Welcome to Corbenic's Spring Newsletter
Welcome from Ueli Ruprecht, Interim Community Leader
You might know that just over a month ago I took up the post of Interim Community Leader, taking over from Colum who has been in post since July 2016. Colum will continue to work from home, supporting the Board and the Community during this transition phase. His last day will be on 7th May, and hopefully by then Covid restrictions will have been sufficiently lifted for us to say goodbye properly and recognise and thank him for his work in Corbenic.
Although I have only met some of you, I have been privileged to work two days each week in the workshops and houses which has given me the opportunity to see first-hand some of the excellent work that is happening in the Community. I can only say that I have been impressed, and I personally only use this expression when it is fully justified.
I plan to continue with this arrangement, and this brings me to the next point, until the new Community Leader is in post and worked in. Currently the Board is advertising the position and interviews are planned for 7th April. So all being well, by the middle of April an appointment will have been made by the Board and we will have a start date.
Sally has asked me to let her have photo which provides a bit more information than the one of me on the Corbenic website. I suppose looking at the photo, I don’t need to tell you what one of my hobbies is.
Welcome from Peter Flood, Chair of Trustees
I am delighted to have been appointed as the latest chair of trustees at Corbenic Camphill. I have been connected to Corbenic for several years, initially as a visitor to the wonderful advent day, and latterly as a volunteer. Having made a nuisance of myself with the estates team, I led a storytelling workshop with a lovely group of the residents on a Tuesday evening, which I very much miss. My wife Maggie and I moved to Dunkeld in 2012 as I had been appointed as head teacher at Perth High School. I retired five years ago to spend more time on writing, exploring the countryside with our two poodles and doing some travelling. For the past two years I have been working part time as a mentor at Harris Academy in Dundee.
As chair of the trustees, I am committed to ensuring that the Corbenic community continues to thrive as a holistic environment that meets the social, physical and emotional needs of each of its residents and its daily attendees. There is something magical about the community. The writer Dan McKanan, in his history of the Camphill movement, sums up the essence of Corbenic:
“... inspiring and transforming those of us whose lives have been touched by it.”
I will be volunteering at Corbenic on Tuesday as soon as the Covid restrictions are lifted. I would be delighted to have a chat with you. If you pass me out with the poodles around Dunkeld, please say hello.
Resignation of Trustees.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to our trustees who have stepped down this year. Liz Murphy and John Ferguson served for five years, Jeannie Carlson, our chair, has led the board for the last two years and Robin Baker steps down after serving for seventeen years. Many thanks for your dedication, wisdom and expertise.
In this newsletter...
Our Day Service Reopens
Sean's Lockdown Story
News from the Estate Workshop
Rachel - A Residents Perspective
Leonie Fitzgerald, Befriender
Sonja, Volunteer experience
News from our shop
Our Day Service Finally Reopens
Ewan, Sean and Heather celebrating the opening!
“I am happy to be back at Corbenic. I’ve missed seeing my friends. I love to sing and dance and make videos! I also like baking and crafts and I
can do these at Corbenic.”
Our new building ‘Jura’ has so far provided us with the perfect space to carry out these activities and having smaller groups of around 4 participants allows us to do this safely. It really has been a fantastic first week back and great to see everyone’s smiling faces again! We are so excited to see what the future holds for our Day Service.
Vhairi and Laura (workshop team)
Sean's Lockdown Story
Sean is one of our day residents. Since lockdown began last March, due to the Covid19 restrictions, Sean has not been allowed to attend Corbenic. He has been much missed. Many residents have asked “Where is Sean and how is he?”
It is not surprising they ask because Sean is usually a very visible member of the community - out and about at Corbenic making things, building things, or helping with the recycling. His strength and enjoyment at moving earth in a wheelbarrow has led to him being given the nickname ‘The Machine’.
Sean likes to be outside and his Mum, Sam, say the outdoors is ‘what he needs’. Therefore, being stuck indoors during lockdown has been particularly hard for him and his family. Sam says that having the community ‘taken away from him has really upset him.’ She says they have tried to explain to him, but he does not understand why he can’t come to Corbenic.
Sean wants to be back at Corbenic working with Martin in the grounds – helping with building benches and clearing leaves. He keeps his brown day bag that he brings to Corbenic in a cupboard. One way he shows he wants to be at Corbenic is to go and get his bag and show he is ready to go.
On 8th March, his wish came true and, at last, he has been able to join the new day service in Jura. In the photo you can see just how pleased he is to be back!
Welcome back Sean.
news from the estate workshop
The estate workshop is responsible for caring for and developing the forestry, roads, paths and gardens which make up the hundred or so acres of land the community inhabits.
We are constantly outdoors in all weathers, reacting to needs, helping people and tackling a wide variety of jobs. We usually have a project or two on the go as well as our routine jobs, and at the moment we are rerouting the poetry path around a landslide and have almost finished. We just need to construct a handrail up the new steps to make them safer.
