2014 Annual Report

Camphill Foundation UK & Ireland Annual Report, March 2014

  Meetings of Trustees were held in June 2013 (The Mount) and November (Carrick-on-Suir). Three new trustees have joined the Board since the last AOCC Assembly. Helen Cherry is the parent of an adult resident in Loch Arthur Community. She has nearly 50 years of experience in the voluntary sector in Scotland, latterly employed by the Scottish Society for Voluntary Organisations as director for rural affairs. Nicola Swaffield is the parent of a young adult son who has been a student and resident in Camphill communities in England, currently in William Morris Community. Gillian Brand is well-known to many as a long-term Camphill co-worker in the UK and South Africa and co-founder of The Mount Community where she still lives and works.                                                                                                                  

  • Tiphereth have had a loan of £55,000 agreed to further develop their compost and licensed waste management operation at their Colinton Composting site.  
  • The trustees approved a grant of up to £3,000 to cover the costs of setting up a legal body for Ways to Quality of which £2108 has been spent.
  •  A request for a grant to a bursary fund for the Anthroposophical Health Care Course was agreed, with certain conditions attached. The fund is to be used to support individuals working in Camphill Communities. The individual receiving a bursary has to give a minimum 2-year commitment to Camphill. If an individual drops out they must repay the bursary. The grant for this first course would be £5,000.
  •  In Milltown the specialist equipment which the Foundation helped to purchase is no longer required and the trustees agreed that Milltown should find another community to which to donate the equipment.
  •  The trustees agreed to a request from Camphill Dingle for a €2,000 grant towards a biennial music festival involving 90 participants with bells, lyres, drums and singing
  • A request from Botton for £4,000 to help with the production of the fourth mystery drama, with the involvement of residents. The Foundation has supported the productions of the first and third dramas in Botton and on tour. A grant of £2,000 was agreed, but unfortunately the production will not now take place.
  •  Camphill Devon made a request for £6,000 towards essential health and safety equipment in their workshops. The total cost of this project is £22,000. It was agreed to propose two loan options instead, repayable over either 3 years or 5 years.

The website at www.camphillfoundation.net has been given a thorough overhaul to make it much more focused and effective. Advertising levels with Charity Choice and the Solicitors Group have been maintained and there has been the addition of an entry in the Solicitors Journal. There was a grant of £3000 from Land Securities PLC who was very positive about the work of Camphill.          Peter Bateson attends the AOCC PR Group and has been active in supporting Vivian Griffiths with the content of Camphill Pages, for which the PR Group is the editorial board.  He has also contributed regularly himself on behalf of the Foundation. In this and every other possible way the Camphill Foundation wishes to work actively and collaboratively with AOCC. They are the only two bodies in existence which have the whole Association in their remit for concern and support.

Future Developments

The Foundation is now engaged in an exciting new publicity and fundraising campaign, with the headline "World Wide Weave - Extraordinary Lives", leading up to Camphill's 75th anniversary in 2015. The title "Extraordinary Lives" reflects that it will be a celebration of the creative talents and skills of people with learning disabilities in Camphill places. This will be the world's first ever global weave. Everyone involved will play a part in creating an awe-inspiring set of wall-hangings.

The plan is to have 75 sections or panels in tune with the 75th anniversary. The exact form of each contribution will evolve according to the possibilities, skills, experience and approach of each community. It will be as inclusive as possible, involving people with learning disabilities and extra support needs not only in the actual weaving but in planning and discussing the whole project from start to finish.   People active in weaving and textile workshops all over the Camphill Movement will take part, in the UK and Ireland and fourteen other countries in Europe, North America and Africa.

The response has been extremely positive and many colleagues and community members with skill and experience in the textile crafts are already taking an active part in our campaign. The completion date for the weaving is 30th September 2014 and the finished panels will be displayed together in a number of venues in the UK, Ireland and possibly beyond. There will be various ways of arranging the sequence of panels to show different aspects of Camphill.  

The overall artistic conception for the project is that of DIVERSITY IN UNITY. Each Camphill community is unique - no two in the world are the same - and yet wherever in the world you might be you can have the feeling, "this is Camphill". They are all united by the core values of the Camphill Movement, and this shows in the quality of the environment and the quality of social relationships. The project will therefore depict the theme: OUR COMMUNITY'S INTEGRATION WITH ITS PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT. The panels will all be 60 cm wide and 80 cm deep. They will be produced in the form of weaving, tapestry or felting, or even in combinations of two or more of these. Other ideas have also developed for using appliqué, embroidery, screen-printing and incorporating other materials. Each panel will be accompanied by a 500-word description of the vision and inspiration for the design, its relationship to the originating community and the participants' common experience of working on the panel. Also to accompany each panel will be a photograph of the group of people who have been working on it.  

The Trustees of Camphill Foundation hope that the campaign will help to strengthen the awareness of Camphill's existence in the UK & Ireland and its unique contribution. Parents, relatives and friends of Camphill are one section of the population which fully recognises this but they are relatively few in number and often express amazement that Camphill is not better known. We feel that this campaign could help to change that. Camphill is at the forefront of promoting the understanding that people with learning disabilities have truly extraordinary creative talents and skills of all kinds, practical, social and artistic. It is this affirmative message that we wish to convey through the publicity campaign's motto "Extraordinary Lives".    

Peter Bateson (Development Coordinator)