Read the latest from Camphill Village Trust

A Shared Lives Friendship; Shane and Aaron

Colleen and her husband Malcom have worked as foster carers, and Shared Lives Carers for many years, and in 2020, Shane moved in full-time with Colleen and her husband Malcom, following twenty-five years of respite with the family. Later in 2021, Aaron joined Shane for a short-term respite stay, and decided he liked it so […]

Family Life – our Shared Lives story

With almost 40 years under their belt as Shared Lives Carers, Lynne and Ian neatly sum up the ethos of the model with family at its heart! The couple have supported three gentlemen, whilst bringing up their own children – all whom have never known anything different than to share their home with others. An inspiring story […]

Camphill Village Trust joins special event honouring adult social care workers at No 10

In a show of appreciation, the Minister of State for Social Care, Helen Whately, hosted a reception at 10 Downing Street on August 17, 2023. This event was all about recognizing and praising adult social care workers from all over the country for their amazing contributions. People from different areas of the adult social care […]

New trustees

New Trustees join Camphill Village Trust

Our Board of Trustees act in the Charity’s best interests, set the Camphill Village Trust Strategy, make important decisions and oversee the running of our Charity. Rita Asamoah brings an impressive wealth of experience with over two decades of senior management expertise in the Health and Social Care sector. Her skills in operational management, business […]

Community comes together through Botton Village Karate Club

Due to the new grading system introduced in January, the Botton Village Karate Club has continued to bolster its ranks and grow its members through its revised Kyu system introduced by Sensei Chris and Sensei Ian. Following traditional training methods, the club is proud to take on students of variant abilities helping them to develop […]

Getting busy and making a difference in our local communities

Knowing that lockdown had been particularly hard for older people, Olivia and her fellow Kindness Crew members at our St Albans and Delrow Communities were keen to reach out. For the last two years the Kindness Crew have been serving refreshments and running quizzes and craft activities at their local branch of Age UK. Sharing […]

Communities working together to develop their green initiatives

Community members have been coming up with ways to help the environment and pitching their green ideas to the Dragons’ Dell.  The Co-production team have been working across all our communities since last autumn to come up with ways to make our communities greener. The best ideas from each community were then pitched to a […]

Co-production: Being confident, comfortable, and brave enough to tell your story

From 3 to 10 July we celebrate Co-Production Week. We asked Phil Gibson, our Co-production Lead, to tell us more about co-production. I am often intrigued by the question ‘How are you today’? Sometimes, I ask it as an easy conversation starter, expecting the response to be an affirmation that we are all doing sort […]

From sowing seeds at Ashfield Gardens to Gardeners World!

Earlier in the year at a local Growing up Green event I met a lady called Rachel Wells that runs a local horticultural company with her business partner Helen Kelly called Hortulani. Rachel and  I got chatting and Rachel told me that they were going to be having an exhibition stand at the Gardeners World […]

Empowering Lives and Embracing Opportunities: A Social Care Student’s Perspective on Camphill Village Stourbridge Community 

As a social care student at Camphill Village Stourbridge Community, Sheila has been inspired to pursue a career in social work by the opportunity to work with diverse individuals, finding solutions to their challenges, and safeguarding vulnerable populations from harm. Camphill Village Stourbridge Community, with its missions and goals, has played a crucial role in […]

A Passion for Social Work and Making a Difference 

In a recent interview with Zara, a dedicated social care student, her passion for social work and commitment to making a difference in people’s lives shone through. Zara’s journey into social work was inspired by her innate desire to give back to the community and support those in need. Her work experience with the ambulance […]

A Royal visit to remember!

