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Old 28-04-2015, 09:25 PM   #161
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Default Parent's Open letter to Frances Wright - CVT

24 April 2015

Dear Ms Wright,

I am writing to you as a concerned voting member of CVT and also the father of a beneficiary of the Trust.

My daughter Tracey has been a long time resident of Skylark House in Botton Village (BV) hence my particular concerns at the developments taking place during the past four years . It encompasses the period commencing when you took up permanent employment with CVT which coincided with the appointment of Huw John as CEO up to the present day.

I have a dilemma and that is understanding why you ever chose to advise and subsequently become an employee of a Charity which has at its heart and in its Memorandum of Association the following objects and powers :-
…the establishment and maintenance of communities in the form of villages, residential houses ……. in which beneficiaries live and /or work and/or to which they otherwise resort with persons providing support .
Provide to or procure for , beneficiaries the benefits of family life in all its aspects ……through anthroposophical, social, philosophical, spiritual and religious practices following Steiner Principles.

The reason I say this is for the past 16 years based on the documentary evidence that I have acquired, the only viable conclusion that I can draw is that you have devoted your life to changing the objects and powers outlined above.

I believe that I am right in this conclusion but this letter is intended to give you a chance to explain if I have got it wrong.

In August 1999 you co-authored a Working Draft entitled “Proposed Goals for Botton Camphill Village” At that time you were associated with a Company called New Leadership Limited. That was the start of your long journey to radically altering and ending the house community/shared living and vocational co-worker model.

Q.1 -WHY?

The vocational co-worker is the heart and soul of BV Camphill life following Steiner Principles. 2

My daughter Tracey depends 24/7 all year round on her co-worker house mother Claire Griffiths.
At the time when you took up permanent employment with CVT the AGM minutes were released and the published accounts (2010/2011) recorded the following :-

in relation to the balance sheet the Charity has Net Assets of £92m and £15-16m of net current assets which represent the ability to pay debts . This is a strong balance sheet and puts the Charity in a good position to face upcoming challenges.
Up to that time all communities had Local Management Committees with the vocational co-workers basically running and organising the Communities.
The whole Charity was a success story but years before 2010/2011 the documents I have in my possession appear to indicate that you had already set your heart on changing.


In 2010 you were a member of a core group entitled the Vocational Co-worker Status Meeting ( VCSM). At that time you were an Independent HR consultant to CVT. It was a group formed to create an updated understanding of the status position of co-workers and how best to treat their engagement as vocational workers in relation to modern management and governance necessities.

The groups work resulted in the production of a document called “Three Perspectives” . It was launched internationally in 2011 in Finland and was intended to be a genuine attempt to create a format which could be used for dialogue between CVT and the Charity Commission (CC).
This document was abandoned by CVT and not used as a basis for negotiation with the CC.

Q.3 - WHY?
When the vital “co-worker fund” negotiations took place between the CVT and the CC you refused to allow any of the co-workers to attend and put across their point of view.

Q.4 - WHY?
You even went into the meeting without a preferred approach from CVT. It was in my opinion complete capitulation of the co-worker model.

Q. 5 - WHY?

In 2010 Tom Blake, with your agreement made the statement that in order to survive in the modern social care context CVT had to undergo strategic change. He said that this change must include Ending the house community /shared living and vocational co-worker model. 3

Steve Briault the Chair of Trustees of The Mount Camphill Community confirmed your intentions in a letter to Felicity Chadwick-Histed where he explained :-
The specific issues raised by the Charity Commission to which you refer –levels of co-worker benefits, reporting and monitoring of these, and addressing conflicts of interest –are all perfectly soluble (again, as current practice at the Mount demonstrates ) without imposing employment…

Q.6 -Why are you so committed to the policy that CVT has to undergo strategic change?

Q.7 - Did you not realise that serious legal opinion was stating that you were acting in breach of charity law?