Everyone is useful in our team and we take great pride in being versatile and helpful to the community. Also, we have a lot of fun and laughs!
Rachel's Story...so far
Rachel -Resident Farragon House
Hello, I am Rachel, I’d like to share how I came to Corbenic.
I lived in two Camphill Communities in England, Ringwood Community and The Mount Camphill before moving to Scotland. I moved here when I was 19 years old in August 1989. I first lived in the main house and shared my room with Caroline, she has now left. We used to have our meals in what is now the Hall and the Common Room was our sitting room. We cooked in the bakery, the midday meal for everyone. Later when Lochran was build I lived in Lochran with Nick and Pip as house parents. Some years later I moved to the Cottage, where I shared the house with Ghislaine, Bruce, Kenneth, Andrew and Thelma. Frank and Claire were the house parents. After many years in Cottage, I moved to Mullach, where Leonie was the house co-ordinator and later Judit.
In October 2020 I moved to a new house called Farragon and I now have a nice room with en-suite, this room used to be the library. I like my new house, especially living in the same house as Stephen. He is my friend. In the morning I help with the cooking and in the afternoon, I work with Jakub in the pottery, we are making cups.
I was 50 in November and I am fine with being 50.
Leonie is my befriender and she now lives in Dunoon. I have visited her once, in October, and would love to see her more often, but we can’t do that because of the virus. Leonie writes to me, I like that. In the lockdown I am really missing visits to other houses and seeing friends In Ossian and having hot chocolate with Karin and Andrew in the Cottage.
I also miss the Gospel Study with Glenn, and the discussion group on Tuesday night.
I miss going to my church on Sunday and I hope we can go again soon! I also miss our knitting group. That is my story so far.
I've known Rachel for many years, while I worked at Corbenic and was very happy to become her official befriender in January 2020. She was able to visit me in Dunoon for a few days in October. I write to her regularly and she sometimes writes to me. I am really looking forward to being able to come and visit her again before too long."
If you are interested in finding out more about befriending and what's involved - please get in in touch with Jane Brooks [email protected] or phone her for a chat 01350 723206.
Sonja - Half-Time of My Year at Corbenic
I am Sonja, 19 years old, and I came to Corbenic in July 2020. At the beginning of my last year of school, I knew that I didn’t want to rush into studying but take a gap year to gather work experience and find out if I want
to continue working in the social sector in the future.
I am a volunteer in Mullach House, and I enjoy working with the residents and my co-workers. My daily tasks are helping the residents with personal care, doing household chores, and supporting the residents in their workshops and free time. I am in the Pottery workshop, which Mullach is assigned to, and I like it very much. We can make bowls, cups and basically anything else out of clay, paint our pottery, and draw on paper with the option to make it into a linoleum cut. These different activities make the workshop versatile and our workshop leader ensures that there is never a boring moment. The usual free time activities like dancing and swimming haven’t taken place since the first lockdown, which is why I never got to see the normal Corbenic life. However, we still try to go out on Saturdays, even if it is just to Dunkeld for a walk and take-away hot chocolate.
My highlights so far have been Corbenic’s very own Highland Games, the Advent Market, celebrating Christmas in the Community, and Burns Night. A very special memory was celebrating my birthday in November when we had still been able to eat out with the House. It has been my first birthday away from home but nevertheless I felt at home. Naturally, I also encountered challenging situations which strained my patience and made me question my ability to cope under stress. Under these circumstances, I notice more than ever what a good team of staff and volunteers we are. We give each other support after incidents and it is much fun working together despite the arising challenges.
I like especially like working at Corbenic because the good relationship to my co-workers and seeing the residents happy are very rewarding. Since I came to Corbenic, I have gained many new experiences, joyful and challenging but all of which made me grow. Now, half of my voluntary year at Corbenic is over and I am looking forward to the second half as I hope that the development of covid will allow me to travel more and to experience the normal life in Corbenic.
“When Candlemas day is bright with sun then the winter’s but half begun. But when Candlemas day is filled with rain then winter’s power is on the wane” Traditional Song
So, what does it mean when Candlemas is filled with snow as ours was this year?!
Candlemas falls on 2nd February and is a small but very old traditional festival which we have always celebrated in Corbenic.
It marks the very end of the Christmas period which started two months ago with the first Advent Sunday at the beginning of December. It marks the end of winter and celebrates the first stirrings of spring.
Over the years we have celebrated by gathering in the morning to sing and to pour candles into the earth, (made from remnants of candles used in the houses at Christmas) and then light them as darkness fell on Candlemas Day, to symbolize giving away the light of Christmas
Dunkeld Shop News
Looking forward to longer opening hours
We're so excited to say that the shop and cafe will be back open and running from the 27th April.We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for all your continued support and custom during the latest lockdown.
Please keep checking our Instagram for further updates and opening times.
Very best wishes Vicky and the shop team