Action 4 Botton

"I work for the NHS in Scotland and started my career within Camphill movement. Camphill offers a unique approach and way of life for individuals with learning disability and I think that mainstream provisions could in fact partner more with Camphill and learn from them. I think that 'community care' does work for some people, while a large amount will need continuous support throughout their life. More than a job, staff in Camphill offer their residents, among the many facets: quality of life, meaningful occupations and social interaction, more than can be said for many of the alternatives." Katherine Lord

"The community based care in Botton village is the healthiest I know for people with learning disabilities. Please ensure that their co-worker families are not taken from them. It is shown over and over that within them, the villagers (people with learning disabilities) thrive. I write as a state registered nurse with experience of a similar community. Thank you." Nicolette Gould

" This village is unique, where people of varying ages and capabilities live in a community with voluntary careers but many of them happily integrate into the surrounding villages. The proposed changes would not only affect the wellbeing of residents but may result in increased costs. Leave well alone please." Alma Pitcher

"The Camphill model of family driven residential care is a vital feature in the success of their communities." Andrew Polwarth

"Good luck - visited Botton village (for a second time) recently when on holiday in Whitby. It is such a tranquil place and the residents are happy to talk about their life there. If things change, the residents will become unsettled and worry that things will be different. I work with teenagers with learning difficulties, some of them quite profound, all get agitated about change and some need tremendous support to maccept new thongs. Please CVT consider the people you set up the trust for all those years ago." Helen Thanks

"I have a son at the mount camphill community and I feel deeply concerned at the changes I have seen for my sons future. The co workers taken out of camphill is basically taking the camphill out of camphill and it's true essence.. The co workers are what enables the true essence to continue into the homes and lives of it's residence. I feel concerned that those making the changes either don't understand what camphill is or don't care. My son has been in the Steiner ethos since the age of 6 and is fully integrated into this beautiful way of life, through the nurture, nutrition and love that is given freely, he is happy, intergrated and wants to continue with this way of life." Kerry Pilcher

"The changes would destroy the very thing that makes the Botton Community what it is. Modify some peripherals, if need be, but do NOT LOSE THE ESSENCE." John Maurice Milne

"I am very sad about what is happening. Botton is a very special place for so many of our friends. i was there as a housemother and part of the first social service course with Peter Roth. Botton changed my life in many ways. We have also been having people for holidays for many years and know how much the incredible life in Botton means to everyone there. It can't be destroyed by the CVT. It was wonderful to hear about the meeting in Danby - thank you for keeping us informed. We are all supporting you. Best wishes," Alma Dowle

"I support this cause as living in a family situation is so much more human for the residents and less stressful as they will know their co-residents well. They will therefore also be happier and able to perform better in other aspects of their lives. This is important for all, but I think particularly so for those affected by autism." Dilys Cluer

"My wife and I have visited, and stayed at, Botton Farm several times over the past few years. We always looked forward to our visits because it was such a unique and inspiring place. It was a wonderful example of a community in which disabled people could have a functional and rewarding role. It felt like a community, not an institution. There are a lot of institutions in the world, where "disadvantaged" people are efficiently managed. I hope Botton doesn't end up as just another one, attractive only for its picturesque setting. Let it stay a community." Mark Tarleton

"As one of the local Camphill members said to me "We can come in at night when we want now, but we don't have a home any more". I watch the members now living in separate bedsits, spending much of the day watching the TV, and eating prepared meals. This is a very lonely existence in comparison to living in a community, being a member of it and taking part in the daily activities and knowing that you were cared about. There is a mistaken belief that so called independence is the goal. It is not, a home is important." Janet Klaar

" It is quite clear to me that the new proposals would destroy an amazing, well working community, replacing it with an inferior set-up, that would prevent much of the help and support given to the "service users" (the very word smells of a cold business deal -- nothing left of the emphasis on the human-warmth that is at the heart of Camphill approach) to be given in the future. -- Why, for what reason, destroy something that has been working so eminently well for many decades ?" Justus Emgelhsrd Ernst KLAAR

"In the mid-eighties I was a coordinator on an IVS workcamp at Botton. I have never forgotten this experience. Botton is magic. I still receive your newsletters which I read with great interest. Fight on!" Jane Petchell

" I stayed in Botton with my two young sons and have never felt such security at letting them run freely around. The villagers were so friendly and the atmosphere just wonderful.This is an amazing place and if there is any way I can support your cause I will happily do so." Ruth Nixon

"I myself have just left Delrow camphill community (another CVT community located near London) after working there as a young volunteer for one year. During that year I experienced the complete transformation, or maybe I should call it kayos, decay, of a healthy community with house coordinators, volunteers, festivals, friendships and respect, to a place with no house coordinators, in fact not many left that have been there for more than one year. A place where no one is told the truth, not even the residents, where new people come and leave again every day making it impossible to know who belongs to our "community" and an every day "power battle" amongst the new people that work there now (from management to young volunteers). I do worry about the future of Camphill in the hands of the CVT, the home that have meant and means so much for our dear residents, villagers and families." Laila Blaich

" I worked in the Community Centre as a co-worker, in my university holidays. Botton impressed me as a magical place. It is essential that Botton preserves it's most successful model of care, tried and tested, and loved by all. The CVT is failing in it's duty of care for Botton." James Wolsey

"The cooperative model of living and working that is at the heart of Botton Village is inspiring to all. It is a reminder that there are more important things in life than the endless dogma of earn, spend, and consume. It is essential that its values are maintained against the onslaught of narrow mindsets and unthinking "one size fits all" bureaucracies." Chris Biscomb

"May this wonderful community continue showing love to everyone living there." Wendy George

