Action 4 Botton

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"I support the Camphill model which has served so many - able and disabled alike - so well. Current government policies and structures are inadequate to 'police' the planned change to using employed staff to 'care'. REAL dedication, trust and mutual respect are the only guarantees of effective care. Moreover, only the current Camphill model allows a real community to develop and nurture its members." Ruth Campbell

"Why do people feel the need to change something that works well? Really hope you win the fight and the battle with the bureaucrats. Power to the people!" Stephanie Angell

"These are REAL families being ripped apart. Shame on you!" Meg Miller

"It would be such a shame to lose this unique aspect of the community. The danger is that it could have an insidious damaging effect on the quality of life of those vulnerable people who live there. Surely 60 years of successful communal interdependency is proof that the system works." Chris Cullen

"How very sad to think of this unique community going the way of other less enlightened institutions. Negotiations must take place to ensure that it can continue." Barbara Kipling

"Keep the candle on the hill burning brightly into the future - rage, rage against the dying of the light. Good luck Action for Botton in your quest." Simon Burdis

"I believe the shared houses at Botton are what make it special and are one of the best ways of helping vulnerable adults. Botton is a shining example of care for those with special needs and must not be lost due to present thinking on care (which in my opinion is anything but)" Diana Dowling

"I first knew of Botton in 1957 when I met my husband-to-be. His sister was a villager had been educated in Camphill schools. She died in Botton aged 57. We had a close association for many years & visited other communities in UK, South Africa , USA & Canada. What has always been a strong thread has been the commitment & dedication of the co-workers. They provide the lynchpin of the care for the villagers." Moira Brown

"I hope your action is successful. I agree with all the points raised in your leaflet." Anthony Brown

"Botton is too special a place to be altered in this proposed way. I have observed in other communities that a system with paid support workers does not work. The support workers are not happy and nor are the residents. I fear it will prove more expensive to run a care establishment with people working shifts. I hope there can be conversations between a transparent CVT and the Co workers so that a more appropriate solution can be found." Noelle Thornton

"As someone who for years has been sending a small annual donation to Bottam I am appalled. The whole ethos of the Botton community is the vocational volunteers who enable the handicapped to live in normal homes rather than a care home.This would be a disaster and destroy the very workings of Botton Village and others. How typical of 2014 that the trustees wish to destroy a system that is working so well." Richard Wilson

"What a shame that it has come to this! I volunteered for six months in Botton and found it to be such an inspirational place - I certainly didn't think it would be threatened in such a way. Too much red tape is getting in the way of what's really important these days ... how can anyone even dare to underestimate the impact living in a home, with the sense of family and friendship, has on someone, particular those with learning difficulties? The beauty I saw in Botton was that it was founded on true, caring relationships, seeing the villagers as humans and meeting their human need to belong to a community. Their confidence and independence was supported by the co-workers who live with them. You can't cut a community in half and expect it to thrive. Keep fighting Botton!" Kim Towells

"The village community is invaluable and has many factors like kinship, unity, and identity. Residents all benefit physically emotionally and spiritually and have a strong sense of community. Botton Village creates solutions, provides security and helps vulnerable people to meet changing individual needs and aspirations. It offers a real community atmosphere where everyone is valued as an individual. The community support helps to builds self-esteem and the independent living gives residents empowerment to enable them to acquire the special skills they need to be productive and self-sufficient. We strongly believe that to replace the volunteers with imported paid ‘managers’ to run the village like care homes would destroy the ‘community’ aspect of the village." Ann Aken

"This is an inspiring organisation, delivering wonderful care through truly dedicated and inspiring volunteers. And that is how it should remain." Anthony Fairbanks Weston

"I am with you in this struggle. The same thing has happened here at the Sheiling." Julian Coxon-Aristizabal

"I wonder why these trustees fear open, creative dialogue? If they fear that, then they are holding nothing in trust. They should stand down." Paul Levy

"Camphill communities are a special place in the world - and the world is moving more and more towards seeing the importance of this kind of "family" care. Please don't end this!" Elizabeth Hall

"I am writing to you to express my deep concern about recent developments in Botton Village. On 13th May, CVT presented Botton co-workers with an ultimatum: to accept employment (if offered), or to leave the village. Furthermore, it was made clear that the current life-sharing arrangement (in which our relatives are allowed to live together with co-worker families) could not be guaranteed by the charity under the proposed employment model. It is clear that Botton in any form recognisable as a community faces an existential threat. I am deeply concerned by both the manner in which this decision was made, and its potential implications for Lucinda R-J. A decision of this nature is clearly of the greatest importance for both the charity and its beneficiaries. However, it came without any consultation with the key stakeholders (residents, relatives, charity members or co-workers). To substantiate this drastic action, CVT cited tax advice which it is not prepared to divulge. What makes this step all the more inexplicable is that in a recent CVT-commissioned consultation of the stakeholders, it was precisely the co-worker / life-sharing model, which is now to be abolished by the charity, that was cited by residents and their relatives as the most unique and valued feature of Botton Village. The implications of this move by the Board of Trustees, are massive, and deeply worrying. I am aware that my own concerns are shared by a large number of the co-workers and relatives of Botton residents. Please will you  take our grave concerns to the relevant agencies." Yours gratefully, A R Nenadich

"To make such changes will most likely ruin the good work done over the years in the past! And put vulnerable local people at risk to themselves & possibly others." Bryan & Nancy Tichborne

" It is extremely unfair that a community such as Botton Village should be jeopardised by trustees, surely the trustees should have the best interests of those living and working at Botton foremost in their minds and actions, not their own." Alistair White

" ...villagers welfare and peace of mind must come before all else , why change things that will affect this, it,s not the right thing to do! Neil Bain