According to Hubert Picarda QC a vastly experienced charities specialist who, quite literally, wrote the book on charity law, identified 8 breaches of trust by the trustees one of which he identified as :- Abandoning or procuring the abandonment of the existing model of care – the family or household model – in favour of a bureaucratic model in which Steiner / Camphill principles are not promoted or preserved.

In September of 2013 I together with a number of signatories wrote a detailed letter of concern to the CC. It ran to 20 pages with 50 No. annexures. The CC commission passed it to CVT for comment.

Through the freedom of information act I received a heavily redacted copy of your response which stated:-
We will not respond at length or address the many factual inaccuracies

This statement turned out to be extremely misleading and when I challenged you the response I received was:-

We appreciate that large parts of your letter were quotes from other documents and would have no concern about their accuracy (with one exception relating to the document on co-worker costs) however in many instances we clearly would have a different interpretation.
Your response to me varied considerably from the one offered to the CC.

Q. 8 -Did you not realise that your response was likely (and on one interpretation intended) to mislead the CC.?

Since 90% of your reply to the CC was redacted I am naturally left wondering just how accurate the rest of your comments were.
Would you care to set my mind at rest by sending me an unredacted copy of your email to the CC dated 18 October 2013 11:49?


In your recent Witness Statement you made a powerful comment in describing BV :-
The overall picture is one of systemic institutional failure in the model at Botton. A general manager was employed as a consequence of these concerns….

It is again necessary to ask whether you realised that these were seriously misleading statements and half-truths and if so were they intended to be so or is there another explanation

You are described by a former trustee as no longer practicing as a solicitor and therefore coming from that background it is reasonable to assume that your choice of words would be carefully selected in order to maximise your point of view.

You failed to mention that the General Manager who was appointed in November 2011 was dismissed in January 2012.

You identify so called concerns in financial and care management .

As far as financial management is concerned you failed to mention the North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC ) Internal Audit R 2012-13.Reference 28200/076 .This was a report commissioned by NYCC to evaluate progress made by BV in addressing issues raised in the 2011 report. In the introduction it mentions fundamental financial weaknesses being discovered.

In the review of the newly installed Sage 50 accounting system it noted that :
However it is not yet fully operational as an accounting package . Brought forward figures have yet to be entered, there are no budget figures in the system and there will not be any until the next financial year.

This is certainly a systemic institutional failure but it is not created by the co-worker model. It is created by the incompetence of your senior management team headed by Huw John who were responsible for the implementation of the change in the system.

However it should be noted that the CVT auditors were nonetheless able to sign off the charity accounts in the previous year without any reference to fundamental weaknesses in the BV accounting system.

As far as care management is concerned you also failed to mention that the 4 areas of concern previously identified in November 2011 by the Care Quality Commission (CQC )were quickly resolved and the Review of Compliance by the CQC dated April 2012 issued a clean bill of health in all areas .
I find it quite extraordinary that you continue to malign the co-worker model at every opportunity even when the documentary evidence cannot support it.

Q.10 - Why do you do it? 5

It is no exaggeration to state that your influence on CVT policy has been huge and that the dramatic change in direction that has taken place in all communities in respect of the co-worker model over the past four years can be laid firmly at your door.

Your influence in CVT is neatly summed up by a previous chair of CVT –Chris Cook who states :-

Frances Wright had previously worked as an independent consultant for CVT on fairly regular basis for some time and her skill and knowledge in HR matters is recognised and appreciated by many people in the charity who work with her. When Huw John was appointed as the chief Executive it was decided by the Board of Trustees to formally employ Frances Wright full time and she now reports to her current line manager Huw John.

In June 2011 in a Briefing to all communities CVT/NYCC announced that the BV Local Management Committee (LMC ) had been stood down on a temporary basis. It has never been reinstated and no explanation has been given nor thanks extended to the many who have given years of volunteer service. The management of BV was subsequently assumed by a General Manager appointed in November 2011 reporting direct to the CEO Huw John.
This catastrophic management decision formed a major part in the subsequent decision by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC ) to regard BV Co-workers as having employed status.

