Supporters of the campaign group Action for Botton are gathering to light the beacon at Danby, near Whitby, on Sunday October 26th at 5.30pm.
Neil Davidson, chair of Action for Botton, said: "Beacons have always been lit in times of threat to send out warning and to call for aid. Here however we are also setting the flame as a symbol of the light that has shone from Botton for sixty years. It has indeed been a beacon shining light on what can be achieved when individuals set aside their personal gain for the good of others and share their lives in a community of learning disabled and Co-workers. The Beacon is a symbol of hope and determination. Hope that what is good, generous and open hearted will always triumph over attempts to undermine its very nature. Determination that we will all do everything in our power to support an idea worked out in practical ways to achieve real good."
The growing opposition of the majority of Villagers' families and vocational Co-workers at Botton to the activities of Camphill Village Trust (CVT) has escalated significantly following letters issued by CVT to more than 40 Co-workers. In July, these vocational Co-workers signed a declaration opposing CVT's intention of replacing them with hourly-paid employees, of supplanting the community's life-sharing ethos with file-sharing shift work and installing a system of top down management.
Action for Botton campaigners fear that these letters are merely the first stage in a process, which - if the Co-workers continue to show no interest in becoming low-waged employees - will lead to their eviction.
"The Beacon will prove the Botton flame still burns strongly and I urge as many of our supporters as possible to gather and show solidarity with the Co-workers who are under such draconian threats," added Neil.
Organisers have confirmed that the beacon event will go ahead whatever the weather and that parking is available nearby.
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 formation 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. Much of the 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 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;
Pressure group Action for Botton has been set-up by stakeholders including friends, families, former Co-workers and Co-workers to oppose these changes.
For further information see www.actionforbotton.org and http://www.actionforbotton.org/files/Camphill_Values_v2.2_sh...
Notes to Editors
We can provide interviews with a wide range of stakeholders including;
Campaigners from Action for Botton including the chair
Co-workers (anonymously) and former Co-workers
Parents and family members of the residents
Learning disabled residents
Links to additional information
BBC report by Look North;
Learning disabled residents speaking about their preferences
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;
For further more detailed information on any of the issues outlined in this press release or to arrange interviews please contact the press officers;
Action for Botton
Neil Davidson – Chair
Tel: 0845 833 8292
Tel: 01765 640736
This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Action for Botton in the following categories: Environment & Nature, Education & Human Resources, Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.