It was a privilege to be one of six charitable organisations invited to meet the King during his surprised visit to Malton on Wednesday April 5. Camphill Village Trust CEO, Sara Thakkar, was joined by Carolyn and Virginia, two people who live at Croft community in the heart of Malton. Carolyn’s father, Henry Moresby Chinnery, was […]

Local MP attends Easter lunch at Ashfield Farm & Gardens

Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb attended a Community Lunch with Camphill Village Trust on Easter Sunday. The event was held at Ashfield Farm & Gardens on Sugar Loaf Lane, where Suzanne met Manager, Jenny Cadman, and Keith Williamson, who looks after the animals. Around 30 people from the Camphill Village Trust Stourbridge Community and their families, […]

“Whoever is matched to Claire and Wez is very lucky indeed”

Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives continues to grow across the region, following a successful approval of the first family recruited by the scheme in the City of Wolverhampton! “Whoever is matched to Claire and Wez is very lucky indeed!”… These were the words of Davinder Tiwana, Camphill Village Trust’s Shared Lives Independent Panel Chair following […]

A trip to Wales for Stephen and Debbie

In search of adventure, Steven and Debbie from Larchfield Community decided to head to mountainous landscapes of Snowdonia for a holiday. Accompanied by carer Deborah, the pair stopped off in Chester for a few hours on the way south. They enjoyed a walk, taking in a visit to Grosvenor Park’s wicker sculpture of the Queen […]

A snowy day of festivities for Shared Lives.

On Sunday, Stourbridge Community and Shared Lives came together for their annual Christmas event. Taking place at Ashfield Gardens, the gardens welcomed the Shared Lives Team, Shared Lives Carers and families, along with the people supported right across the community. The setting made for a perfect Christmas social event, with a Christmas tree and decorations, […]

Thank you Stowe Family Law!

All of us at Camphill Village Trust would like to extend our grateful thanks to Stowe Family Law, for their generous support. The Malton branch of the specialist family law firm have kindly donated £250 to their nearest Camphill Village Trust community, the Croft Community which is also based in the North Yorkshire market town. […]

A lady wearing an apron is smiling as she stirs the dish she is cooking

An update from Severnside Skills

Severnside Skills is our new training centre for adults with learning disabilities and autism at Taurus Crafts in Gloucestershire. We’ll be offering recognised training, through the AQA Unit Award Scheme, which people can work through at their own pace, to gain accredited qualifications in retail and catering skills. Learners will be able to formally recognise […]

Shiver me timbers! It’s talk like a pirate day!

Pirates aren’t just found in the Caribbean it seems. The landlubbers of Botton Village and Larchfield Community have recently been flying the Jolly Roger in honour of International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Community members of Botton Village met in the Joan of Arc Hall and took part in fun swashbuckling activities such as making […]

Life of Opportunity Reviewers on the road

Life of Opportunity Reviewers take a fresh approach

Did you know that only 6% of people with a learning disability are in employment? Many of our community members tell us they’d love to have a job, but finding the right training and getting suitable work experience can be a stumbling block. So we’re delighted that nine people who live in or are supported […]

Daniel, Susanne and Carole standing together smiling

Steps to independence with Shared Lives

Daniel got the keys to his very own flat in our supported living accommodation this summer – thanks to the support of our Shared Lives Scheme! Daniel first came to live with Shared Lives carer Carole when he left foster care aged 16. Over the next three and a half years, he was able to […]

Karate Masters!

We recently shared an exciting update from Botton Village, where martial arts have been introduced to its residents, and now they have achieved a new grade in martial arts. As a result of their hard work, they have achieved their orange belt. Since then they have honed their skills, focusing on balance and coordination. Third […]

Celebrating Success at Ashfield Gardens with the European Social Fund

Congratulations Zoe, on successfully completing your AQA in Animal Care and Horticulture and becoming a member of the Garden Team at Ashfield Gardens.   The course Zoe attended, was secured earlier this year by Stourbridge Community in partnership with the Worcester Council’s European Social Fund and was a 6-week course in Animal Care and Horticulture […]

Getting fit and having fun at Stourbridge

Fitness and weight loss were the goals when Sophie joined our Stourbridge badminton club but she’s finding other benefits too.  ‘We started the badminton club in February, and we play once a week on Wednesdays,’ explains Sophie. ‘My goal was to help with my diabetes and lose some weight.’   I’m getting better the more I […]