Based on information supplied by CVT HMRC wrote :-
Since 2009 the co-workers work under the guidance of CVT managers so there is a clear line of supervision. They are accountable to their line manager. They receive regular supervision.

As head of HR I find it inconceivable that you did not play major part in this decision to radically change the management structure of CVT and ultimately the co-worker model. A management structure that had successfully existed healthily and financially strong for five decades

Q. 11 - WHY?
There were certainly alternatives available as explained by Steve Briault from The Mount Camphill Community but it would seem you were blinded to such considerations.

In the past 4 years under your guidance as head of HR the charity has achieved the following milestones :-

• In August 2014 the CVT trustees received a letter of no confidence from 211 signatories calling on all of the trustees to make way for a new group of trustees.

• Also in August 2014 the Delrow Community wrote to the Charity Commission enclosing an Opinion from Hubert Picarda QC citing 8 No. Breaches of Trust by the management and Trustees and requesting an investigation.

• In December 2014 Bindmans acting for 3 villagers issued a letter before action citing a breach of human rights

• In February 2015 Co-workers together with family relatives from three communities viz. Botton Village , Delrow Community and Grange Village issued a letter before action citing a claim that CVT management and trustees were fundamentally altering the nature of the Charity and its communities.

• Also in February 2015 the Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP the Minister of State for Care and Support wrote to Robert Goodwill MP saying We know that many people such as ??? ( name of a villager in BV like Tracey ) feel happier and safer in intentional communities, and we fully support these communities when they offer choices and good quality care. I can assure you that a key aim of the Government is to put people with learning disabilities and the families who care for them in control of their care, including where and with whom they live.

• In March 2015 Baroness Hollins rose in the House of Lords to make a statement in respect of the Mental Capacity Act and made specific mention of Camphill Village trust and the fact that it appears that financial decisions are driving changes without the inclusion of residents in best interest decisions.

• Also in March 2015 An Early Day Motion No. 924 was Tabled in the House of Commons by Caroline Lucas MP

Never in the history of the Charity has so much resistance been lodged by so many people to the policies that you are determined to push through. Q.12 – WHY ARE YOU SO DETERMINED?

On the face of it the only logical conclusion is that all these people are totally misguided and wrong and that the Frances Wright long time policy and solution is the only way forward.

You are now not far from reaching your target in BV by driving out the remaining co-workers who refuse to accept contracts of employment.

Due to BV’s unique isolated and rural location it cannot survive without volunteer co-workers living there 24/7 and they are irreplaceable. It simply remains a matter of time before BV collapses financially.

You of all people with your considerable knowledge in HR will have long realised that you would never be able to source sufficient experienced social workers on the local labour market to replace care workers like Claire Griffiths with 20 years’ experience of taking care of Tracey and villagers like her. 7

I wish to make it clear that I do not hold you responsible for financial matters. However I do hold you responsible for your unremitting attacks on the co-worker model for no logical reason. The resulting financial implications become what is known in Insurance parlance as “consequential losses” It is simply a loss resulting from your disastrous policy to change the co-worker model. These sorts of losses are uninsurable.

In the past 4 years I have attended many family forums and the question on 95% of the lips of the families and relatives present was “how have we got ourselves into this mess?”
I firmly believe that the documents that I have in my possession provides the answer to that question.

You truly are the power behind the throne.

One final question. Q. 13 - Were you responsible for the due diligence in respect of the appointment of Huw John as CEO?

Yours Sincerely
Brian Knight
CC Felicity Chadwick–Histed Chair of Trustees.

Last edited by action4botton; 28-04-2015 at 09:32 PM. Reason: formatting text
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:01 PM   #162
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Default Botton Village Documentary - Battle for the Soul

Botton Village Camphill Documentary - Battle for the Soul


Thank you for all comments and wishes of good will to the learning disabled residents and co-workers in Botton Village, North Yorkshire.

At last, a short documentary has been made which explains the very complicated Botton story in an easy to understand way.

Please watch and share with many.

If the High Court cases fail, the co-workers and their children will be evicted and the learning disabled will be forced into residential care.