"As parents of a Botton villager we are witnessing first hand the distress caused by the bully boy tactics of cvt. The arrogance of cvt enforced management and the trustees themselves is both breathtaking and heartbreaking. It appears that the wishes of residents, families and co workers are of no significance. For them to say they have the well being of the most vulnerable at the core of their decision making is both disingenuous and dishonest. Well done to whoever had the foresight to start this campaign. The co worker model is essential to the core of Botton and the happiness and fulfilment of all who live and work there." David and Elizabeth Robertson

"I fully support the life sharing model at Botton village . Many people live meaningful, full lives there. It is a very valid and precious model of social care, not to be destroyed, but readily available for people to choose." Sylvie Roberge

"When you think of how many people have dedicated their lives to building Botton up to what it has become today. All the gardeners, houseparents, residents, bakers, teachers, farmers and so on who have created a special place for people to live in community together. One has to ask how can a group of trustees not respect how much love and care has gone into Botton - and ignore the wishes of the people who actively care for it? It seems the CVT model is wrong if they can impose something that surely is not 'Camphill', but an outdated and poor model that has failed across many institutions - hierarchical structures encourage people to take less responsibility, less consciousness and less dedication by their very nature. We hear a lot about efficiency, targets, but these do not create caring environments but stress as we see in the NHS and Education. There is always room for improvement and we cannot bring back the past - times are tougher. This means that we have to make an even bigger effort not to lose our humanity for the sake of all the people we come in contact with. Trustees need to build trust with the people who have shown their competency and dedication to their work - forcing decisions on them is not the way." Caroline Kelly

"I am in touch with two young women who live in the village and know how Botton meets their needs and how happy they are living there.I hope so much that a solution can be found to keep this vibrant community for the people who call it home." Jenny Luscombe

"I have supported Camphill Village Trust for many years but if this idea of getting professional carers into Bolton Village instead of dedicated volunteers, (which to me is absurd) takes place I shall have to seriously reconsider my position. It would just become any other care home with all the usual problems." Brian Gunton

"Just the way to live like a family day and night, coworkers, children nand older all everyone on the same table by the meals. Don't destroy the unique life of Botton Village!" G. Wennekes-van Brienen

"Please don't bring capitalism into every single area of life!" Krzysztof Zajaczkowski

"If it works - don't mend it! BottonVillage has been and is a huge success. Please do not put the happiness and wellbeing of its inhabitants at risk." Solveig Riis-Johannessen

"What a short-sighted idea. Why change a system that has worked brilliantly for many, many years. The whole ethos of Botton will change, and certainly not for the better." Mary Reeve

"There is a heart and spirit within Botton that must not be destroyed, it is crucial to act now…" Lucy Kaya

"What on earth are the CVT trustees hoping to achieve? It is baffling that the very organisation set up to nurture and protect Botton and its sister communities seems to be populated exclusively by individuals who appear to be hell-bent on destroying them, rather like the horrific scenario of a helpless child being abused by its own parents, with no-one to turn to but the very people who are abusing them. It is crystal clear that the course of action CVT is pursuing is to the detriment of all the current residents of Botton, bar none, as complete collapse of the community before very long will be inevitable if the proposed changes go through, leaving a ghost village on some very tasty real estate in the middle of a National Park. This will doubtless precipitate or accelerate the demise of similar care communities in the country. Who might benefit from such a scenario? Who indeed? So - what motivates CVT's head honchos to pursue their malignant neo-Stalinist destructive agenda like a snake slowly constricting the life of its prey? Is it for financial gain or the manifestation of some grotesque power struggle or what? There's surely more to this than merely complying with the diktats of regulatory bodies, tiresome though that may be." Marcus di Skrepantzy

"I pledge to support the residents of Botton from my heart. I am saddened by the bureaucrats who think they can steamroller everyone into submission. We all need to stand united and force this junta out and take hold of the helm ourselves. With the right knowledge and support we can keep Botton as it is and as it was intended to be by Karl Konig in 1954." Nick Wilson

"As the Director of a charity which, amongst other objectives, funds facilities for those who are disabled or are mentally challenged to enjoy the benefits of the countryside, I know at first hand the extra dimension which is given by volunteers who work with the disadvantaged. Because voluntary service is so often driven by love and compassion, it is of enormous value to those who are served by the volunteers." Peter Geldart

"This sort of project is quite unique and a really excellent way in which volunteers can really give something of themselves. This should be preserved at all costs and not turned into another one of those charities who so often seem to take far more out of the charity that them becomes tied up with unnecessary regulations. Please do not do this." Edward Champion

"Please do not destroy this special community which provides its residents with care and love on which you can't put a price." Mary Evans

"Keep Botton as a community run by volunteers" James Long

"I hope that I can preserve this great community with my voice! Many greetings from Germany!"

"Dear Botton Friends, It is with grave concern that I am following the developments initiated by CVT. I agree with your assessment that they signify a direct spiritual attack on the values and ethos of Camphill life. Please keep me informed. With love, wishing you strength and courage!" Karin Jarman

"The time I spent in Botton is still so present in me. I am grateful to have met such a community and I see that this is what is needed in todays world: a place of working together, of building and sharing." Kim Koster

"I think they do a wonderful job. I visited Botton Village a few years ago and was amazed at how friendly and happy they all seemed to be."