"Can you start an online petition with the Office of The Deputy Prime Minister and get enough signatures to force a discussion in the Commons? I would sign and all my friends would sign to object to destroying a model of sustainable integrated living and replacing it with heartless segregation" Jean Williams

" I fully support the Action for Botton. The village and what it stands for are too precious to be lost." Barbara Anderson

"I am a parent of a son who has lived happily within the Camphill movement for over 20 years. His quality of life is now being systematically destroyed by the actions of CVT." Pippa Unwin

"I am devastated that, after do many years, things have come to this. The ethos of Botton is one that has allowed my relative to flourish and I can't begin to imagine the change on the quality of his life if CVT's proposals are implemented. You have my support in your campaign." Anonymity requested

"Organizations aiming to develop a new relationship of working and living, moving toward future when work is not a commodity, as intended by Dr. Rudolf Steiner are few and far between. Why do we allow politicians and bureaucrats to drag us back. Let the people living and working together decide how they want to move forward, not trustees once removed from the reality of the community!" Alexander Wooge

"Botton Village is a vital provision, founded on an ideal that is also practical" Gabriel Millar

"It would be a great shame for the Botton way of life to be lost, a stand must be made to ensure this doesn't happen. If there is any way I can help please let me know. Having lived in the dale close to Botton Village for almost 25 years, we have come to understand the importance of the special approach to care that Botton enjoyed and which should be reinstated and continue." Ian Hopley

"I have only spent a little time with the community at Botton, about 40 years ago. However it was a very formative and important experience in my life. I remain in touch but "at a distance" and feel it would be very regrettable if the basic structures that I experienced there were to be interfered with in the way I understand is now happening. Please do not go down the economic, politically uniformising route that is being proposed. Warm wishes to all actively involved with this." Keith Allnatt

"I think the "Free" economy (as in voluntarily given time and effort) is a great model for the future of society in general, and one that if more widely adopted could contribute to the resolution of the international monetary crisis. Hopefully this will be a landmark test case and give volunteer workers the protection and support extended to 'wage slaves'." Paul McMullen

" As a past parent of a resident in a Camphill Community I would like to express my sadness on hearing of the proposed changes which will ruin the whole ethos of Botton and any Camphill Community. Once this is done it cannot be undone." Stephanie Holden

"I spent a wonderful year working as a co-worker in a Camphill Community and experienced the joy and satisfaction of working alongside people with all kinds of ability and disability. We all gave according to our ability and took back according to our needs. I think at the time (early 1990s) the going rate was £25 a month for a co-worker - a sum which sounds ridiculous now but I was 'paid' in so many more lasting ways that no job has since equaled. I believe it is a tragic loss to all concerned to change the essence of communities such as Botton in the manner proposed and we will all be the poorer if we allow it to happen." Kate Stirling

"I think there should be the freedom for this kind of initiative to flourish." Ursula Waechter

"Changing the employment and community living status of the carers in this way will change Botton and will limit the richness of the life experience of the residents. 'Independence' and employed carers will lead to a more lonely and less socially valuable experience for everyone." Sally Abbott

"I was in Botton to visit 4 years ago and I saw very harmonious asociation of adult viliagers with Co-workers in houses and this is what I prefer in my life. Love to all people with life complication and this was the example for us in the Czech Republic." Sonia Svabova

"I urge CVT to consider anew the model of co -workers living with and working together the villagers in Botton. I have supported this charity in the past and don't want to see the Karl Konig Camphill model of shared living destroyed and replaced by a so-called 'modern' vision of supervised sheltered housing by salaried workers. It seems there needs to be far more consultation with present staff by CVT whose actions appear draconian. There needs to be openess about process.' Ruth Scholes

"Currently I work for the Social Services, yet in the past I have also worked in Camphill settings in Britain and abroad. I agree totally with the traditional way of life in Botton where there was a living and working together, including shared decision making." Timothy Soukup

"I feel strongly that a diversity of approaches should be allowed and is indeed necessary for communal life. What is wrong with volunteers... have been one myself and greatly benefitted from the experience." Gertraud Soukup

"I support this call for further discussion to find an alternative solution - from a place of honesty and will to find a solution. I have visited Botton a number of times during my teacher training and always been very impressed by the residents and the model of what is offered there. The Camphill model is unique and in my opinion worth preserving. As Goethe once said: whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has, genius, magic and power in it. I implore you to spend some more time considering the alternatives, from a place of deep anthroposophical meditation and reflection to help preserve the unique quality of relationship that arises when people commit to live and work together in community." Carolyn Hall

" I support the principle of family residential co-workers and the model of an 'extended family life' that Botton provides. Surely a professional 'frame' and safe managerial processes can be worked out for this approach in current times, an approach which has been successful for many years. The unique value of this therapeutic community will otherwise be lost." David Ward

"We have visited Botton many times over the last 15 years as a family and with regard to our connection to York steiner School. We have always felt the Botton community to be an outstanding example of a community where people unable to live in the outside world are able to live and partake in meaningful work whilst being cared for and supported in a family environment. We are very saddened at the prosed changes to the structure of the community. In this country where mental health issues are treated, in my opinion, very poorly, Botton community stands out as a shining example of treating those in need with dignity and encouragement." Karen Lari

"At the age of 19 I lived and worked in Botton village for nearly a year. It was a truly life-changing experience leaving me with an enormous admiration for all who live there, both villagers and co-workers and for the philosophy behind its way of life. It is heartbreaking to think that this approach to living with the full spectrum of the human condition is to be commercialised and altered to an extent that it will no longer be that wonderful example for the general public, and safe and secure home for people we should admire and learn from, not place under a system designed to merely satisfy rules and regulations. Keep fighting to stop this happening!" Eileen Stoupe

