Letter from Camphill

Easter 2018

Dear Parents, Friends and Colleagues

As Easter approaches, we have just celebrated Palm Sunday with a traditional walk around the boundaries of our estates while ‘beating the bounds’ and becoming aware of the land entrusted to us to care for. The daffodils are finally beginning to open, seemingly blissfully unaware of the bleak forecast of snow at the end of the week.

Last week we were treated to the Camphill Drama Club’s excellent performance of Cinderella. It was wonderful to see so many of our young people perform on stage and similar to four of our community achieving the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a fitting reward for the hard work they have put in over a long period of time. This shows again that with the right support, people with additional needs can achieve great things; we ‘simply’ need to believe.

During Sport Relief week our children and young people were busy, doing hundreds of star jumps, squats, running and walking their daily mile - well done to everyone involved. You can still support this by donating via the Sport Relief Giving Page. The proceeds from this and our International Women’s day café will all go to good causes.

Many thanks to those of you who have returned our annual parent questionnaire. It is always helpful to have your feedback and so, if yours is still outstanding, please take some time to complete it and send it back to Fiona at Camphill Estate Office in the SAE enclosed with the questionnaire.

After many delays, the installation of a new electrical supply to Murtle is more or less complete and we can again have our estate back; notwithstanding this, our thanks go to Chap Construction for their consideration of the special circumstances surrounding their work which was undertaken as sensitively as possible. We are especially glad the work has finished as very soon we will be hosting two major events on Murtle:

On Saturday 12th May, 2-5 pm, we will be holding a Spring Fayre on Murtle Estate, Bieldside; last time around it was hugely successful with hundreds of people coming and enjoying games, music, a BBQ and other child-centred activities. Do please come and join us. (Our Open Day on Camphill Estate will still go ahead during the Aberdeen September holiday weekend on 22nd September.)

A week later, we will host the end point of this year’s BP Coast to Coast cycle ride and are pleased to share that we have been chosen by them to be one of the five charities they will be supporting. At the end of May, around 60 current and former staff from BP, Shell and ConocoPhillips will set off on a 250-mile, three-day cycle ride from Kyle on the West Coast of Scotland to Aberdeen. Each rider is expected to gain sponsorship of £1000 which BP then match funds. Please support this great initiative by donating via https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/BPCoast2Coast10. There is still time! 

I would also like to give you advance notice of the 70th anniversary celebration of our St John’s School, the school within Camphill School Aberdeen. This will be on Friday 29th June from 11.00‑11.30 am in Carnelian Hall, Camphill Estate, for parents of school-age children and former teachers and pupils of the school, followed by a festival of learning where our young adults will exhibit their work. The conclusion of our celebration will be the ‘launching of the Ark’ and a BBQ for all in Witiko’s garden in the glorious sunshine we have ordered for the day! The festival of learning from 11.30 am and BBQ are open to all of you, so please note the date in your diaries and join us in celebration.

Finally, I would like to share that on 16th April, after serving in this role for four years, I will retire as Executive Director and hand over to my deputy, Alex Busch. I wish Alex and the management team all the best as the school continues to evolve and move forward. I will still be living and working in Camphill and remain as passionate about upholding the ideals of our Camphill Community life as I did when I first arrived here 40 years ago, and continue to be ready to serve wherever I can be helpful.

With best wishes, and many thanks for your support.

Laurence Alfred
Executive Director