The onsite Steiner school may close within a year too as CVT withdrew the schools funding this year as another way of forcing the co-workers out.

And a perfect Agenda 21 ending - the land worth +25 million will be sold off.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:51 PM   #163
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Default Botton Village on Richie Allen Show tonight!!


Thank you David and Gareth Icke for linking Botton with Richie Allen!

Much gratitude to all of you for giving the community at Botton some exposure!
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Old 13-05-2015, 07:33 AM   #164
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Default Richie Allen on Botton Village - Share to go viral


Richie Allen, David and Gareth Icke have helped the Botton learning disabled and co-workers get their desperate message out.

Please help us get the message viral by sharing the link to Richie's show

and also the video that moved Richie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxgIXQ-Lz0s

Thank you!
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Old 14-05-2015, 09:33 PM   #165
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Default 1,100 Ltrs Organic Milk chucked by CVT. Disgrace!

Charity Camphill Village Trust Wastes Organic Dairy Produce for Ideological Reasons.

Evidence has emerged that, on Monday, managers at Botton Village tipped at least 1,100 litres of organic milk away and closed Botton’s famous organic creamery rather than ask for help from the qualified Co-worker in the community.

Having, it is claimed, already hounded the artisan Co-workers out of many of the community’s workshops, including the famous creamery, the Trust suddenly found itself in an ideological dilemma when the head cheese maker (an employee) was unexpectedly called away due to a family emergency.

The learning disabled residents, who usually work making Botton’s famous organic cheese, cream, yoghurt and other dairy products, were stopped from going into work, sent home and the creamery doors were locked.

In a seemingly short-sighted move, the farmers had to tip that morning’s 1,100 litres of fresh, biodynamically produced milk away into two slurry tanks, wasting the community’s hard-won produce.

In subsequent email and telephone contact that bordered on the absurd, Eddie Thornton, a fully qualified cheese maker (who had been dismissed for accompanying disabled adults to assist them when they wanted to protest against the charity’s changes) was instantly rejected as a possible option for keeping the creamery running by CVT managers. He said “I am not the most popular person with the top brass of the CVT at the moment for the part I've played in aiding the Villagers to speak out and have their voices heard. But this is a nonpartisan issue and on Monday around 1,100 litres of prime milk were flushed away and I immediately offered them the opportunity to not do that again, and waste the week’s production of over 3,000 litres”. He adds “ As the only cheese maker within driving distance of the village I am their only option. Sadly I think that pride or ideology has once more got in the way of the community functioning properly. It’s an insult to the learning disabled residents of Botton Village who get up at 5am to milk the cows, and frankly a criminal waste at a time when a million people across Britain are relying on food banks”.

Botton resident Neil Shearer said: ”I find it disgusting to wake up to milk the cows and see it all go to waste” whilst Ian Hatcher, also a learning disabled milker, added: “I think it’s very bad, I wake up at 5 and start milking at half past five. I think it’s a waste if the milk goes down the drains and then onto the fields. It normally goes into the tank and we take it to the creamery but we can't do that now because they won't let us. I helped Eddie make the cheese before and it would be good to do it again, that's for sure”.

Emilija Legzdina, an agricultural apprentice, commented: “Whatever happens, no food should be thrown away. Never. It seems incredible that in such a place like Botton, an intentional, land work based community, something like that is planned and acceptable, while there is a person available who could process the milk that's being wasted. Our daily hard work washed down the drain. Unbelievable”

After considerable internal protest by the Co-workers still at Botton, CVT managers encouraged the Botton households to use a small portion of the milk and produce their own yoghurts in their home kitchens. However it would not be possible to use the majority of the milk in this way and what will happen to a further 1,000 litres of milk which will be available tomorrow (Friday) is not yet known.

Camphill Village Trust (CVT), a charity originally set up to support the formation and maintenance of intentional communities that fully integrate the learning disabled into every aspect of community life, has been facing a storm of criticism over its attempts to dismantle the key elements of its communities including the much valued workplaces of the learning disabled such as the creamery.