"I would like to support the Botton co-workers and community in keeping the spirit of Botton alive and not dragged into the world of economics." Maddy Pettitt

"I worked as a teacher at Botton Village School for 6 years from 2005 and witnessed the wonderful environment in which the villagers live, first hand. If the existing system is abandoned I feel it would only lead to disaster. Many villagers would not be able to cope with the 'new model' and feel isolated, worthless and unloved. The families and co-workers are the very reason the present arrangement works." Louise Richardson

"This way of "vocational " "interdependendent" living has enthused human spirits across the globe for decades with inspiration. It has given residents a caring community and secure environment to develop skills. Skills to use to make, do and become fulfilled within their own individuality. The organisation running Botton needs to reflect deeply on its stance and reconsider what the essential mission of Botton is." Clare Benson

"Please keep the dialogue going. Healthy natural evolution can be achieved by consensus rather than decree." Anonymity requested

" Botton village offers a unique way of living and working together. This co-operative way of life among villagers and staff enables a quality of life and ensures a safe haven for all. I have visited Botton village many times and have always been deeply impressed by the caring and busy environment there. It would be such a shame to change this and the current plans would seem cause division and ultimately spoil the harmony that prevails there. Please do not change Botton as it is an example to the rest of world of real integration, humanity and support." Lorraine Fothergill Hogg

"Please reconsider your decision to force co-workers to become employees." Joy Lorraine Cowburn

"My wife and are totally behind the co-workers, the loyalty and support that is given must continue with the care and love for the learning disability being a priority. You can count on our support." Marshall Dixon

"Camphill Village Botton, has been there since its inception to serve the needs of special needs adults who people our world. The founders, who were refugees from world war 2 took up this amazing task to benefit these special people who were for the longest time considered refugees from society. It has always been the mission of these most extraordinarily devoted coworkers in Botton and indeed in Camphill all over the world to bring dignity and a sense of purpose and value to each human being regardless of their challenges. Living a life together ensures an enriched and enhanced experience and allows these special people to feel less like disadvantaged individuals who have to be watched by hired folks who clock in for a 8 hour shift. Please allow Botton village and its inhabitants to do what they do best: live a meaningful and dignified existence together." Raymonde van der Stok-Fried

"I fully support the efforts of the Botton community to fight for the founding principles of Botton to be reinstated and am deeply disturbed by the recent actions of the Trustees which appear to ignore the philosophy so clearly laid out by Karl Konig." Anonymity requested

"If even half of what is said on this website is true then CVTs behaviour is reprehensible. I wish all those in Botton the best of luck in combating this enormous, and most likely negative, change of direction and culture!" Lucas Ainsworth

"I'm happy to support you. My brother, Henry Everard, worked there and in Germany until his death last week as did his wife Christine, who died last year." Susie Thompson

"I'm currently a guest volunteer in one of the CVT centers and i dont want Botton to experience what people are experiencing now here in my "community". Please do everything you can to preserve the uniquely special spirit of community that Camphill has." Anonymity requested

"Having lived and worked in Botton village many years ago, i fully support this action!" Antoine Lienhard

"With my Auntie living just up the road from Botton I have visited whilst staying with her. What a fantastic place with lots of workshops for the people of Botton to get involved with. This really is a truely wonderful place for insividuals with a learning disability to live in beautiful surrounds of the North Yorkshire Moors with the support required to live as independently as possible." Lucy Goldacre

"As an art therapist and attorney in the United States, the Camphill Villages I have had the opportunity to visit are an extraordinary model of multi-generational and multi-ability people living TOGETHER. I do not fully understand the tax issues the manager is experiencing....but many other instances there are non paid volunteers and volunteer organizations working within or in harmony with even investor owned enterprises, such as hospitals, without tax issues. Short of additional information for the reasoning of the manager's current decision to restructure (and basically dissolve the Camphill Village model), it appears the manager may unwisely have made a knee jerk decision to resolve some tax issue.....or have some personal vested interest in his decision. Camphill Botton should be left alone. The drastic changes the manager is taking sets an unsettling and perhaps far reaching precedent that could potentially affect other or all Camphill Villages due to the decisions of an unwise or perhaps incompetent manager, board of directors or foundation director." Linc Marie Benkert

"The camphill movement has been an inspiration to thousands of poeple over the last 60 years. If this way of living is lost due to short term policy decisions this would be a tragedy not only for Botton and the camphill movement but also for the wwider community." Michael Rodgers

"I have visited the Botton Community several times and particularly liked the way that the co-workers lived alongside the residents. It has been a model example for a better society and it would be extremely sad if it were destroyed. Please don't do this." Marilyn Hunt

"Botton Village is a special place, and has been my brother’s home for over 25 years. He lives a happy and fulfilled life there. The co-worker shared living model has provided my brother with a warm and loving home environment where he feels secure, receives the support he needs, and has meaningful work. I support the Co-workers, and the continuation of the original shared living model." Jacqui Gough

"The traditional principles on which Botton Village was founded should not be undermined or replaced. This includes the vocational volunteering, community decision making and life sharing. As a former co worker at Botton the life lessons I have learnt in the year I spent there have been of immense value and benefit not only to myself but to others I have interelated with througout the course of my life to date. Every effort should be made to reach a compromise where Botton's traditional community, family sharing and volunteering values can be maintained whilst still retaining its economic viability." Jeremy Townsend

"The simple act of life sharing is worth a thousand policies." Nick Jackson

"I am saddened to hear how the wonderful Camphill community is being wrecked by those who have the responsibility to continue the pioneering principles of its founder. I trust that a public outcry and a review by the Charity Commission can halt this disastrous process." Joseph Anthony Fleming

