Political parties backing Botton

A parliamentary motion to back the living practices at Botton Village has been backed by 35 MPs representing all UK political parties.

The early day motion (EDM) called for the Camphill Village Trust, which manages Botton Village for adult residents with learning disabilities, to work with authorities such as the NHS, councils and Care Quality Commission and to revert back to the volunteer co-worker model.

Caroline Lucas Green, party MP for Brighton Pavilion, initially proposed the same motion at the end of the last session of Parliament.

She said: “The Camphill community model of social care, has offered a shared and sustainable way of life for learning disabled adults alongside Vocational Co-workers, living as equals, sharing home, work, culture and recreation, for decades. It would be such a loss if this exemplary model community were to disappear.”

Whilst Alex Salmond MP, Scotland’s former first minister, who was one of the signatories to the EDM, added: “The Camphill movement was founded in Scotland and is recognised widely as a national asset. I have personal experience of Camphill and have long supported its aims so am pleased to support this EDM.”

Since the original proposal of this motion, Action for Botton and the Trust has entered a process of legal mediation.

The key part of the progress being made is the exploration of the Shared Lives Plus model as a way to retain shared living within Botton and the engagement by the parties of a specialist social care advisor Caroline Tomlinson to assist with this.

In addition to the political support, Dr Marcus van Dam, a longstanding GP for the residents of Botton, has presented data highlighting the health benefits of the community lifestyle at Botton and resulting cost-savings to the NHS.

He said: “I am not surprised there is substantial cross-party support from those who really understand the issues.

“We have been able to show that also from a medical perspective Camphill is a superior model of supporting people with learning disability.”

Supporting parties are Conservative, Democratic Unionist, Green, Labour, Lib Dem, Plaid Cymru, Scottish National Party, Social Democratic and Labour, UKIP and Ulster Unionist.