"My son is one of the co-workers. He works for virtually no remuneration what so ever. So does his partner. The love and care they give the villagers will be lost if the volunteer aspect is destroyed." Paul Long

"If the volunteer ethos is lost to the CVT, the villagers will suffer." Susan Long

"So all the Delrow people have either gone or are about to, what a shocking waste and disgrace. Let us know what we can do to help. Anything at all. Love and strength." Siobhan Porter

"Botton is a beautiful village and has wonderful kind and caring people, both residents and staff. I am an health and social care Assessor have assessed staff within the company to level 3 HSC, I must say they work hard to support villagers and are very passionate about Botton. Please keep Botton, the way this is! It works, it's growing independence, they're happy and cherish every day, minute and hours there." Lisa Lonsdale

"It is unethical to split up homes like this, have you even asked the residents what they would like?" Emma Goodall

"I think the trust is disgusting. We visit botton regularly for fairs and fetes. Why change things if they work so well. The families that live with and support these individuals are priceless." Aileen Chamberlain

"The methods used for so many years with great success needs to be kept. It is ludicrous to enforce these sweeping changes that will erode the groups integrity and ability to look after each other in a safe and caring environment. It smacks of a cheap alternative that is not as good and is more driven by convenience than true care ethics. Leave the system alone! It is successful for the people who are at the heart of this community. Stop meddling when there is no need to." Ruth Thompson

"I spent a year volunteering in Botton Village as a long term co-worker which was an incredible and rewarding experience for me. Changing the model of care would completely change the way in which the people in Botton live and interact with each other and I believe it should remain as it is. The current system provides individualised care through a familiar, small scale, personal community which is a way of supporting people that can not be paid for." Max Kimpel

"As an 18 year old I spent 8 months as a volunteer in Botton Village which was an incredible experience for me. I am now a qualified occupational therapist and have worked in other residential disability services which didn't even come close to providing the same level of care that I witnessed and was part of in Botton. Changing the model of care would completely change the way in which the people in Botton live and interact with each other and I believe it should remain as it is. The current system provides individualised care through a familiar, small scale, personal community which is a way of supporting people that can not be paid for." Lucy Browne

"I support the right for people to live in a way that is supportive and beneficial for them. The current situation is divisive and stressful for the community. Wishing you all the best in your campaign." Anne Du Chemin

"Botton deserves to stay just as it is. It was for me one of the best places I knew!"

"I really hope that this unique place stays the way it is. As a former co-worker I can tell that this is the only place I've ever been, where everybody could live in peace, worshipped for their abilities and needs. Every person, wheter with or without disabilities, was appreciated as the person he or she is. And living in a family is the most important thing a human being needs to be happy and to feel save. No employee can give u that kind of safety." Susann Fischer

"My husband and I were fortunate enough to visit Botton village a few years ago when our daughter was volunteering as a co worker. We were shown throughout the village and saw the various workshops, dairy, vegetable gardens, health care centre etc. Everywhere we went we met friendly, happy, and productive people . People were obviously treated with respect, dignity and love. We were really impressed by this thriving, working village.\r\nI am sad that proposed changes will drastically alter this village and that the volunteer and family aspect is under threat. I left Botton village feeling like I had visited a very special place and I am sad that we in Australia have nothing like it, or at least not to my knowledge. Why would anyone want to make such drastic changes that would undermine the core values of this wonderful place!" Sarni Moore

"Botton is an incredible community. It's inspirational." Katie Turner

"As a residential co-worker at Beaver Run (Camphill Special School) I know that live-in cohabitation between coworkers and residents can work, and be highly meaningful for all involved. It saddens me greatly that Botton Village is currently facing such difficulty, and I hope that resolution can be found. My thoughts are with Botton Village and all individuals in the community." Lizzie Hannaford

"It is a sad reflection of the world we live in that people have no understanding or sensibility for the value and healing power of community. I support your resolve to stand firm to maintain the fundamentally human values which lie at the heart of Camphill communities. Not just Botton but the whole of society needs them. Wishing you all strength." Liz Smith

"Do not destroy this wonderful example of peaceful and meaningful community-life. The circumstances that brought about recent problems need to be adressed and corrected. What is happening in Botton is the result of an administration that effectively restricts the possibilities to live independently and alternatively. In the long run this will take away choices for countless people everywhere on Earth, choices which in a free society are theirs to make. And with no benefit to the general public. Be it on purpose or by accident: If Botton's way of life is destroyed then someone has made a dreadful mistake! Go there and see for yourselves, as long as it's still there…" David Blum

"I have seen the wonderful work done by Camphill communities in our area. It is so important that the existing ethos is maintained, with co-workers caring for villagers in "family" homes. So many people have given years of their lives to work in these communities, and the results are remarkable. Please do not destroy this wonderful work now." David Middleton

"The Camphill movement shines a light in these dark times where so much care work is now quantified and privatised. The relationship and commitment of those Co Workers who devote their lives to working and living with those who may otherwise be institutionalised allows them to experience a real family life environment. I cannot comprehend why anyone would think it would be preferable to replace this relationship with one of employee. If there are problems with co-workers not meeting commitments or other responsibilities then these can be worked out using alternative means. The creation of separate apartments, employees and 'consumers of services' disempowers everyone, atomises everyone and can only serve to destroy the creative, healthy balance that now exists. The relationship of 'employee' does not mean anything beyond a straightforward economic relationship and the means to end the relationship for the employer. How very sad that those volunteers who have worked without concern for their own welfare and future in the belief for something 'better, holistic and caring' are being treated in such a way." Sarah Woolman

"Fight the good fight and maintain Botton as it is. Why change a good system that works." Mrs Imelda Delve

"I used to go to sing with our school choir at Botton many years ago and my best friend's sister actually lived there and loved it. It has been such a brilliant place and I cannot understand why you want to change it. More than that, people with learning disabilities find change much harder than others to cope with. This village is supposed to be for their benefit. I have much experience with people who have disabillites, such as the residents of Botton. I beg you to think again, because if you implement these changes I think it will be a disaster." Helen Kirsopp

