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Campaign for Real Care



The Campaign for Real Care was set up as a response to the threat imposed to Botton Village by its charity the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) in which the charity threatened to evict the volunteer co-workers who did not agree to be employed. This move was held to be breaking with the memorandum of the charity and, following the formation of the Campaign for Real Care , a group rose up “Action for Botton” made up of people concerned that the life-sharing way of life that Botton had become well respected for, was under threat. This group raised hundreds of thousands of pounds and took the charity CVT to the High Court. After much stress and many co-workers (volunteers at Botton) leaving, an agreement was reached and a new community, the Esk Valley Camphill Community came into being. This wad made up of the co-workers who did not want to be employed by CVT and wishes to preserve the life-sharing model that saw them living, working and celebrating life together with people with learning disabilities. This new community has gone from strength to strength, whilst CVT has gone ahead with its model of employing staff to support residents on a shift basis rather than a life-sharing basis.


The Campaign for Real Care was set up to try and protect and preserve a way of life for which Botton Camphill Community had become well known and well-loved, that of life-sharing. Co-workers live, work and celebrate life together with people with learning disabilities. The Campaign and subsequent group Action for Botton did indeed provide the protection and help needed for a new Camphill community to form - The Esk Valley Camphill Community, which did uphold life-sharing principles, working under the umbrella of the Shared Lives Scheme. The Shared Lives Scheme reported on that way of living, espousing its virtues in the report “A Shared Life is a Healthy Life.”


The Campaign for Real Care tapped into a very deep philosophy of the Camphill movement which has unpaid work at its heart and sought to protect this impulse from the changes being imposed by the charity Camphill Village Trust. Co-workers ( volunteers) would live, work and celebrate life together with people with learning disabilities with whom they lived. The Camphill movement was founded on the principles of Rudolf Steiner and communities which still operate in this way have a very rich cultural and spiritual life at their core. Plays, music, poetry, dance and spirituality all play a significant role in the Camphill way of life, which are interwoven with living and working together as a community.