Wishing Fran all the best in her retirement

Fran started at Camphill Village Trust in February 1986 and has been ‘building connections’ ever since.    Starting out as part of a Community Programme aiming to get people back into the workplace, Fran travelled twenty miles in transport provided by Botton Village.   In the beginning Fran started as an Admin Assistant and was made […]

Botton Village creates new herb garden

Since May, the Inner Garden Team at Botton Village has been hard at work, creating a new herb patch within the gardens. The herbs were carefully selected by the people we support in the team, for use in Botton Village Cafes recipes, focusing on the ‘taste of Italy’, and for use in herbal teas and […]

Remembering Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Today, the communities of Camphill Village Trust come together in sorrow at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The sense of loss rippled through the Commonwealth, our country, our neighbourhoods and families. The Queen’s lifetime of dedication and service has been an example to us all. Some of us will recall the words […]

Giving a voice to the people we support

Meet Alfie who lives within Botton Village. Alfie joined the community four years ago and currently lives at Sycamore House. In the film below, co-produced by the Tea and Tech Team at Botton Village we introduce Alfie, and explore who he is, and what leading a life of opportunity means to him. The film includes clips from […]

An accidental discovery leads to a loyal and lasting friendship

Phillip and his wife Mo had never heard of Camphill Village Trust or our beautiful community, Botton Village, nestled in the North York Moors. That was until a local walking group made his holiday ‘to do’ list. ‘I discovered Botton Village on a walk. I was out with a walking group from Castleton while on […]

Delrow Festover is better than ever

In July, members of our Delrow and St Albans Communities came together for our third annual music festival. Kat, Day Opportunities Manager, says: ‘We had the fabulous sounds of the Delrow Choir and band, Ollie from St Albans Community, and many local bands too.’ Regular newsletter readers will remember that the first Festover was held […]

Catherine is our Christmas card star!

Designing, printing and preparing our charity Christmas cards gets underway at Botton Village in the height of summer. Catherine is involved in every step of the process. ‘We do the Christmas cards in Suzi’s art class,’ says Catherine. ‘I did a card with baubles and greenery and candles and bells.’ A team effort When the […]

Jubilee celebrations at the Trust

Across all our communities, the occasion of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was a chance both to show our respect and appreciation to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her 70 years of dedicated service, and to come together as a community. Fancy dress featured strongly in the celebrations in Grange Village, Gloucestershire – with royal […]

Botton Village people power!

When Cleveland Rotary Club needed a helping hand recently, they knew just who to call! The Rotarians pass on unwanted furniture from local schools to under-resourced schools in the Gambia. Moving hundreds of tables and chairs out of storage and into a lorry on a hot summer’s day meant extra helpers were required. Federico, David, […]

Thank you EDF!

A big shout out to the team of 10 volunteers from EDF Energy in Barnwood, Gloucester who recently joined in to lend a hand at Grange Village. The group got involved in a wide range of tasks across the estate, and helped to build two raised beds from reclaimed timber boards for our social garden. […]

Andrew and Karen’s long engagement has a happy ending!

The course of true love never runs smoothly, and Andrew and Karen from our Stourbridge community have certainly seen a few bumps along the road, thanks to the pandemic! The couple met in 2016, and started dating after they had their first dance at Andrew’s 40th birthday party that same year. ‘That’s when I first […]

Caledonian Coach trip to Blackpool and Chester Zoo

On July 30th-31st, Alex from Larchfield Community went on a coach trip to Blackpool and Chester Zoo. Alex loves animals and the seaside, so this trip was her ideal holiday. Alex and her support worker Deborah set off from Middlesbrough bus station on Saturday morning and arrived in Blackpool early afternoon. Alex said ‘When we […]

End of July diary entry from Stourbridge community

At the end of July the swifts will be flying back to South Africa. I have noticed this summer that there have been various nests of swifts in the church just up the road from where I live, St John’s Church near the fire station, and at the Elton Centre. They use church buildings to […]

Paul’s feeling right at home

After helping at the Larchfield Community farm and garden for many years, Paul knew it was the place to be. So, when a flat in the community became available, he jumped at the chance! “I’ve always wanted to live at Larchfield, ever since I first started coming here,” says Paul. “I was offered the flat, […]

Girl Power in Hertfordshire!