"Botton Village is a place where everyone is treated with respect and equality no matter what their intellectual capacity or physical ability is. There is no place like it in the world , and if Botton Village is destroyed it not only will it affect all the people who live there but also their families, friends and people who would benefit from what Botton has to offer them in the future. As a former young co-worker within the village I was able to learn a lot about people who have disabilities, and how strongly they were benefited by all of those around them. Each person within the village, no matter how different they are has a place, not only within their house, but also within their workplace and within the broader community. This sense of place gives all of the residents a sense of pride and achievement and allows for them to go about their lives as joyously and purposefully as possible. All of the residents I had the privilege of getting to know were caring, loving people who ALL deserve to have a place to live which will allow for them to keep living their lives to the fullest. This can be done through the hands of all the caring co-workers who currently support and nurture not only the residents but all of the young-coworkers who come to volunteer in this amazing place. Please do everything you possibly can to ensure that Botton Village is able to have a future as bright as it has been in the past. Please let me know if any more help is required." Melanie Millington

"In our days the model of shared living is not understood in the general public although it could be a model for changes in our society. It should be possible to allow peoplE who have chosen to share their lives with people with learning disabilities to do so and document what they are doing and why. According to governments figures people with learning disabilities have a reduced life expectancy by ten years which shows that the mainstream care is not better than the camphill way of life. the task is to develop the model and communicate it to the wider public. but simply scrap the whole model altogether which CVT appears to do is a waste of experience and does not help to improve and develop the current model. On the contrary it has a devastating effect on coworker and residents. CVT should allow people who chosen to share their lifes to do so and use it as an resource for future development." Ute Schlossmacher

"I am a bottton villager and I live in a very nice house and I enjoy every bit of my life in botton. and I do not want any thing to change in botton. the co-workers are so Special to botton and with out them life would be nothing and please leave botton the way it is i do not want to live interdependently I can not manage it I would prefer to stay as a family like it is now thanks"

"I grew up in and around Botton and it breaks my heart that the future of this community is being unnecessarily threatened." Sky Westwood

"I support the work of Botton and do not think it should be changed if the families of the disabled residents do not wish it." Sarah Baker

"Please help and spread out this information to let more people know about Botton. This is a unique and worth to protect community in your country. I'm not a British. I came from Taiwan. Because in my country, don't have this kind of lovely idea of community that based on love and care. Thus I support it." Wenpei

"Spent perhaps the most educational, and deeply moving, 6 weeks helping in Botton. Would hope to be able to return one day! I give my full support in this time of crisis, so please let me know if I can help in any way. All the best to you all!" Harrison Lees

"This is sick why would people do such a thing, and as a human being how could the people doing this live with themselves?" Tanner Bryan

"Seriously? Change the whole way Botton works and remove the volunteers from the community? That would be utter madness, and inhumane. The world needs more communities like Botton." Lionel Hill

"I support Botton as it was conceived originally with the sharing of life of co-workers with the people with disabilities."

"Thank you for being such a wonderful example of God's care and compassion in what you do in Botton Village."

"An extremely successful way of life, it seems that everything that works well has to be ruined in the name of progress."

"The Camphill movement has run successfully for many years, with people gifting their time and dedication to creating a safe home to people with special needs. Surely the government can see the benefit of this, both to the government, saving them money and to the special needs who live in supportive homes, where there is an infastructure of activities and festivals which make life more interesting and at the same time involves them in daily life. It seems to me that government solutions to things are often short sighted and expensive. Please consider this before closing down another successful Camphill community." Juliet Hurner

"We were in Botton several years ago, and we are convinced you should continue in the way you did before, as a community. We wish you courage and good luck in these times." Chantal Houbiers

"It would be wrong to remove the family life offered at Botton Village. Why would Camphill suddenly decide that their residents aren't worth such a home-like environment? Instead of conforming to an inferior model of care, Camphill should continue to blaze a trail for its unique living style which works so well." Trudi Tilley

"It is so very important that life in Botton goes on as it has been doing for years. I was a teacher at the school for six years and so was on the 'outside' of the village. From there I saw people who certainly wouldn't be able to cope with life living on their own. The villagers were happy in a safe environment (their family unit), with a routine and security. It will certainly wreck the lives of many to have this changed." Louise Richardson

"Its terrible to take away care and support from the disabled and vulnerable; we need to stand up and support them all." Susan Huntley

"I lived in Camphill for 4 years- long ago - I would like to support you! Camphill is a very special community." Kieser Ursula

"I have known Botton all my life and was a coworker there from 1986 to 1997. Botton needs to move away from CVT management like the Scottish Camphill centres otherwise it will cease to function as a community. It is necessary that all remaining long term coworkers adhere to a single vision for the way forward. This vision should be created by a rapid consensus process. CVT should be helped or forced to hand over management to a Trust which is at one with the aims of the community. It seems to me that CVT are grossly mismanaging Botton even in business terms. When I last visited I heard that 7 of the houses were not being used and that they have not helped facilitate adequate numbers of residents to join the village. Such practice will lead to financial ruin and the handover of assets to an other charity. Legal help should be sort as a priority." Nick Raeside

"I share your concerns so strongly. I work in Delrow which is a Camphill community which I'm afraid has already been destroyed by the same way in which Botton is being threatened. We have lost most of our wonderful house coordinators and we now have agency and support staff running the houses. There is not a sense of community anymore, it is heartbreaking, this must not happen at Botton." Marion Vane

"Botton Offers The Treasures Of Normal living for those less fortunate than others." Malcolm Foster