" I was part of the Delrow community for one year as a volunteer from the last batch that expierenced the camphill way how its supposed to be. The developements are equal to the ones in Botto. Hopefully that can be stopped. Save camphill!!!"  Anonymity requested

"The new 'regime' which has taken over the Camphill Village Trust is trading on the image which has become famous throughout the world.. that is communities based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner and enshrined in the Memorandum and Articles of Association. This is an inspired model of community living where everyone lives in community, gives what they can and receives what they need. So many young people have passed through Botton inspired to work in new and dynamic ways in the world. Camphill is now being reduced to the current government model of 'contact time' with carers who have no idea of the Camphill impulse. It seems to me highly immoral to extract donations from wellwishers who may well not be aware of the changes which have taken place. Every person applying to Botton may have a trial period to see whether they feel at home in the co-worker family model and the work ethic of the village and be place elsewhere if more appropriate for them. Future governments may well change policy yet again.. especially when they realise what is being lost. It is not honest to keep the name Camphill and change the model FACE UP CVT to what you are doing." Rosanne Adams

"The deeply Christian social impulse of Karl Koenig to create communities in which the fundamental social law provides the bases for all social/financial relationships has been a source of inspiration throughout my adult life." Christian Thal-Jantzen

Actions do indeed speak louder than words. Thank goodness that the inner attitude of the leadership of CVT, in all its cowardliness and cheap spirit of manipulation, has been made plainly visible for all to see. It is time some of the Trustees and Officers declared their positions. Shame on them if they do not." Christopher Hudson

"All strength to your campaign to stop management madness destroying all the efforts of so many people in the past. Tom Rowling

"I am amazed and distressed to read what has been going on. Partly because of my personal connections with Danby, I have made an annual contribution to CVT for many years to support the dedicated people who have developed the community at Botton. I applaud the "Action for Botton" team for what they are now doing and sincerely hope the campaign succeeds." John C. Nattrass

"I can't believe what I'm hearing. Keep up the good work!" Martin Anders

"The way Botton is organised must be preserved; the current arrangement allows for the development of a community that is diverse, vibrant and inclusive. The proposed changes are a tremendous threat the community and to the social lives of those who live there." Jimmy Bray

"I am in full support of the life sharing model upon which the Camphill model was established and has thrived for the last 60 years.The "top down" approach of the present CVT management structure is in total contradiction to the ethos of the Camphill movement, which is based on involving all stakeholders and ensuring a meaningful dialogue takes place before decisions of this magnitude are made." Mark Hobson

"My father, Tim Jackson, was involved with Botton Village for 40 years. He would be appalled by what is happening to this "best of all worlds" community. I will be contacting :- Members of the House of Lords; - M.P.s; - Councillors;- Members of the Royal Family;- Newspapers;  - Radio Stations; - T.V. Stations; - Magazines;- Freelance Journalists; - Professionals in the area; - Companies in the area;- North East & Yorkshire Celebrities and would encourage everyone else to seek support from as many quarters as possible. Best Wishes, Good Luck and Regards," Adrian Jackson

"I am a guest volunteer in Delrow Community and I could not be more angry, disappointed and sad about what is happening to the CVT Camphills. Our community is going through seemingly unbearable changes that make life very difficult for residents, coworkers and also emloyed staff. Many things are happening that make me question the humanity of those who are in power, very strongly. People seem to play with their power and bring everyone else in quite a vulnerable position with that. There is so much mistrust, barely any communication, no respect for camphill values, institutionalisation, fear to do something wrong as well as the fear of the consequences for any "mistakes" and not any sign of community live. I feel really unsafe and it is a relief to know that I can soon leave this place (that I used to love so much). I appreciate a lot that you are doing this petition. I think it is absolutely necessary to take action against the CVT now because there already happened to many terrifying things to just accept this situation. I wish you that you get the support you need and can realize what you are fighting for!" Elena Lo Bello

" It is my view that the world should be taking notice, and looking to see what it can learn from the successes of Botton Village over the years, and not the other way round. Botton Village, and the other similar communities, have given their residents, including those with learning disabilities, a valuable role to fulfil in life and consequently a huge boost to their self-esteem. One thing I particularly notice about their approach is the focus on an individual's abilities and potential and how to build on that to help a person feel valued, not only by others, but by themselves. They have enriched the residents lives by giving them access to the stimulating and therapeutic art form of Eurythmy, which I have been fortunate enough to play an active role in as a musician for many years. I have chosen, many times over, to continue doing this despite many more lucrative offers coming my way, so much do I value it! My view is that the proposed changes by CVT would unceremoniously strip these things away from them, which is utterly heartless, soulless, and thoroughly inexcusable! I am willing to go to great lengths to support Botton Village in upholding their cherished way of life, and will strongly oppose any action by CVT that would threaten to take this away from them." Jeremy Harbottle

"I have worked for the CVT for many years as an employee at the Croft Community. Until three years ago when the new management took over, it was a wonderful place. Inspiring, dedicated and genuine people shared their work and lives together. Now it's a depressing, anxiety-ridden place. We have outbreaks of angst and fear of constant change for the worse. The change from co-workers and a small group of employees to the new regime has been a nightmare. CVT has very quickly become here nothing more than a 'tap and sink' employer, where people enter on very poor minimum wages, and leave just as soon as they can. We are exploited with ridiculous amounts of paperwork and management demands for 'economic growth' and always there is an underlying threat of being sacked because we are not 'positive enough' about the new CVT makeover. Several long standing employees have already spent time absent with work related stress, and have been officially diagnosed as suffering depression. I wish the campaign at Botton good luck, and hope you can win your case." Anonymity requested