Ladies who live at St Albans and Delrow communities are joining forces in a new women’s group. The two communities, which are only a few miles apart, are taking it in turn to host the women’s group which meets one evening per month. “We had about five or six ladies from each community at the […]

Claire is our new Co-op Community intern

Did you know that only 6% of people with a learning disability are in employment? Many of our community members tell us they’d love to have a job, but finding the right training and work experience can be a stumbling block.  That’s why we’re delighted to be working with the Co-op on their Community Interns […]

A man practising karate moves

New karate club at Botton Village

Community members at Botton Village are getting their first taste of martial arts. Support Worker Chris, who teaches karate in nearby Whitby, has helped people living in the village to set up their own karate club. The club meets at Joan of Arc Hall for two hours every Saturday morning. 14 community members have already […]

The role of a Support Worker with Camphill Village Trust

Meet Gail. Gail is a Support Worker at Botton Village. As part of a team, she supports eight people who live together in a shared home. Prior to working for the Trust, Gail was a Police Officer for over 20 years. We caught up with Gail to find out more about her and her role […]

A Royal recipe from Taurus Crafts

The Hospitality School at Taurus Crafts is celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by preparing ‘Coronation Chicken’ for lunch as a healthy but tasty treat. The Coronation Chicken recipe was first created for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in January 1953 by Rosemary Hume. The dish was originally named “Poulet Reine Elizabeth”. Equipment: Baking tray, […]

Shared Lives Carers from Camphill Village Trust celebrated at Royal Garden Party

On Wednesday, May 25th, 2022, Lin and Jim Corbett were recognised for their incredible work as Shared Lives Carers with Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives and attended the Queen’s Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace with UK membership charity Shared Lives Plus. Lin and Jim from Kingswinford, Dudley, were among six Shared Lives carers who […]

Finalists in the Learning Disability and Autism Awards

We’re proud to announce that we are finalists in the upcoming Learning Disability and Autism Awards. People across the Trust nominated their colleagues, teams, and the Trust in several categories. We’re pleased to announce that we have reached the finals in four categories. Colin Buck is a finalist for the Outstanding Contribution Award. Sarah Timbrell […]

A cracking good Easter at Ashfield Gardens

By Jenny Cadman, Social Farm and Garden Manager After several years of limited activities due to coronavirus, we thought this year, given the opportunity, we would host an enriched programme of events to commemorate and celebrate Easter at Ashfield Social Care Farm and Gardens in Stourbridge. Our events started on Palm Sunday on Sunday 10th […]

Steph’s journey to independence

By Dawn Whincup, Team Leader, Larchfield Community. What an amazing, magical, memorable journey we have been on!  Stephanie moved into Larchfield Community nine years ago and moved into Teyva House. Lets just say the transition was testing at times, but Steph quickly settled into life here and thrived. Over the years, she has made some […]

Groundsman Chris transforms Botton Village

Botton Village groundsman Chris has been hard at work over the winter months, landscaping and maintaining the gardens around the community. Chris has worked hard to tidy up land and gardens and has provided space and accessibility solutions for the people we support to actively get involved in helping to make sure our village is […]

Earth Day at Danby train station

Marking #EarthDay in style, with a positive contribution to our local area and environment! Botton Village community members, Stephen and Alan joined Trust colleagues Colin, Jemma and Dan and friends from Network Rail and Esk Valley Community Rail to give Danby train station some TLC. The team weeded, planted, swept and tidied, whilst other volunteers […]

Sam’s kindling is lighting a spark!