"I completely support the founding ideas of the Camphill movement and hope very much that trustees who have no real understanding of these ideas will refrain from destroying a uniquely healing social movement." Matthew Barton

"The unique way of life that is offered by a camphill ethos should be cearfully nurtured and treasured." Philip Culley

"I had the privilege of getting to know the Botton Community as a young co-worker over a period of 6 years during the early 90ies. My experiences and encounters with the residents (and co-workers) had a profound impact on the person I have become, and I always felt that it was a magically 'real and valid' place. Consequently, I became a carrying member/house-holder, and raised a family in another CVT centre for 13 years. However, a few years ago I decided to leave as I felt developments both from within and without were no longer sustainable for me and my family. Meanwhile, our dear community 'is no more', when I meet previous 'family members' they tell me how much they miss the children (who they helped raise and educate!), and nothing I see convinces me that the new standards have improved residents' overall well-being. Most concerning of all are the new managers, administrators and legal professionals who take home enormous pay packages that in no way balance the apparent 'improvements' to residents' lives and CVT centres!? However, what I would like to convey is the fact that no problem is uni-dimensional, and some of the challenges facing Camphill were and are valid; some processes, attitudes and approaches require ongoing adjustment, and active dialogue/engagement with wider society and professional developments are crucial - and in my view, would be in the spirit of Rudolph Steiner and Karl Koenig, who were after all 'mainstream' professionals/scientists too. I would further like to raise a torch for the many WONDERFUL EMPLOYEES and external PROFESSIONALS who always have and are contributing to the smooth running of communities and the welfare of all residents! I believe that with a bit of creativity and in the spirit of the 'consciousness soul' various living and working arrangements could enhance the richness and validity of Camphill life in the 21st Century. Warmest wishes." Chris F.

"It would be a tragedy if Botton closed! I hope there is enough support to help this facility to remain open and provide the support dearly needed." Jennifer Junggeburth

"I fully support your campaign. As a family member & occasional carer support for one of Camphill's students I have always respected & admired the co-workers for their commitment & care ethic." Penny Martin

"The proposal for the future of the Botton community is scandalous. I fully support any initiative to preserve the way of life of the people who live there." Diana Preece

"Botton does so much great work, we can't imagine a world without it. Please save Botton!" Rebecca Howes

"Botton Village is a unique and special place and must not be allowed to die! The key word here is choice and I cannot see how changing Botton to just another care home with paid staff working shifts will give a choice of provision." Thor Beverley

"For what reason would anyone change such a nurturing, empowering, beneficial approach to collaborative living?" Samantha Parker

"If someone takes over such a community and tries to make fundamental changes to it without being able or willing to clearly justify, explain, or even communicate the true reason for such plans, then those reasons probably are quite foul." Frederic Tschanz

"This community needs co-workers. They are essential to keep the community together based on love and respect for people. If they are removed the Botton will not be the same. It'll be an institution." Hannah

"As someone who has lived AND worked at Camphill Schools in England & the US for 13 years I am beyond SHOCKED & saddened that the Communities way of living together is threatened in ANY way. Please DO NOT destroy this Community!!!" Sandra Fluri

"If the co-workers are replaced by shift workers, the people of Botton will have their living conditions changed unrecognisably, after many years of living in a family environment, with people who really care about their welfare & well being, and truly understand them. There is a real danger that due to the remoteness of the location, the shift workers may not even be able to get there when it snows, which could leave inadequate support in place." Laura Perrin

"Too much good work has been done for the residents to lose this, it's priceless. Whoever is looking at ending this can never have had anyone in their family needing such vital support. We are always hearing about "protecting vulnerable people", what protection are they being offered? The facility is perfect, fit for purpose so leave it alone." Ruth Bell

"This is a real tragedy there is no compassion being given to everyone who know this place as home and a truely selfish and punitive act on the part of these perpetrators." Nicola Bock

"Over many years your work in Botton has been an inspiration to me. Knowing that some of the children and young adults I have lived and worked with over the years have become valued members of your community has been a wonderful gift! I am thinking of you and want to pledge my full support in keeping Botton a Camphill Village for life sharing, mutual support and personal development." Ulrike Roloff-Standring

"I think that the way in which Botton Village has been run thus far has enabled some of the most vulnerable people in our society to live in safety and to lead worthwhile lives. Everyone within this supportive community is valued and has a role; it is a model that has proved itself over more than half a century. I have been deeply saddened to learn of what is happening to the Botton community. I hope that the trustees of the CVT can be persuaded to reconsider their destructive decisions." Carol Wilson

"I wish to state my support for maintaining a Camphill way of life at Botton and strongly disagree with the current move to remove Camphill Co-Workers from their life sharing role." Alan Flett

"I really admire the way you live and share your lives with each other. I couldn't do it myself, but I fully support your ways of enabling everyone to try and live a more fulfilled life." Linda Batten

"I've spent time in Botton on the farms and in the gardens many times over the years and always been struck by the wonderful community and how well everyone works together for the welfare and happiness of everyone. Botton thoroughly deserves all support and co-operation." Patrick Beverley

"It is absurd that these camphill communities should be shut down. I for one have not heard of a good reason for it, and if it is true that those in charge of the organisation are planning this, why would they put their own jobs in jeopardy? I want to know if there's something that isn't being said. Is there some corrupt deal going on behind the scene? Are the people who have not only created but have worked and lived in these communities, not to mention the thousands of residents and their families who have been supported over the years should now just leave and try and find another job, place to live even life!?!?! I don't understand it. That is why I want to pledge my support in stopping this strange behaviour until there is a sufficient reason for it (for which I cannot think of any)." Hannah McCarthy