"I've read your declaration. It's great. When the right thing finally happens, please consider how and whether you can liberate Oaklands and The Grange and Delrow and all the other centres that have been emasculated by the muppets in charge. Good luck. Yet again you have provoked roars of approval across Camphill." Miko D

"It is imperative that the way of life of the villagers is protected. This has been developed over many years whilst staying true to the original philosophy and the changes currently proposed would decimate and destroy this way of life. May I wish this campaign every success, as indeed it must succeed." Peter Tekell

"It would be a travesty to destroy this unique and successfull community. I taught two of the young women who are so happy and settled there and I know how badly it would affect their lives and those of their friends and the families who work with them and care for them. Please think again." Jenny Luscombe

"I fully support the actions of the Co-workers and my brother Jon does too. He has enjoyed the help, support and friendship over 37 years of many Co-workers like Stephen and Julie Boothroyd, with whom he has been visiting at Copake this summer. These threatened changes are causing him a great deal of stress and anxiety. Unfortunately no one in the CVT hierarchy has seen fit to ask him his opinion about it all." David Nicholas Ranson B.A., M.A., (Cantab.), Ph.D

"It is so important to protect the values of community living, I only hope that the wider Camphill Community has the strength to support Botton in their hour of need." Julian Schad

"Yes I went to the meeting. Apart from the state wages issue, I very much fear that this top down management approach will result in the loss of the personal initiatives that encouraged work in all sorts of ecological areas and artistic and musical arenas...there is no way that people with no imagination can carry this on,it could die slowly.....I say to you, Botton has its faults with its systems but the alternatives provided by local councils etc are absolutely dire in comparison." Precious Caudwell

Botton is a beacon of inclusive community living. Please don't tamper." Terry Gibson

"Botton were there with all its villagers and coworkers at a time in my life when I was young and vulnerable and really needed them, and very much so because I so much needed them to need me. Botton has been a source of strength and support in my life,- sort of a throbbing heart in my life ever after. I am so Grateful for this, and I hope this way of living and nearness can continue to support many more people from all over the world. Forever grateful." Tone Kleive.

"Well done with the meeting last night - wonderful how such enormous numbers of local people, as well as Botton people, families and others, came to Danby Village Hall and they gave you unanimous support. Botton Village must be allowed to remain a safe, independent and fulfilling home and community as it has been for decades." Georgina Truscott

"I have visited Botton many times and know some of the villagers - lovely,lovely place where villagers can feel secure while enjoying so much independence. It's a community in itself and the "family units" answer so many needs for otherwise very vulnerable people. The village set-up has become home to so many people who feel they belong there.It was with consternation that I heard of the proposed changes which I believe would have devastating consequences.There seems to be a lack of understanding, at the top, of the whole essence of the place." Mrs Mary Ellwood

"What has been an important tool in providing care, support and understanding to people of different abilities is being washed away and changed forever. Truly heartbreaking, disappointing and gutt wrenchingly unbelievable. CVT has not got 60 years of care and consideration behind its decisions. Only financial thoughts and none of which are proven." Sarah

"I am a Botton School Parent & was at the meeting last night. It is clear that there is a lot of support in order to maintain & continue the ethos that the village has. I would like to help in any way." Allan Northend

"I understand and applaud that CVT are working hard to ensure that they provide a good service with the certainty that service users are less vulnerable to the abuses in other care facilities which have been exposed in the media in recent years. Having listened to the villagers at Botton, however, it is clear that people who live there have developed past the concept of 'good' and are thriving in their community. At the evening meeting on the 24th July I was impressed by the dignity, commitment to community and sense of self displayed by the residents of Botton who have learning disabilities; when addressing the attendees, villagers who had prepared to take part spoke with a self assurance and measured awareness that humbled their audience. The family structure and working environment is integral to developing this sense of self worth and duty to play an active part as citizens in a community. For a large organisation like CVT, exceptions and anomalies do not work. If only CVT and the Care Quality Commission could allow Botton village to attempt an independent structure, and perhaps support them in the early stages, it is quite possible that Botton residents, with the selflessness and tenacity that they all display, could continue to make this way of living a roaring success. I spoke to a Botton villager with learning difficulties last night who had lived within his Botton family for decades. Quite simply, he felt that his family were being taken from him, and replaced by carers. I hope, with all my heart, that the families of Botton are not dismantled as part of a business plan, as a reaction to events elsewhere: no one would condone breaking up a family in any other community; it should not be allowed to happen here." Anonymity requested

"Grew up in Danby - saw first hand that the current system works and shouldn't be changed!!" Tom Robinson

"I visited Botton today (24th July) and found this village to be one which encouraged and spoke to my spirit. The experience of being at both the farm (the bakery) and the coffee shop and garden was one of a soft, serenity. I had a deep sense of kindness and care and gentleness and respect and healing from those I met. God bless you, and as with Moses, may you just stand, and may God himself fight for you. We need new ways forward as community, this is a way which has been established, which is old, and yet which is new in the ways of how society in Britain forges its way ahead. I pray that those who care, support you." Jayne Ward

"Lets get Botton back to the happy community it was!!!" Michael Todd

"This is an important and valuable project, people's lives and they way they want to live them need to be put before 'tax reasons  and money. It would be a crying shame to change things for the sake of it, there must be a way to keep Botton the way it has worked for so long." Natalie Cardwell

"Botton Village inspired us; from our very first visit in 1986 . . . then we moved to York so our son could go to a Steiner school . . . then my husband trained as a Waldorf teacher and has now taught for nearly twenty years . . . and then I trained as a Biographical Counsellor. All came from one brief visit we made so long ago, which introduced us to the guiding principles behind Camphill. We hold you in our hearts." Sally St Clair