The net effect of CVT's restructuring actions has been and continues to be the tearing apart of living, vibrant communities and acute distress for community members, including Co-workers and most importantly, the learning disabled residents, who have themselves recently created and courageously presented a petition at No 10 Downing St asking the Prime Minister to intervene on their behalf.

The residents, with the support of worried family members in the campaign groups, feel that their concerns have not been heard and their choices to live with their Co-worker families in a shared-life setting are being completely ignored.

This forced segregation situation is set against the backdrop of national concern about the treatment of the learning disabled, with the launch of the Green Paper by former Care Minister Norman Lamb MP ‘No Voice Unheard, No Right Ignored’. In a recent BBC interview Mr Lamb relayed that he felt the learning disabled are being “treated like second-class citizens with decisions being made about them without them being involved and without their families being involved”. This, say campaigners is exactly the treatment being meted out to the learning disabled at Botton Village.

Political support for the Community’s struggle against the enforced changes is growing with concern for the situation expressed by Baroness Hollins in the House of Lords this spring, over 30 MPs of all political colours writing to Ministers to express their concern, an Early Day Motion raised in Parliament about Botton, and the Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper MP, holding an enquiry at another CVT site, The Grange, in his constituency.

CVT was already under scrutiny in multiple areas with campaigners highlighting serious questions about the way the charity is run including a worrying lack of transparency in its accounts which, in spite of requests, has yet to be clarified; a potential conflict of interest with a director whose own company supplies services to CVT for unidentified remuneration; claims of harassment being made to local Police and pending actions for compensation by former community members who claim to have been bullied out of their roles and communities.

In addition, in February there was a sudden Trustee resignation citing assorted governance issues including concerns relating to the Articles and Memorandum. Finally, legal mediation is expected to be taking place in about 4 weeks’ time relating to the High Court claim brought by campaigners, including parents from one community now devoid of Co-workers, over alleged breaches of the charity’s articles resulting in an end to the shared-living model of care.

While campaigners prepare to present their case to the High Court, the residents have looked to Unite to help them protect their way of life. Some 70 Co-workers and residents have formed a branch of the Unite Community and are organising alongside other Unite activists to raise the profile of their struggle and to organise effectively against the changes.

One can only wonder how CVT’s Chair of Trustees Felicity Chadwick-Histed, also a Partner at Publitas Consulting LLP can continue to ignore the plight of the learning disabled for whom the Trustees are ultimately responsible.

Notes to Editors

Betrayal of Trust

 CVT is a Trust that was originally set up to hold and manage assets which belong to an intentional community and are held in a state of Trust specifically to be administered for the benefit of the charity’s beneficiaries.
 To put it simply, the set-up is comparable to the way that parents might leave monies ‘in Trust’ for their children and have trustees administer the funds specifically for the benefit of those children.
 The trustees have a duty of care to make sure that any money is used in the way the Trust says and the trustees must make sure this happens.
 The Camphill community at Botton consists of both learning disabled residents and the Co-worker families who together create the community. The community includes people of all ages from children to pensioners.
 The trustees are given very clear instructions as to how the community should be run particularly about shared living and the support being given freely and not brought in exclusively by employees. Until recently, the community managed its own affairs and choices internally.
 Instead of holding the assets and administering the finances as they are supposed to, the trust appears to have secretly decided to try to get rid of the volunteers and stop shared living. Effectively it therefore attacked its beneficiary (the community) and is currently trying to evict community members from the site when it should be supporting them.
 This is the equivalent of those trustees of a child’s Trust ignoring what the parents wanted.
 Senior barristers now say that the actions of CVT mean that the Trustees are in breach of trust and acting outside their authority.
 The trustees appear oblivious to their potential liability as they may be personally liable for the conduct of the Trust. They are called "Trustees" because they are trusted to behave properly.