"The Steiner community model is Internationally recognised as an excellent way of building the self-worth of residents and providing a level of care far beyond that of commercial care-homes. The UK - where the concept started - should be actively encouraging this approach to care, not destroying it in the name of standardisation at a lower level of care." Anna Sohlman

"Botton must be allowed to continue to help and support our vulnerable people in the way it does best." Wendy Dick

"My brother has been in Botton for over 30 years and we are so grateful and pleased that he enjoys the wonderful way of life, shared living, festivals, working and social activities. He is truly fulfilled. It has to continue. He wouldn't be happy living in an individual unit." Pat Davis

"As a long standing volunteer coworker I understand the value of the Camphill model, and while it may not suit everyone has an important contribution to make to social life and should be available to those who choose it. Respect the choice of the Botton Residents!!!" Valerie Sands

"Working as a volunteer is a pleasure in Botton. This village is founded on toughts about working like this. Please, don't make it much more complicaded or impossible to have a well going family like this. Botton as it exists now, is a great and respectable institution. Please leave it like this!" Anna Hilbers

"Botton is examplary in providing the highest quality of life for persons with disabilities by its very integration with healthy people, the house parenst work masters and many others. It is an examplary life sharing commnity and as such an unequalled jewel that all settings who care for person with disabilties should strive to emulate. It is hard to belive that this model community should be stripped of its essence. This is illogical and a crime against all those who live there and profit from the highest qauliy of life and care available anywhere in the world. Our son lives in Camphill Village Copake, NY USA, whihc is modelled after Botton Village. He would not be the person he has grwon to become without the Camphill Village where he lives. He has spent time in Botton, and is as enthused about this English Camphill Village as he is about his own in the USA. I urge you to withdraw immediately the non-sensical illogical government ruling immediately and restore Botton Village to its original form and purpose. Visit the Village and spend some time there and it would never occur to you to strip this Village of its very essence. In disbelief, yet hopeful of a revised ruling." Heidelise Als, PhD (parent and psychologist)

"I spent the last 36 years of my life with people with learning difficulties in a private home. We had our students working or on holidays in the Aberdeen villages. I found that the Camphill movement brings understanding and looks for harmony in each of their villagers. With thanks I wish them to continue for ever more." Catherine Imhof-Cardinal

"As a parent of children at Botton Village School I have grown to know and love Botton over the last few years. I hope with all my heart that the CVT can be persuaded not to make this terrible mistake that will destroy the community." Victoria Stevens

"Please save this amazing community that i have seen first hand help so many adults. The community spirit and ethos is invaluable." Bronwen Sentamu

"Botton is a fantastic place which must be allowed to continue. It is such a vital part of so many lives, not just the people who live and work there but also the wider community of friends and supporters. More importantly it is a place where skills and talents are nurtured in a supportive environment. Lots of places could take care of people like my niece and her friends but Botton is special because although I know she is cared for, I also know that she is cared about - the worry for us all is that the people trying to ruin Botton don't know the difference between the two." Ruth Foley

"In 1975 I experienced my first Camphill Community as a visitor. I had not seen anything like it before. I was very impressed how perfectly disabled people were integrated. The structure of living in families made absolute sense to me. I experienced a beautiful village life that so many of us have lost and feel a longing for. And here it happens and people are willing to dedicate their lives to this cause. Surely they should be supported in any way possible. Other well working examples of organisations where people live in families are the SOS Children's villages, founded by H. Gmeiner, now cherished as a model, with villages all over the world. And the Kiteszh Communities in Russia. Please support Botton and all Camphill Communities, and keep this powerful example of how humanity can function at its best alive in Britain as well! Thank you so much." Lieselotte Franke

"I feel so sad and alarmed that this is happening. I think the Camphill model is by far the best approach for living for any vulnerable person. We humans need love, respect, purpose and a true sense of belonging and CVC provides that by the bucket load! I pray that this new proposal is seen for the disaster that it is and that heart, sanity and the status quo prevail." Sass Campbell

"Leave this beautiful place in the hands of those who loves it and cares for it - standing in the way is just insane. \r\nWe need more places like Botton, it definitely saved my ass." Klara Johanne Braga Jakobsen

"I am lucky enough to be married to someone who grew up in Botton and therefore am able to visit regularly. The place is an inspiration! Create more places like this, do not destroy what has been achieved so far! It is amazing!" Vince Wise

"I was born and brought up in Botton. My family included several 'Villagers' as we call people who are learning disabled, I was incredibly lucky, my childhood was perfect. I now visit Botton regularly and can see from an adult perspective what a wonderful place it is, where the richness of life is so empowering. Each individual takes, holds and embraces a sense being part of the community, making it them feel whole, feel safe, feel cared for and them feel that they care themselves. Everybody knows everybody. It is lovely. It is a family." Aggi Wise nee Beverley