Taurus Crafts is home to many unique artisan craft workers, so it’s the perfect place for Sam to develop his woodworking ideas. His kindling kits, which use wood sourced from our local sites, were popular with shoppers over Christmas, and now he’s keen to develop his ideas into a small business. “I’ve been sawing tree […]

A diary with a difference

Mel has found a unique way of recording her day-to-day life. She’s been keeping a ‘visual diary’ for four years. It’s a bit like writing a regular journal – but with a creative twist. “If I go to the park on a Sunday, for instance, then on Monday I’ll do a picture of the swans and […]

Shared Lives: a reflection on 2021

Written by Colleen and Malcolm who support Shane and Aaron Two beaming faces and a ripple of laughter from two young men getting into our car following a night out with friends. A snapshot in time worth remembering. When Aaron came to us in 2021, we already had a family holiday planned and just three […]

Putting on a show at Croft Community

Over Christmas, Croft Community worked with local theatre company Next Door But One, to create their own production of The Snow Queen. Community members from each house joined the workshop in their bubbles and worked together to produce the scenes, acting, imagining and creating their own unique version of the traditional story. Richard and Virginia […]

What did you say?

Another exciting Co-production project is our new video about the power of language, created by community members for National Safeguarding Adults Week. The video highlights how complex language or jargon from professionals can alienate people with learning disabilities – or anyone who needs extra support. “I changed my mind and didn’t want to go out,” says Stephen […]

Let’s talk about Co-production

Co-production is at the heart of Camphill Village Trust – but what does the word actually mean? Phil Gibson, our national Co-Production Project Manager explains: “I often get asked what we’re actually ‘producing!’ – Co-production is about supporting our community members to make their own decisions about how they live and the services they want […]

Welcoming new friends – and giant pumpkins – at Ashfield Gardens

Spring is a time to ring the changes at Ashfield Gardens. Our Stourbridge community garden is gearing up for the warmer weather with lots of exciting plans. The team have been digging over the earth to prepare for the new pumpkin and strawberry patches. “We’re making the pumpkin and strawberry patches twice as big this year […]

Healthy swaps when you shop at Botton Village

Community members at Botton Village have been learning how healthy choices can make a difference. Rachel and Verity, student dieticians from Teesside University, worked with community members for three months to raise awareness about healthy eating. Catherine was one of the people who attended Rachel and Verity’s group sessions. “It was difficult at first as […]

Fresh ideas for spring at Grange Village

The team at Grange Village are bursting with bright ideas to make the most of their outdoor space this year. Peter is planning a rainbow of flowers to bloom all year round. “We’ve planted sweet peas already,” says Peter. “Next it’s the marigolds and snapdragons.” The rainbow will be a mixture of annuals and perennials […]

Charlotte Salt

Charlotte Salt’s ceramics raise funds for the Trust

Charlotte is a Support Worker based at Croft Community in Malton, she also happens to be an extremely gifted ceramist. Over the weekend of the 5th and 6th March, Charlotte is taking part in The Great Charity Pot and Print Fair. It’s an online event that gathers together some of the best names in the world […]

Gallery: Coming together for Candlemas

Botton Village community members and colleagues yesterday celebrated Candlemas. It marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox. Everyone enjoyed warming mulled juice, lit earth candles, placed woven crosses, and sang Candlemas songs. The celebration ended with the planting of willow cuttings, which will form a new willow plantation.

The story of Fred Perry

Hi, my name is Fred Perry (like the tennis player) and I am 24 years of age. At the age of 18, I left foster care. My personal experience was good overall. I made great connections with people around me. It feels like a long time since I joined Camphill Village Trust; almost 6 years […]

Wassailing at Grange Village

Wassailing has been a tradition practised in Britain for centuries. It was also the perfect opportunity for community members and colleagues at Grange Village to get together on Friday. Wassailing has its roots in a pagan custom of visiting orchards to sing to the trees in the hope of ensuring a good harvest the following […]

Emily is a Life of Opportunity reviewer!

Last summer, we offered our community members across the Trust the chance to apply to become ‘Life of Opportunity’ reviewers. These are paid roles, working with our national coproduction team. Emily from St Albans Community has been appointed as one of our reviewers. She’s looking forward to meeting community members across the Trust to ensure everyone […]

Get into the festive spirit with the ‘Delrow Christmas Song’!

