Always contributing

News article

Always contributing
Between them, Fiona, Patty and Geoffrey have 225  years of life experience to contribute to their community, The Grange. And they do still make a very active contribution.
Looking out for others
Fiona, who turned 80  this year, has lived in Camphill communities the longest of the trio – ‘since 11  years of age’, she says. It was at a Camphill school in Aberdeen that she learned to spin and weave, and these skills have given great pleasure to her and others throughout her long life.

When Fiona left school she lived in several different communities, including Botton Village in its early days, before moving south to join The Grange. ‘Don’t ask me how long I’ve been here’, she says. ‘A long time!’

During those years, she’s made many, many friends – and been a wonderful friend, following everyone’s lives with great interest.

A tireless supporter of all the social and cultural events at the heart of The Grange community, Fiona also contributes by watching out for people: ‘she mothers the household here’, says her friend Judy.

Helping in practical ways

Patty also helped to pioneer The Grange community – she was among its first three residents.

She’s always been keen to contribute through working; her different craftmaking ‘careers’ have included basketry, woodwork and her latest occupation, weaving.

At 75, Patty is as active as ever. Although she’s never been able to tell the time from a clock, that’s never held her back. She can tell what day and time it is by reading the signs and activities around her.

This observant nature makes her the first to offer help, be it with setting up the room for Bible evening, or making a cup a tea for someone in need.

Sharing experiences

‘It will be 49  years this November, since I came to The Grange’, says 70 -year-old Geoffrey. After a hip replacement operation, he officially retired from working life: ‘I worked in the garden which included helping to look after our animals.’

But life is full. He goes to his and other households’ big group lunch on Monday, joins in with activities, meetings and talks in the Hall, and enjoys going on the bus to do some shopping in Gloucester – ‘weather permitting.’

It’s also a special position, being an elder. People come and ask your advice and opinion about things. ‘They like to have a cup of coffee and a chat’, says Geoffrey.