2015 - Campaigners are alleging that Camphill Village Trust’s (CVT) insurance cover has to be hastily re-arranged. For years the insurance provision for all Camphill charities in the UK has been arranged by the Camphill Insurance Agency, which was set up by the Association of Camphill Communities (AoCC). This month, however Camphill’s insurance broker has separated the insurance of non-CVT communities from CVT in order to sustain the beneficial premium rate for those other insured members in the remainder of the Association’s membership. Continue reading ...
24 February 2015- A party of learning disabled Villagers, supported by their Co-workers, from the Botton community near Whitby (North Yorkshire) are taking their grievances directly to the Prime Minister. Today Tuesday February 24th at 3.15pm they will present a petition - which has been organised and signed by the Villagers themselves – at No 10 Downing Street. Continue reading ...
Botton residents take petition to 10 Downing Street
Botton campaigners pay Prime Minister a visit
Easy read leaflets
22 February 2015 - The Camphill Village Trust (CVT) has distributed a new easy read leaflet for the villagers in Botton. The following comments are in response to this leaflet. We are concerned that it distorts the truth and influences the opinions of Botton’s disabled residents. We conclude that CVT is trying to present a perpetrator as a victim and that CVT has a protectionist approach to a member of its team. Continue reading ...
Camphill Village Trust serves EVICTION NOTICES on Botton's Co-workers
20 February 2015 - The Camphill Village Trust has sent Notices to Quit to over thirty Co-workers in Botton. Continue reading ...
Our Botton Spring
Botton update - 18 February 2015
18 February 2015 - Letter from Botton's co-workers to families.
Calls for Independent Accountant's Review to Clarify Worrying Changes to Charity’s Annual Accounts
17 February 2015 - Many voting members of the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) charity have been awaiting clarification of the questions raised during a stormy AGM last December about CVT’s latest set of accounts which included financial re-statements for the previous year. On behalf of CVT, Company Secretary and Finance Director Mark Barnish promised that they would address the assorted costs questions raised by concerned stakeholders separately after the AGM in order to keep the agenda moving on the day. No response has been received to date clarifying the questions raised. Continue reading ...
Disabled residents of Botton Village deliver their petition to Charity Headquarters and the Council
10 February 2015 - Villagers and co-workers delivered a petition signed by over 70 Villagers AND another letter signed by over 80 Parents AND the statements of support by over 3500 supporters, together filling nearly 150 pages A4. The Camphill Village Trust (CVT) only took one of the petitions and ignored the 128 remaining pages, which in the end were, beautifully presented with a ribbon and flower, left on the doorstep of the CVT office by one of the villagers. Continue reading ...
Trustee Resigns Amid Controversy over Charity’s Conduct - cites fundamental breach of founding Steiner ethos contained in the Memorandum of Association
9 February 2015 - The first casualty of the controversy surrounding the activities of the charity Camphill Village Trust (CVT) is the shock resignation last week of its last Co-worker Trustee Ian Bailey. It is very clear from his resignation letter that changes planned by the CVT Trustees and being implemented by the charity’s senior management have rendered Mr Bailey's position untenable. Continue reading ...
Channel 4 News - Dealing with learning difficulties: the perfect model under threat?
4 February 2015 - Channel 4 News visits and reports on Botton community and changes imposed by CVT. "The Camphill movement was set up in the 1940s so learning disabled people could lead fulfilling lives alongside long term volunteer carers. But stricter care regulations following recent scandals have lead to bitter disputes in Camphill's flagship community - Botton village, North Yorkshire. And some fear change spells an end to what makes Camphill special."
Watch the clip and follow the discussion on the Channel 4 Facebook page.
Watch the clip and read the accompanying article on the Channel 4 website.
CVT's Property Consolidation Strategy
22 January 2014 - No more doubts. This is the Camphill Village Trust's (CVT's) shocking master plan for the eviction of Botton's co-workers and their children, the social cleansing of the first Camphill Community for adults in Botton Village, in the year of its 60th Birth-day! For CVT officials this is about 'their' property, not people - the 'beneficiaries at the heart of all we do'. This document specifies which learning disabled villager will be moved to where in order to isolate the longstanding vocational co-workers so they can be evicted or otherwise removed. The strategy document was prepared CVT's Mr Hegarty in Botton on 24.12.2014 - during the mediation process. To comment on a typical CVT use of words, not 'many' have signed up for employment with CVT, only 9 or 10 have, and 38 co-workers are holding to the ideal of a Camphill community.