Step aside, Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey, it’s our turn now. We are incredibly proud to share our very own ‘Delrow Christmas Song’! The song was written, produced and performed by our very talented community members and colleagues who attend the Delrow Community Music Day Opportunity. The song took just three weeks to come together, […]

‘I’m As Good As’ poem by Owen

From Croft Community in Malton, Owen is a highly talented writer and poet, and we’re always really proud to share his work with you. Owen’s latest poem is called ‘I’m As Good As’. It’s a strong message about equality and how those with learning and other disabilities are perceived. Click the link to watch Owen […]

Dignity of Risk

What if you never got to make a mistake? Or how about if your money was always kept in an envelope, where you couldn’t get to it? Larchfield Community members have come together to read the ‘Dignity of Risk’ poem, written by Sharon Jodock-King. The poem is about affording people with learning disabilities the ability […]

Luke volunteers at the Park Run in Middlesbrough

Luke is helping out – and feeling the benefits too

Park Run is a popular community running event in towns and cities around the UK. Many of us will have spotted volunteer marshals in their ‘high vis’ jackets in our local park on a Saturday morning. Luke is a regular volunteer at Middlesbrough’s two weekend Park Run events. For over three months he has been […]

Alex gets his L plates!

As an experienced cyclist, Alex is good at planning routes and understanding the rules of the road. And now he’s ready to move up a gear. Driving can be challenging for people with disabilities. So Alex and his support workers enlisted the help of the Driving Assessment Team at local charity Herts Ability. ‘I had […]

Zara’s on patrol

Zara has been helping to keep the roads safe for pedestrians and drivers around Delrow Community. During a recent visit from Hertfordshire Constabulary, Zara and some of her friends talked to officers about the dangers of speeding cars, and had the opportunity to record the speeds of passing motorists on the nearby lanes. ‘We checked […]

Game, set and match to Emily

Emily’s love of tennis has opened up new opportunities. She’s travelled from her home at Oaklands Park to tournaments in Nottingham and Sheffield. ‘There hasn’t been many matches this year, because of Covid,’ she explains. ‘But I hope there will be more next year. ’Emily’s love of tennis began when she was 18: ‘I used […]

Greener communities start in our own homes

When Katie, Mark and Michael started to think about helping the environment, they made an important discovery in their own kitchen. ‘We didn’t have any recycling bins indoors,’ explains Katie. ‘We’ve just got the big recycling bins outside.’ Without an indoor bin to remind people, recycling was being overlooked. So the trio have done something […]

Meet the makers – our talented Christmas card designers

Did you know that our charity Christmas cards are all designed by community members? Earlier this year, we held a competition across the Trust for people we support, colleagues and family members to help us design our charity Christmas cards. We were blown away by the response, with over 60 entries. Sadly, we couldn’t put […]

Time for reflection

The lockdowns and restrictions of the past two years have been difficult for many of us, preventing us from seeing loved ones and causing stress and anxiety. Looking after our own mental health and supporting one another has never been so important. And that’s exactly what people we support in Stourbridge have been doing. A […]

Claire’s creative corner

In the spotlight this time, we’re delighted to feature Claire. She has created some unique lino-print designs – some of which she’s been working on for months. ‘I did this drawing of my mum’s budgie before lockdown,’ says Claire. ‘Then I put it on the lino block during lockdown, and finished it when we came […]

What did you say?

I am a service user. You are a person. I can be non-compliant, whereas you can change your mind. Language is vital in creating a positive culture and our community members have come together to highlight why language matters. Unfortunately, examples like these in our film reinforce the ‘othering’ of people with learning disabilities. The knock-on […]

Mel's visual diaries throughout lockdown

Studio Shorts – Mel’s Visual Diaries

In the first of our new series of ‘Studio Shorts’, Mel who attends the Art Studio at St Albans Community shares her visual diaries. Each of her visual diaries takes over two hours to complete and she’s been creating one each day since the beginning of the first lockdown. They highlight and record the places […]

Michaelmas Apple pressing

Together again

Michaelmas celebrations and shared community meals are popular traditions in many of our communities. With lockdown restrictions easing, we’re enjoying the chance to get together again. Delicious homegrown food at Stourbridge Our first community meal in 14 months and our Michaelmas Festival celebrations both coincided with the harvest from Ashfield Gardens. Freshly picked salads, homemade […]

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