‘If you go into Camphill, it’s a way of showing your independence’, says Shelly. And she’s not alone in exploring new things, as you can see.
‘You want to do your best to help’
Something inside drew Shelly to our Taurus Crafts community. ‘I wanted to be somewhere I could have independence but still have support’, she says. ‘I wrote letters to Taurus Crafts asking if I could try it. I went for an assessment and when they said yes, we’d like to offer you a place, I was really chuffed.
‘I live in one of three flats within a building alongside three other people who are part of Taurus. I enjoy every moment and the support I’m getting. Here you’re trying to learn to do more for yourself like going food shopping and doing your own cooking.’
Working in the Taurus restaurant and gift shop has also proved fun and fulfilling. ‘I like working as a team, learning new skills like using the till, and giving customers a smile’, Shelly says. ‘It’s what it’s all about, customer service.’
‘Something was in my heart’
But soon another idea was stirring. ‘Something was in my heart’, she explains, ‘to work with elderly people. At school, I used to help in a day centre with the elderly. So I said to myself, I should try it. ‘I talked to loads of people and now I work at a day centre called the Victoria Centre, and at Rodley House, a nursing home, as a volunteer.
‘At the day centre I help serve lunches, sit and talk with people and play games. I’ve enjoyed learning to play Bingo. I even won once – the prize was a chocolate bun! ‘The nursing home is a big place. I help with the activities and serving tea and coffee.
You want to do your best to help, sitting with people and talking with them. Some of them get lonely.
‘At the end of the day I’m quite tired but happy. I know I’m doing something useful. I know I’m appreciated.
‘This is what I want to say to people: if you go into Camphill, it’s a good thing. It’s a way of showing your independence.’
Tim is a man with a passion for independent travel. ‘I plan all my trips’, he says. ‘I like going on trains and buses, and staying in youth hostels.’
Cathedrals are perhaps his favourite destinations; he has visited every cathedral in the UK. Most recently, he travelled up from his home in Botton Village to Scotland to view the impressive ruins of St Andrews Cathedral. ‘I like visiting churches and cathedrals’, he explains. ‘They’re all quite different in ways. I like to look at the nave and the high altar, and stained glass windows and everything inside.’
Under his own steam
Tim also likes travelling to – and on – steam railways. ‘I’ve been on the Bluebell line, North Norfolk railway, Severn Valley railway, Ravenglass-Eskdale line, Embsay and Bolton steam railway, the Great Central railway, and down to Keighley where The Railway Children was filmed.
‘The best steam train I’ve ever been on is the Tornado, down in Hampshire. It’s a brand new engine. I’ve also been on the North York Moors railway – I’m a life member, so I can go on for free. ‘I love cricket too. I go and see matches. I’m a member of Yorkshire and County Durham cricket clubs. They’re both easy to get to by train and bus.’
So what are Tim’s travel plans this year? ‘ I hope to go see the West Indies and South Africa matches at Headingly. I’m also going to two more hostels in Yorkshire. Because I want to see some more churches. Also because I can go on some buses. I’ve got a free bus pass I can use. ‘Now that I go to computer classes in Whitby, I can look up on the internet about churches too.’
‘ I’m only here during the day’
You don’t have to live in a Camphill community to work in one – as Rachel, pictured left, has chosen to do. And we’re very glad she did.
The delicious soups served at our Newton Dee café depend on her handiwork. ‘I help prepare the vegetables’, she says. ‘Potato and sweetcorn chowder, broccoli with courgette, we do lots of different kinds.
‘We have lots of customers’, she adds – no wonder!
She also works in the Confectionary, where cakes are made. ‘Chocolate cake, lemon drizzle, sticky prune and date cake and biscuits as well’, she reels off. ‘They all get sold to the public. We also make cheese scones and fruit scones and plain scones for people to buy in the Store.
‘I like my work – I like working for the public.’
And when work is done at the end of day, Rachel hops on the bus to go home. ‘I’m ready to put my feet up’, she says. ‘I have lots of friends where I live, and people are really nice in Newton Dee so now I have loads of friends. I’m happy with how things are.’