Please contact the press office if you would like an interview with any of a wide range of stakeholders including;
Campaigners from Action for Botton including the chair
Co-workers and former Co-workers
Legal experts
Accounting experts
Parents and family members of the residents
Learning disabled residents

CVTs False Claims to the Press

Recently CVT has been making a number of false and misleading claims to members of the press, we should like to set the record straight;

Misleading Claims re HMRC and Tax

False claims about HMRC's position on Tax. CVT has deliberately into actions which they must have known would convert Co-workers into employees and has made false claims in order to do this, initially claiming that it was necessary to do this due to changes in tax law, which they now agree is untrue. Furthermore CVT could easily support and facilitate the Co-worker tax model if it chose to - something HMRC has made completely clear in correspondence;
1. In short, there is a technical document which sets out how to determine a vocational co-worker’s income which is then subject to taxation, which can be viewed on the HMRC website (BIM22040). This is still valid as confirmed by the Treasury and HMRC in writing only a few months ago.
2. Many other Camphill communities in the UK, outside CVT, operate the normal vocational Co-worker model, where the community clearly is allowed to continue to exist, perfectly satisfactorily in line with this taxation document.
3. CVT, however, knowingly undermined the existence of community by enforcing changes that it did not have to make - this was its choice and strategy and by ceasing to recognise the communities as separate from the charity and Co-workers as living and working within the community, it has deliberately imposed layers of intensive management thereby changing the facts on the ground. i.e. it is CVT’s choice to try and force employment on the Co-workers.
4. CVT stated it wished to employ all Co-workers from 6th April. It produced information which failed to acknowledge the existence of a community and regarded vocational Co-workers as “engaged” as employees. The vocational co-worker should not (according to the charity’s constitution) have any contractual relationship with the charity or indeed the community in which they live and work. HMRC's website states that "Co-workers assist the vulnerable members within each community, living together in houses, sharing money and making joint decisions.”
5. Co-workers are categorically not engaged in tax avoidance. (BIM 22040 deals with their liability to pay tax).
A detailed breakdown plus supporting documentation of these can be viewed on the Action for Botton website on the following link:

Claims about Shared living

CVT has never mentioned until recently to Co-workers, residents or their families that the offered traditional Camphill shared life model is an option going forward. On the contrary managers and trustees have always stated to all stakeholders and the press that this would never be possible for employees, whether former Co-workers or otherwise - they would not be allowed to live in the same households as the learning disabled as a matter of statute; this was emphasised strongly in their correspondence. After the unsuccessful mediated dialogue last December, the CVT CEO did say that he would set up a workshop to explore the possibilities for shared living and invite guidance from an outside group (“Shared Lives”), however, even though he suggested a date for this of Feb 10th the meeting was never held. We are therefore extremely surprised that in recent press statements a ‘spokesperson’ for CVT claimed this was a possibility, however we have no evidence that this claim is true.

Residents being upset

Claims made by CVT regarding the learning disabled being upset are misleading, they are upset precisely because of CVT's actions for three reasons:
1. firstly because they are not being listened to, their clearly stated opinions are being ignored and
2. secondly because CVT has made reported and very underhanded attempts to gag them and prevent them speaking about their objections to the changes. These attempts include failure to acknowledge their capacity under the mental Capacity Act and banning the press from coming into the homes of the residents when they have been invited by residents and where the residents are lawful tenants. This is a breach of their right to free speech: they are entitled to speak about things they object to and find upsetting.
3. the learning disabled residents know that CVT plans to segregate them from their Co-worker families.
The cause of their upset is in fact CVT’s actions and Action for Botton has facilitated the learning disabled being heard by the media which they have found very empowering and are deeply grateful that someone at last wants to help them.
CVT are being disingenuous in accusing Co-workers of spreading misinformation amongst villagers; please see an analysis that shows how it is in fact CVT that subtly but systematically misleads the most vulnerable in their care. We urge readers to read this example of CVT's deception campaign in the following link and consider how this contrasts with CVT's mantra of 'the beneficiaries at the heart of all we do'.