"Botton Village, has been always a unique place for all people who wishes to work, help, have an experience there. The special needs adults, were/are part of a family, who lived and worked together with the helpers. They worked in different settings and workshops, partake of social and cultural events. They said they are proud to live there and have a job, to people who were new or were for a visit there. As a helper, I can say life in the community was very busy, everybody worked very hard, also it was a very rich and fulfilling way of life. This kind of life shows one Responsibility, initiative, motivation, and joy to do a job or many, that needs doing without one being scared or just doing what the person in charge says. It helps to develop skills in all areas of life not only to the service users as we call them now (so demeaning), but also all people, young and old who were involved in the life there. I am working in a Community (just the name) that was crushed by this new way of dealing with things (bureaucracy). We are all paid, but everyone comes and just does the alloted tasks, most of the work force are agency people, who are mainly interested in a paid job not on the service users (some perhaps), the house, the routines the simple life skills, totally inexistent, the Children in this case Totally Offcentre. No wonder, there is no continuity, not warmth, not interest, no common sense, everyone is so busy writing papers that no one reads, many empty pages saying little, the house empty, unkept, it seems the children, adults, are just commodities that give people jobs. These Communities, Centres were created to help these vulnerable adults to live a decent, fulfilling life, serving and learning about themselves and about others. What I do not understand, is why to try to close and destroy these centres; can the authorities see the real work and progress happening there? They should learn from Scotland, what the goverment has done there is help these communities to work better, and not destroying them for the sake of I do not know what. It seems there is a wave of nasty desires to exterminate these places. What I suggest is to visit the places where all these changes has taken place already, and they will see what they have created is devastation, I can only compared it with the refugee camps created after a crazy man or group of people bombed their own people. I would like to know the reason behind it, why target places that are doing and excellent job and not many others that need helping such schools, NHS, homlessness, to state a few. These places are a little haven of hard work, goodness, and HUMANITY." Francisca Rheinoso Eguzquiza

"I sincerely hope that Botton Village continues in the spirit in which it was founded, and not succumb to the extremely unfortunate trend that is truly anti-social in essence. Some misguided individuals believe that inclusion in society requires individuals to have their own apartments, work for wages, etc., as do "normal" individuals, despite the fact that this leads to isolation, rather than true social inclusion. Depth of relationship between human beings, both "challenged" and not, is the essence of Botton Village's time proven model. This should be protected and cherished, not changed to conform with conventional models that, in essence, do not provide anywhere near the same degree of quality of life. I lived and worked at Botton for two years many years ago, and am presently Executive Director of a modest community serving individuals with similar needs to those of Botton. Please save the Essential Botton, as its impulse, though some might mistakenly think it antiquated, is in actuality far ahead in respect to addressing the deepest needs of the human beings entrusted to its care. Thank you." David Spears

"I attended botton steinerkindgarden as a child. Some of my fellow classmates were children of one of these families living in botton village. I myself have lived with my family in several camphills over the years, it's a true shame to see such a lovely caring community be put at risk because of the government. cvt is doing this not only to botton but also other camphills around the United Kingdom, take Taurus crafts for an example. I practically grew up there, and now all the co workers are gone and you are lucky to see one person with disabilities there. Which is the whole concept of that place that... It's heartbreaking to see." Ioan Mariann Kresse

"It seems that there is a movement to change camphill's away from their original purpose. Hapstead in Devon underwent many changes over the last couple of years which seem to have reduced villagers' support. Good luck." Rick Pike

"As a relative I have been many times in Botton, spending there several weeks. Whenever I was there I felt wellcome, I saw a place of peace, I saw people deeply caring for each other. Botton is irreplaceable . I hope and pray that we manage to keep this place as it was since 60 years." Monika Lang

"Botton is indeed a very important place!" Margrit Schallberger

"I hereby pledge my support for Botton, whose invaluable help to those with learning difficulties should not be compromised." Abra Hunt

"I have known and appreciated the community at Botton Village for 30 years. If the proposed changes are enforced I think that the work and life there will suffer greatly. It would be a threat to the quality of life for the residents and their families as well as the co-workers. Camphill has always been a leading light in the UK and Europe in contributing to the well-being of the person with special needs." Shaina Stoehr

"Hi, I think the way co-workers live with and take care of the residents is the best life we could imagine for all of them. I don't understand why they would have to change that!" Corinne Galland

"Ive visited Botton many times and it is a fantastic model of how people with disabilities can fit into an accepting society and contribute to it." Daniel Taylor

"VITAL COMMUNITIES!!!!! Seemingly very independent people within the community, would have a much tougher if not impossible time once the supportive environment is being taken away. 'Life Sharing' is a model, which I would think many more people from all walks of life and varying abilities will in future wish if not need to contemplate!" Sibylle Kort

"Best of luck with campaign - fingers crossed that common sense will prevail." Thomas Stoddart-Scott

"Save Botton this is the way forward." Dawn Almasi

"Since I have a family member at Botton, I entirely support this cause." Brian Payne

"Botton works. The new regime that have taken over Camphill in England seem to be bent on fixing what aint broke!! Its not only Botton but elsewhere. These "Trustees" have no soul for the ethos of the great things that have been achieved and the positive outcomes for the lives touched by Camphill as it was." Julian Assirati

"It is a wonderful way to offer communal support and have meaningful relationships. They are seen as human beings and not cases and no-one is trying to fix them. All their lives is so much richer for it; therefore I can see no reason why this needs to be changed to something less empowering and demeaning." Petra Hoehfurtner

"As the former Trustee of a Botton Villager I am appalled at the idea of 60 years care and stability being put in jeopardy by the present Trustees. This must be stopped. If Court Action is required then I will give my support." A E HEMESLEY

"This would completely change the dynamic of this genuinely inclusive community full of happy people. The way of life now works perfectly." Carol Atkin

"Having visited the Bottom Community several times in the recent years, we are deeply impressed by the way disabled people live together with their helpers in what everybody would call families. They are enabled to have a social and meaningful life in dignity, far away from being 'stored' in the usual way. If ever we had the need to search for help for disabled relatives, we would not hesitate to find them community structures like these. You can be proud of Your work - please go on!" Stephan Sander

"I work in the Disability sector in Australia and I am very aware of how important it is for everyone to feel comfortable in their environment - I am a manager and have seen the effect of change in people's lives when that with which they are familiar comes to an end." Kerri Smithers

"My Love and Hope goes to all the lovely people in Botton, my friends!" Christine Klas