"Botton is a very special place. It always has been. Having grown up there, it breaks my heart to watch as CVT slowly rip it apart, piece by piece. They have no idea what Botton is about, or they don't understand it, or refuse to understand it. If CVT win this, we have lost something unique and wonderful. We have to fight." Madeleine Poole

"If a country can be given credit for all that develops on its land, the United Kingdom should be proud of one of its greatest ever contributions to humanity: a functioning example of the ideal social structure - wherein each member contributes to the best of their ability and each one receives all that they need for a satisfying and healthy life. The CAMPHILL COMMUNITY MODEL. To let it be destroyed would be a tragedy and a crime of a scale we cannot imagine." Emilia Mazzone

"Kirkby Stephen Parish Church choir have supported Botton for many years we love the way it works as one happy family we support it as it is. We would be very unhappy to see it change." Catherine Prime

"I have visited Botton and was so impressed by the warm family feeling created by the carers in the home visited, the facilities available and the peaceful environment. I felt the residents there were happy and wish there were more places like this so more people could benefit." Geoff Lodge

"It may well be difficult to imagine intentionally living a life-style of inter-dependence.--or rather, a 'way of life' as a Camphill Community attempts to do. However, there have always been those not living in a Camphill community who have recognize its unique value. They are formost the parents of children with special needs, or adult siblings and aging parents of adults needing support in order to live independent and productive lives; and there are the children and adults themselves in need of care or support who aknowledge a Camphill school or village as a place where they can call home and be recognized. And for many, discovering Camphill only came as the alternative--after many failed attempts of trying other possibilities. There are also those friends of Botton who since its inception have recognized its ideals and its potential as an intentional community and its value for the community at large. For those of us living outside of Camphill who had lived in a Camphill setting for a good while as a co-worker, teacher, houseparent, therapist, friend or whatever the 'title' may be, one would have to say that rarely, rarely, can one find a life so rich and full and privilidged as what the inter-dependence of a Camphill "way of life" can give. How is this possible? It is precicely because we had chosen to live this way, without compensation in the usual sense of the meaning, Is it a utopia? No, but we, whoever we are, whatever our gifts, failings, strengths, weaknesses are given the opportunity every day to practice our humanity with each other in our inter-dependence of living together." Johanna Rohde

"Care in the community does not work for some people and it's been a dream of mine for my sister as she would benefit greatly from living there. Why they want to shake things up there confuses me? This is the only honest option for us all to live together. Who will really benefit from this way in a sustainable way? The government? CVT? Indeed, is it right that our last shred of humanity be taken and replaced with a semi-institutionalised approach to a reformed mental health system just to tick boxes?" Mark Pickering

"I have worked as a trained teacher within Special Education in Denmark for 24 years, due to a life decision made on the basis of having lived and worked in a Camphill Community in GB from '83-'85, where I saw what can be achieved, when people work with genuine dedication. Surely improvements and a certain adjustement to so called modern standards may be needed in some Camphill communities, but taking away the community living aspect completely sounds most of all like a kind of haressment. I support the Camphill way of life and believe it to be an attack on Democracy, if it is not allowed to be a personal choice any longer." Bente Sondergaard

"The work you do touches the lives of people who need it the most!" Saffron Hetherington-Redhall

"The idea of Botton village is so good and beneficial to those who need it that it would be a great shame if it was not allowed to continue. We love to visit and were there on Tuesday and the people were so happy and laughing together that it was a real tonic to us and showed how much it meant to them." Cynthia Wood

"It is so important that communities like Botton continue to survive. Individuals with learning disabilities get the best quality of life if they live in a family unit and feel valued, loved and part of a family. To change this ethos will make Botton like any other residential care home with staff changeovers, poorly skilled and trained staff and lacking the holistic element which makes the care Botton provides so unique. Please think carefully before implementing change - if you were a service user of Botton how important would this change be to you?" Anne Hetherington

"I fully support this campaign and would urge others to do so too. This establishment must not fail because of a few closed minds determined to wreck a wonderful and loving community." Brian Marks

"More bureaucratic NONSENSE. These vulnerable residents need this fabulous support given by the dedicated Co Worker Families. Please please continue to give the full support they NEED. Changing to paid Carers will only be detrimental to the personnel support of residents. History is showing this with the current on-going Residential Care Home problems. LEAVE WELL ALONE!!!!!!!!!" Arthur Dunn

"I do not agree with what the so called management are doing. I meet ALL the residents regularly and they do not want the changes." Bill Filer

"I really cannot begin to understand the move to replace the present co-operative community model, which is working well, to the satisfaction of the residents with learning difficulties and their voluntary co-workers, with social service provided on a financially contractual model - seems a highly retrogressive move." Canon Robin Protheroe

"I always considered the current co-worker setup to be at the very successful core of Botton and Camphill- reforming it in such a heavy handed and unnecessary manner would surely have a hugely negative effect on the quality of care that could be given." Sam Drake

"The unique contribution of the Camphill movement has been a landmark movement for the whole world. I am also immersed in an institutional struggle right now in which I see what the effects of the regulatory financial and legislative mandates do when they impose expectations that are not supportive of the vision of the community. This community has a proven track record! Let us learn from them how they have evolved to be a thriving community."  Cynthia Hoven

"I whole-heartedly support your efforts to resist the changes being imposed upon Botton by the CVT. As a theatre director, who has worked in Botton, I know how beautiful and valuable your community is - and I recognise that it is being fundamentally undermined by the CVT's plans. You are understandably moderate in how you describe these plans - so I will say for you that they are crass and stupid and a shocking betrayal of the founding principles of Camphill. Were the trustees truly aligned with those principles, they would be defending not destroying them. I repeat that that I support you to challenge the CVT and send you every best wish for doing so." Alexander Gifford