Laws, etc, campaigners say CVT have breached

Human Rights Act
Mental Capacity Act
Harassment Act
Companies Act
Charity Commission regulations
The Charity’s own Memorandum and Articles of Association

Links to additional information

Example of support messages for the campaign and communications;
Families writing to Camphill Village Trust and to North Yorkshire County Council
many more letters from families and friends of Botton to CVT

Recent Coverage can be viewed here

Independent report that outlines the devastating effects of these changes on other CVT communities. The unintentional destruction of intentional communities by Bob Rhodes and Richard Davis, published in March 2014. It is available at;
How bureaucrats destroy public services

Guidelines about care of the learning disabled can be viewed here

About Camphill Botton Village

The Camphill Movement was started over seventy years ago by German/Austrian Jews fleeing from the Nazis at a time of great persecution of the disabled. They did this to give learning disabled adults the chance
1. to live closely with the land and in a beneficial environment,
2. to live in a community where all are equal, irrespective of their abilities
3. to have a meaningful and fulfilling working life

CVT was founded in October 1954 to support the first adult community of Botton Village, which was started by Villagers, their families and volunteer Co-workers as an ‘intentional community' in 1955. The Articles of Incorporation expressly specify that the charity's purpose is to establish a community into which the disabled can be incorporated in order that their lives be fulfilled according to the above principles.

The community was therefore formed to include and support people with a wide range of disabilities. Those with learning disabilities live with the volunteer (unwaged) Co-worker families in shared family-like households so that they can each be supported to participate in all aspects of community life including fulfilling and meaningful work.

Fundamental to the movement is sustainable farming, and as a result CVT has grown to be the single largest holder of bio-dynamically farmed land in the UK with Botton in particular winning awards.

The entire community shares all the work in running the sustainable community, according to their abilities and wishes and for the benefit of all. Everyone agrees to these principles when they join the village. The result of this has set a world-leading standard in terms of community living, with Botton village famously leading the way in sustainability.

The community has been based for the last sixty years on vocational volunteer Co-workers receiving no salary, living modestly, pooling resources, having their needs met by the community.

Since its foundation, the Village has been widely recognised as an exemplar of a sustainable, inclusive community and has been much copied, inspiring over a hundred communities of the Camphill movement world-wide - 75 separate Camphill Communities worldwide and 36 in the British Isles, nine of which are currently CVT communities that grew out of the original site at Botton.

Popular for its caring and inclusive values, Botton Village has attracted generous donations and support from the public over the years with supporters keen to make sure that this unique way of life is continued. The original property owned by the charity was offered by the Macmillan (publishing) family, and/or built, bought and/or renovated with the help of donations intended for the purpose of supporting the remarkable community that is the Botton that donors know, admire and are keen to support.

Four years ago the appointment of a new management team at CVT heralded a catastrophic departure from Botton's founding structure and values, with management making repeated attempts to undermine the ethos and core caring principles of Camphill and ignoring the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the charity.

Links to more details on this are below;

About Action for Botton

Pressure group Action for Botton has been set-up by stakeholders including friends, families, former Co-workers and Co-workers to oppose these changes and enjoys the support of 84 Botton parents and family members, the majority of the 95 learning disabled residents at Botton as well as over 5,000 supporters locally and worldwide.

In December 2014 representatives of the group entered into mediation talks with Camphill Village Trust in a bid to find common ground over the planned changes. Despite several deadline extensions, reassurances from CVT about halting the changes whilst talks were in progress were not forthcoming and the talks did not progress and since then Action for Botton - along with other Camphill communities at Delrow (near Watford) and the Grange (Newnham-on-Severn) have vowed that they will continue their campaign. Tellingly, CVT refused to call these talks ‘mediation’ at the time, but are now using that term for PR purposes.

For further information see
www.actionforbotton.org and

Contact Information

Botton Buddies
See www.bottonbuddies.org
Action for Botton
Neil Davidson – Chair
Email: [email protected]
Kay Clark
Tel: 0845 833 8292
Email: [email protected]
Richard Graham
Tel: 01765 640736
Email: [email protected]
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botton, bullying, disabled, evictions, land grab

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