Co-worker letter to families about the property consolidation strategy, 22.1.2015
The CVT's "Property consolidation strategy - Botton Village", 24.12.2014
Co-worker letter to families in response to CVT e-mail, 23.1.2015
Joint Statement by representatives of Botton, Delrow and The Grange Camphill Communities
7 January 2015 - It is with great regret that delegates from Botton, Delrow and The Grange Communities who attended the mediated discussions with CVT representatives at Emerson College 8-11 December have to announce that the dialogue begun on that occasion has come to a halt. We believe the opportunity still exists for CVT to take the initiative to rescue the useful work that has been done in recent weeks, if it is willing properly to acknowledge our genuine concerns and our genuine wish to help to resolve the problems that now confront us all. Continue reading
Action for Botton regrets failure of mediation initiative but vows that the campaign will continue
6 January 2015 - Campaign group Action for Botton regrets the failure of the recent mediation talks between Botton, Delrow and the Grange Communities and the Camphill Village Trust. Essential elements for mediation would not be committed to by CVT, and Action for Botton together with Alliance for Camphill have vowed that they will continue their campaign to fight drastic changes being implemented by CVT at the three communities. Continue reading
Season's greetings from Action for Botton
21 December 2014 - Our sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported the Action for Botton cause over the past months. Your kind and encouraging words and financial contributions to our campaign have been a clear determining factor in our success. Our ambition may, in the beginning, have seemed like an impossible struggle against an unequal power with access to money, media, proxy votes and legal advice. Now, over six months later, we are still here, growing in confidence, resolve and support. We feel privileged to be working with the co-workers in Botton Village. Their continued commitment to the villagers and the vision of their community remains inspirational and gives us every reason to stay by their side in the coming year. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas. May the New Year bring us all Peace, Joy and Success.
UNITE supports Co-workers in their struggle to keep Botton's way of life
21 December 2014 - We welcome a public statement of support for Co-workers from UNITE, with over 1.4 Million members Britain's biggest trade Union. "Unite backs a struggle to preserve a unique village where adults with learning disabilities and co-workers share their homes and work together. In doing so, Unite also wants to unionise and represent co-workers and paid employees at the village and the many other UK sites owned by the charity which runs it." Continue reading
Action for Botton welcomes support for Three Communities from the Camphill Association (AoCC)
7 December 2014 - We welcome the decision taken by members of the Association of Camphill Communities (AoCC) at their recent Emergency General Meeting (EGM) to offer full support to the Botton Village, Delrow and The Grange Camphill Communites in their struggle to continue operating in line with the founding principles of Camphill. At the well-attended EGM on 3 December, the first one called in the history of the Association, three resolutions were passed with overwhelming majorities. Continue reading
"We have been misled by CVT!"
1 December 2014 - HMRC and Treasury confirm that the vocational co-worker status is still legal. It appears that CVT caused all this pain and damage based on a false premise. Who will be held to account?
“It is now obvious that the CVT approached HMRC to establish if their co-workers were employed or self-employed, totally ignoring the fact that co-workers are vocational workers and that the existing Agreement between HMRC and the Camphill Association establishes that fact.” Continue reading
Update: Camphill Co-worker was evicted on false premise
27 November 2014 - The latest Private Eye reports that there was no safeguarding case to evict co-worker Mark Barber. Safeguarding is an important principle that needs to be applied with consideration and proportionately, but this case highlights how CVT has used it for political reasons, to evict an individual who opposes the views of the charity.
Camphill Association refutes CVT tax claim
25 November 2014 - AoCC: Co-workers are NOT employees. The Association of Camphill Communities (AoCC), the body representing the 61 Camphill communities in the UK and Ireland, strongly refutes CVT’s claims regarding the tax status of co-workers.
“It is important to make it abundantly clear at the outset, that co-workers are vocational workers and no contractual or legal relationship exists between a co-worker, the community and the charity”, writes Dave Mitchell, Chairman of the AoCC in his letter of 21 November to member communities. Continue reading
Charity Commission says it cannot rule on whether CVT is in breach of trust
21 November 2014 - The Charity Commission has insisted that it cannot rule on whether the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) is upholding the principles of Rudolf Steiner embedded in the Camphill movement. In its latest response to lawyers it also clarifies that its decision not to launch an inquiry into alleged breaches of trust by CVT does not imply that the charity is acting in accordance with the principles of Rudolf Steiner as set out on the charity's governing document. Continue reading
Alleged harrassment and misuse of safeguarding and capacity legislation by CVT managers
14 November 2014 - The Camphill Village Trust (CVT) once again barred the BBC from speaking to disabled Botton residents, who therefore made use of their right of free speech (which also applies to people who are disabled) in the nearby Vicarage for this film. Villagers, disabled or not, who do not like the changes have no voice in the CVT, a charity that has become accountable to ... nobody? Continue reading ...
New 'We are Botton' page by Botton's Camphill community
Botton Co-workers are introducing their Village and themselves on a new Facebook page. Please click here to view this.