"I have had a lot to do with Botton over the last 25 years, as I have worked at Church Street Dental Practice, helping the Co workers, children and Villagers alike. I think it is an amazing place and any changes would cause a lot of upset for everyone, and the "makeup" of the village environment will be destroyed. Please keep it as a family run community". Anita Nelson

"I spent a day at Botton village, meeting the people who work and live there. It was one of the inspiring and uplifting experiences of my life." Fred Campbell

"We all want to live in communities. Some need help to achieve that aim - and Botton provides it through the shared living / co-worker model. My daughter in the alternative supported living model, where it is made very clear that her carers are carers, not friends. This lack of community is a huge gap in her life and is a structural problem rather than an issue with the carers, many of whom are excellent. Knowing people in both systems, there is a really important place for the Botton model - it must be protected" Peter Norman

"In the late 1980's I was fortunate enough to join the Fund Raising Team at Botton Village and spent seven years connected to the Community. I vaguely recall a Karl Konig quote which ran along the lines of "the sum of the whole is far greater than the sum of the individual parts". That is how I remember Botton, with each and every person contributing their 'bit' to their own community. I particularly remember one young villager who absolutely loved to iron! (something I have resisted doing even to this day). And there were the farmers producing the milk for our cups of coffee, the bakery producing the bread which we particularly enjoyed when accompanied by Botton Cheese. It is obvious from the many other postings on this notice board, that any person who has - in any way - been 'touched' by Botton Village and the Camphill Village Trust at its best never loses the sense of belonging to the Community. There is so much that can be said about how special Botton Village is. The challenge now, though, is to make sure that the sense of specialness of this Special Place (harking back to my fund raising days, sorry!) is felt by each and every person who has anything to do with the future of Botton. It was good to read so many familiar names on this notice board and to see how many, many, people have been touched by Botton and CVT. As someone who is still living in the area, I will be following progress closely." Eileen Mitchell

"I believe that the 'extended family' situation is by far the best solution for people with special needs, and I cannot understand why this situation, which has been possible for so many years, has suddenly become 'impossible'. The human impact of breaking up these 'families' would be VAST, so even if the powers-that-be feel it is not an option for future use, they certainly should not break up the existing structure. How would they like it if their life-time support network was suddenly removed?! What has the CVT got to do with the fundamental human aims of Camphill?" Felicity Paterson

" There is no better fulfilling life experience than balanced and co-operative, relationship centred, family life. This plan amounts to fragmentation of the family experience for people that arguably need it most, benefitting from it perhaps more profoundly than other more self-sufficient folk. If this is taken away from them, there's not much love left is there"...Hannah West

" My brother - Will Graham - was a villager at Botton for over 30 years and we still visit each Spring to put flowers on his grave. Due to the love and support available at this incredible community, Will lived a full, valuable and satisfying life which would have been impossible elsewhere. I can't understand the need for these root and branch changes that must be so unsettling for everyone. Leave Botton alone to continue its excellent work." Richard Graham

"I have had the pleasure of participating in an event at the Botton Hall and experienced to warmth and happiness of the community - I believe it is a model that works." Sharon Mehta

"An incredible place for people with learning difficulties actually having a normal life and allowing them to work. A family friends daughter attends Botton and I've never seen her happier than when she's talks about her home and time at Botton." Belinda Simpson

"I have many fond memories of visiting Botton when I lived in York 20 years ago. A beautiful tranquil village with a loving caring atmosphere. Unique in my experience. Please don't let it disappear." Antony Andrews 

"Botton has been run perfectly well for the last sixty years. It's a lovely community with so much positivity. I grew up in Danby, the next village to Botton, and what they say up our way is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Please leave well alone." RW Smith.

" Botton is a fantastic place and has done wonders for my sister and many others just like her. To see this ruined by people who have no understanding of the real situation would be an outright disgrace." Tom Robertson

"People of all abilities, ages and walk of life should be allowed to live together. Those with learning disabilities should be encouraged to live rich and full lives in places such as botton and not cut off and segregated from the community. We should be creating more places like this, not destroying them." Nicola Larrington

"We wholeheartedly support the Camphill communities and their 'family' structure. We feel sure that any drastic change would devastate the villagers' strong sense of security and be extremely counter-productive." Ann and Bryan Foggin

"This is a bizarre situation and surely a breach of human rights? 'If it aint broke, don't fix it'." Jo Hooper

"People have made their lives here and created a community which supports, values and empowers everyone within it. This is a place to be proud of and replicate in other areas not change and destroy relationships made over decades." Sarah Wallcook

"When the tried and true becomes changed through outside forces, it no longer is 'tried and true'." Robin Mitchell

"The Camphill community offers a different living,working arrangement from the current private and local authority providers.Why do all the providers have to be the same? Surely adults with a learning disability should also be offered choice. No one makes them go and i see no-one restrained and forced to stay. (Do you have a waiting list?) Shame on you CVT." Mrs Kim Douglas

"There is no better demonstration of an integrated society, one that lives and breathes for the benefit of all who live there and whose pace of life and clarity of ethos is accessible for each member of the community. Don't close Botton, hold it up as an example!" Tim Butterworth

"I have visited the Camphill sites in both Botton and Edinburgh. Shared living gives the villagers the essential help and support they need and which paid employees who don't live on site could never do. They villagers need a family home not an institutional background. The thought of fewer staff who live off site with increased technology to help the villagers frankly appals me and goes completely away from the what I understood to be the fundamental beliefs of the Camphill Village Trust. If shared living stops I will definitely be stopping my monthly donation." Lyn Norman

