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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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New chair for Camphill Scotland

This news post is over 1 year old

Camphill Scotland look after a number of communities and have someone with substantial experience taking over at the helm.

A Scottish charity which help people with disabilities by providing social care, education and housing support has announced it has a new chair. 

John Richards has been unveiled as the new chair of the board of trustees at Camphill Scotland. 

An experienced professional, he has spent eight years as a director of social services, three as director of children’s services, five years as chief executive of two third sector organisations, nine in international and national consultancy, as well as other roles within the public and third sectors. 

John’s first experience with the Camphill movement was with Glencraig in Northern Ireland where his team had responsibilities for commissioning services from Glencraig. 

Since 2018, he has been supporting Camphill School Aberdeen, where he is a Trustee. 

He has also been supporting Beannachar since 2021 and in 2019 he visited the Camphill Community Trust, Otse, Botswana, meeting the founder and the director to share thoughts and ideas.

Emma Walker, Camphill director, said: “We are delighted that John Richards is joining Camphill Scotland as Chair, and I look forward to working with him.

“His knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we embark upon a new strategy, develop our membership service and continue to influence and lead on key areas of public policy.”

John added: “It is a privilege to have been chosen as the next Chair of Camphill Scotland. I have had some connections with the Camphill movement since the late 1990s, when my team had some responsibilities for commissioning services from Glencraig in Northern Ireland.

“At that time, I was quite entranced with the Camphill model - life sharing, the combination of learning, therapy and the creative arts and meaningful work, all done in a beautiful environment and opportunities for co-workers and international volunteers to enhance the experiences of those we serve.

“80 years on, with colleagues in Camphill School Aberdeen, we celebrated the Camphill movement's big birthday, not as we had all hoped - by being together - but instead, because of the pandemic, on social media. After the weeklong celebrations, which juxtaposed life 80 years ago, to the present day in Camphill School Aberdeen I was asked to write a blog about this celebration.

“Camphill Scotland supports 10 Scottish Camphill Communities. They are all unique in what they do, how they do it, how they are run and managed, but what binds them all with Camphill Scotland is the Camphill impulse of which I am an advocate - community, building social capital, and enabling everyone to achieve to  their best ability.

“I hope to be a Chair for all: children, young people, adults and older people who are the beneficiaries of Camphill services; co-workers and staff; local and international volunteers; trustees, leaders and managers.

“I cannot do it alone, I will need the support of Camphill Scotland's Director and staff, and of all of our constituent bodies to respond to the changing needs and challenges that will, no doubt arise, and to create solutions that will work for us all.”