"Having been born and raised in Camphill Villages in Scotland and the USA, this feels to me like a concerted assault on a gentle, nurturing, socially and spiritually healing way of life. It is shocking to read that the indescribably rich, joyful family unit of Camphill Village is being threatened by the very institutional elements it sought to alleviate. This way of life is the ONLY way I and my five siblings grew up; it is my personal nuclear family history. From birth to 18, I never lived in a household of less than 16 people, half of whom were not my family members. My parents and we children at the time, shared and sacrificed OUR time, efforts, spaces, food, work, play, and home life, 24/7 with YOUR children, otherwise relegated to cold institutional walls. Without pay, meaning also without conflict of interests. It was a great personal sacrifice for us (to this day), as well as an incredibly enriching life. What board has the authority and audacity to unilaterally stamp out the vibrant life-sustaining basis for community and social therapy which has been proving itself to Camphill residents and their families for over fifty years world-wide? If there is one or the other inevitable ineffective or failed household situation, let that be appropriately dealt with on a specific level with broader applications as needed. However, to destroy the entire basis of what makes Botton and all Camphill Villages so uniquely valuable to society, is a grevious, destructive mistake." Johanna Steinrueck

"This is a wonderful place for all. Hope very much it survives. Anything that I can do to help please email me." Catherine Baxter

"Good you stand up - much strength and success and best wishes from a "Camhill" employee in a "community" that has made these steps back to the past long ago - out of it's own free will actually." Peter Danzeisen

"Keep up the the striving for what is right. Some peoples will never understand. It would be good if you publish the complete letter of the ultimatum in place of just paraphrase it. Get your paypal on line. Lots of courage." Donat Plowshare farm NH. USA.

"Good thoughts of courage for the tasks before you." Kimberly Dorn

"I wish to encourage and send my support to all the good people who fight for botton to remain a camphill village." Aviran Shoshan

"Please god don't ruin everything good about Britain! Let this little corner go untouched." Sophie

"My thoughts and prayers are with you all in Botton - may the right deeds be done in this extremely challenging time." Vicky Syme

"I know of youngsters supported by such families and believe in this longstanding initiative." Christina Thornton

"It´s important to keep the holistic quality of the Botton community. Dissolving the coworker live-in status will jeopardise both the quality of life for the villagers and the unity of the village as a whole." Nathaniel P. Mead

"Please save Botton - I know it is a wonderful place and should not be lost." Joan Davies

"This is so incredibly important, and it helps so many people in so many ways. This should be cherished." Lynsey Gray

"Keep going, you have the size of place and people to fight this cause. Without Botton I would not be who I am now! How can CVT miss to see the value of this proven community life and work?" Claudia van der Stok

"Sadly the Camphill Village Trust is very efficient in destroying the community spirit and well-being. "Villager" would call: TURN + you are GREAT! Thank you Action for Botton." Otti Bohlen

"As a long-standing member of a Camphill community, and as someone who feels fortunate to share a home and workplace with people with disabilities, I am saddened by this. The very notion that people wish to live in isolation from one another (an experiment which, by the way, has been tried and tested in the UK, and which failed miserably, predictably) goes against all modern thinking (just read the newspapers) about community, supported living, isolation, and, ultimately loneliness. I wish you all good luck, and that enlightened thought and common sense will prevail. How sad this is." Gabriel Poynton

"I am deeply concerned and saddened by the ever growing tension that has arisen. Although I cannot be there in person to help, I will continue to do so in other ways. Know that I am in full support of your efforts to uphold the "candle on the hill", the Camphill impulse that has inspired so many of our generation." Stephan Rasch

"The proposed changes will alter the lives of the important people who call Botton their home immeasurably. Where is the humanity in these changes? What are the priorities considered in deciding the changes? Sadly, it would appear that those who find it most hard to explain their feelings are to be ignored, not asked for their opinions or even considered." Carol Stevens

"Whilst increased independence for residents is a progressive impulse, in accord with the zeitgeist of western civilisation, this will not be a viable option for all.\r\n\r\nYou need to stand up and fight for what you believe in, yet have the wisdom to know when to compromise." David Gordon

"Sent from my cousin's computer. Having heard about Botton from my family, I wanted to add my name to support this wonderful place. My niece has lived in the village for many years and is extremely happy there. She would be dreadfully upset if she was no longer able to live with her much loved houseparents in the lovely home she has in Botton. She has matured so well in her time there and we are all eternally grateful to the hardworking co- workers who provide such excellent surroundings for vulnerable people." Barbara Slattery

"I am not quite sure of the reasoning behind the Trustees' position. But I strongly support the principles of mutually respectful dialogue and of working determinedly towards THE solution that is acceptable to both parties. There is a solution." John Coats

"Botton is the best and last genuine Camphill Community in Britain. If it is lost it will be a lasting failure to uphold the meaningful relationships that people with special needs can offer us all." Bruce Carr

"I am sending a strong voice of support for the protection of the freedom and independence of the cultural life that has lived and thrived at Camphill communities throughout the world for over 60 years now. It is well known that those in need of special care flourish under the care of those who live in these communities. A comprehensive understanding of human development lies at the core of these communities and informs the care, on many levels, of those whom they serve. These communities have also served humanity as a whole, as they have allowed new capacities to unfold, and new social forms to develop, which otherwise remain largely unexplored or dormant within our cultural as a whole." Melissa Lyons

"My family and I have gone to the open day every year and it's a FANTASTIC day out. What Botton achieves is fantastic and I find it disgusting that it might not continue for another 60 years." Rachael

"I have lived in Camphill for nearly 10 years and have seen how much you can get and give when true human encounter happens. I