" We think this organisation established by Steiner many tears ago is doing worthy and unselfish work and we would not like to see it disbanded or come under control by any other administrative authority. Our longtime friend has a daughter who has been there many years and cannot speak too highly of it. The work done by the co-workers is selfless and beyond reproach." Brian Duke

" For a quarter of a century I have watched the inspirational work you do with admiration and respect. I fully support your campaign." Neil Smith

" Having Visited Botton, (as a kid) it showed me a community that just works and works well, with the staff and residents living together like a family.Having worked in Residential homes years later it really made an impact and made me sad how all places couldnt be like Botton. I don't see how these changes will benifit the residents at all. Totally Unique, why change something if it works so well." Nancy Sands

"So many people have benefitted from their involvement with Botton over the years. It is a community which has worked so well for so long with love as its basis. Nothing is perfect but Botton is so close. Change is inevitable. It is how we progress. These changes will not provide the loving, safe and creative environment this community has known in the past. It must be encouraged to encompass changes for the better. This proposal is totally destructive. Shame on those who are pushing it. Their involvement with Botton must surely have been from a place of caring initially. Revisit the ideas of Camphill and fight to strengthen them. No, no, no to this bullying treatment of the Botton Community." Patricia Dyson

"Hearing about the changes to Botton Village is heart-breaking for me. I have worked in the village and other Camphill communities and know that with the changes in place the idea of a close-nit community, that is already a dying concept, will cease. I have experienced these changes first hand within another organisation, not only does it effect the volunteers but it will have a massive impact on the residence, in which I am most certain are unaware or indeed have no voice to the situation. I know first hand that the changes will not work with the idea's that Camphill were built on and for me it will be a very sad day when Camphill communities such as Botton are no more. My thoughts are with all the residents and volunteers, especially those who have made Botton their home more than I can remember." Miranda Richardson

"Through several of my musician friend colleagues, I have been aware of the fantastic work that's been going on at Botton for many years. Long may it continue!" Robert Dick

"Why do we lose ourselves in petty rules and regulations? We should listen to our hearts, not to the men sat at desks writing stupid words." Tony Galuidi

"I visited Botton Village when I was training to be a GP. It has a vibrant, vitally important and inspiring lifeblood of it s own and should not and could not be changed to the extent that is now proposed. It will quite literally blight the happiness of vulnerable children and adult's lives. I am presuming it is down to money ?? Can we all subscribe to monthly newsletters with donations to help prevent this change ?? A heart felt signature from me. A very disappointed in the world we now live, GP." Rebecca Foljambe

"As an ex-provider of holiday cover for houseparents in Botton I completely agree that live-in long-term co-workers and shared living and working on the model of extended family, is central to Camphill and vital to providing adults with learning disabilities a normal, dignified, meaningful life in which they are truly valued and treated as equals in a community. To abandon this approach to life and work and switch to purely paid and non-resident co-workers is to commodify care, and dehumanise and limit the fulfilment of potential for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We know from many reports of service user experience in mainstream services that care provision based on money rather than vocation exposes carers and cared for to risk: carers are prevented from providing authentic care that meets holistic needs of an individual, service users are made more vulnerable through the loss of relationships founded on love, respect and mutual benefit in terms of personal growth. Camphill Village Trust should be promoting the benefits of its traditional model of community and care not abandoning it." Jill Butterworth

"Your bread saved me from starving at Ayton boarding school in the 1970s, and I love the Camphill communities just the way they are." Clara M Abrahams

"Botton is the most beautiful community and landscape. I know people with mental illness who have regained happiness after a spell in the love that is the Camphill community. These executives are cultural and community vandals. Botton must survive for all of us to see what community based on love and mutual care is like in this selfish world. We need more Bottons for all our sanity." Bob Cannell

"The way Botton has been run has worked for decades, this change is neither warranted nor welcomed. The purpose of a facility such as Botton is to protect the welfare of the residents, which the current moves fail to do." Amy Shepherd

"I wish to support the wishes and actions of the parents and supporters of Botton who believe the changes proposed will be detrimental to the people they care about who have been living there so happily thus far. "Julia McSwiney

"The work that the Botton community has done with people with special needs has been exemplary for decades now. This way of working, namely on the basis of MUTUAL CARE, where every individual, whether 'able' or 'disabled', is dignified by contributing to the care of the others, is surely way ahead of the current government sponsored method, where 'services' of 'carers' are 'bought in'. What a distortion of true human relationships that is. I thus plead that the community in Botton, and similar communities elsewhere, be honoured for the dignity of their lifestyle." Wilfried Bohm

"I am deeply distressed to hear that the Camphill Village Trust board of trustees is continuing its actions to undermine at Botton Village the very foundations of the Camphill movement which has inspired countless dedicated people around the world for two generations. The model of care by long term residential coworkers and coworkers families who share their lives with those they care for, and the model of humane, non-hierarchical management that works in partnership and trust through community (in contrast to the present day corporate business model) has proven its worth and gained respect around the world. It is a small but immensely valuable alternative to the kind of corporate management and mentality which is proving again and again in our present-day world to be inhumane and morally bankrupt. It is utterly shameful to dismantle 60 years of devoted work while there is the alternative of creatively engaging the creative effort, energy, good will and financial support of people near and far who want to preserve the germ and the spirit of the Camphill movement and its ideals. I am one of those people and wish to add my voice 1) to protect and preserve the continuance of residential coworker care and cooperative management, and 2) to offer financial assistance to those who are working to preserve the ideals and practices of a traditional Camphill village at Botton." Lawrence Carter

"My sister lived in Botton for over 40 years and had a wonderful life there, cared for by amazing house parents in warm loving households. Why is the way Botton is run being changed when it has

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