Malicious attempt by CVT to evict Botton co-worker
27 October 2014 - Private Eye, The Northern Echo and BBC Look North have reported on what we regard as a mailicious attempt by CVT to evict a Camphill co-worker from Botton village. CVT has issued a statement on its website denying all allegations. Continue reading
The 'Beacon for Botton'
26 October 2014 - Some 300 supporters of the campaign group Action for Botton braved strong gales this Sunday evening to light the Danby Beacon – a prominent North Yorkshire landmark near Whitby. The event provided a focus for supporters as they continue to fight drastic and unnecessary changes being imposed on the community by the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) management. It also marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the charity’s original memorandum and articles - inspiring a movement which has resulted in more than 100 Camphill communities around the world. Continue reading
Failure of Leadership
21 October 2014 - Reviewing the decisions and methods of CVT, Action for Botton concludes that trustees have failed to show prudent and inclusive leadership causing this crisis engulfing the Camphill Village Trust. Continue reading
Parents of Delrow, the Grange and Botton concerned over changes
- The Grange parents wrote to the CVT
- Delrow parents wrote to the CVT
- Botton parents wrote to the CVT: Walker, Francis, McEwen, Faulkes 1, Faulkes 2, White, Wilson and Knight
Having scrutinised CVT's actions in great detail over the recent years, White, Wilson and Knight are in a position to conclude their most recent letter to CVT's chief executive Huw John with the following statements:
"In justification of your ultimatum to co-workers you say:
- The HMRC will only consider them to be employees – which they don’t
- The Charity Commission require them to be employed – which they haven’t
- That the Memorandum can be widely interpreted – which it can’t
- That you always have the best interests of our relatives at heart – which you don’t
You are deliberately misrepresenting the facts to drive through your destructive agenda."
Mr John also gives the misleading impression that a growing number of parents are supporting CVT's reforms. We can confidently say that this is untrue. Already at the parents meeting before Open Day in July an overwhelming majority opposed the CVT's plans (see below, 5 July 2014). Since then, many more have joined a group that now has over seventy named parents and relatives of Botton Village. They simply want to ensure that their relatives can continue to properly live with co-workers and enjoy the genuine longterm relationships with their co-workers, as they know and trust them to care for and support their loved ones. They feel that this friendship, community and committment are what they have come to Botton for, and feel betrayed that CEO Huw John and his team would take this away from them.
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 profound concerns about the ongoing changes and their effects on the lives of the villagers, the people needing support. Continue reading
Interview on BBC Radio
2 October 2014 - Listen here to a BBC Radio Interview regarding Botton with an appeal to CVT to pause and talk to co-workers and other stakeholders before making substantial changes to the community.
'Action for the Grange' goes live
29 September 2014 - Please also show support for and solidarity with other CVT communities where the elimination of vocational Camphill co-workers is already well advanced: Delrow, the Grange and Oaklands Park. We all want to preserve the co-worker life-sharing model and the autonomy and self-direction of Camphill communities, and are therefore working together to further our joint aim. Visit the new website for Action for The Grange.
Call for 'Three Communities Convention'
27 September 2014 - Co-workers and relatives of three CVT communities - Botton, Delrow and The grange - are inviting stakeholders to a meeting with the aim of finding a way out of the current impasse affecting their communities. Many still feel their voices are not being heard in the current restructuring program and that the characteristic and much valued Camphill community and household model is being eroded. The intention is also to give villagers a chance to express their feelings and preferences about this question and how they wish to live. The convention will be an opportunity for the various views to be presented in a safe environment and to understand the needs and wishes of others better. It is an invitation to join an inclusive, collaborative and creative process of formulating a positive way forward for the three communities. This initiative also comes with the support of national and international Camphill bodies.
Open Letter - 'Three Communities Convention' - Botton, Delrow and The Grange
International Camphill movement supports co-workers
26 September 2014 - This week two international Camphil organisations have expressed their support for the co-workers who want to uphold the Camphill principles and values in Botton Village. Since then, many others have supported this urgent appeals, which we want to share with you. Continue reading
- The Camphill Village Trust of Norway, representing the 6 communities in Norway
- The Camphill Association of North America, representing 11 communities in the US and Canada
- The Core Group of the Camphill Movement Group, representatives of the worldwide Camphill movement
- The Camphill Northern Region Association, representing all Camphill places in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Latvia
- The Camphill Middle European Region, representing France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland
- The Camphill Communities of Ireland, representing 18 communities in Ireland
- The Board of Directors of Camphill Special School, USA
- The Loch Arthur Camphill Community, Scotland
- The Association of Camphill Communities (AoCC) in the UK and Ireland
- The Lantern community, UK
- Anthroposophical Society in America SE Pennsylvania Branch
The tax issue: controversial changes not inevitable
25 August 2014 - On 13th May CVT trustees wrote a letter to co-workers and families stating that community members will have to become employees of the trust, or leave the community. They refer to an opinion obtained from a tax expert the previous month that appeared to leave them no other option. However, we can now say that this untrue. Continue reading
The candlelit vigil for Botton
17 August 2014 - Just occasionally an event becomes a living symbol of something that