‘Healing Through Community’’:
The Homefield Project, Ainthorpe
In April 2018, the Esk Valley Camphill Community officially launched its ‘Healing Through Community’ project in Danby Village Hall. Almost exactly a year later, we have now secured financing and purchased a large property in Ainthorpe. The house, Homefield, comes with 5 acres of land. This is a major milestone in our development.
The Ainthorpe property will be the focal point of our Healing Through Community project, as we seek to develop an inclusive, sustainable and outward-looking community project in the Esk Valley.
In the Homefield house, we will create a shared living home including three adults with learning disabilities. This will be inspired by the model developed in Botton Village over 60 years, whilst at the same time trying to integrate more with the locality. We will aim to balance the principles of independence and codependence, which are too often seen as mutually exclusive. A healthy human being (with or without learning disability), needs to feel both self-empowered, and integrated into a wider social fabric.
On the land, we are looking to create a small community agriculture project. This will be based on Biodynamic principles- which see a piece of land as an organism, to be farmed in balance with the natural world. While there is, of course, a productive aspect to this, it is ultimately seen as a gesture of love towards our wounded earth.
As part of this, we aim to create work opportunities for members of our community, and potentially other volunteers from the Esk Valley. We believe that meaningful work reconnects us with both the earth and our fellow humans. Regardless of ability, every member of the community has a contribution to make. It is in feeling needed and useful to others that we find meaning in our own lives.
The Homefield Project will be run in conjunction with Danby Health Shop, which we hope both serves the wider community, while gently promoting the concept of ‘deep health’, which looks beyond conventional medicines to deeper diet and lifestyle changes.
It is for all these reasons that we believe the name ‘Healing through Community’ encapsulates everything we are trying to realise. By reconnecting with each other in meaningful ways, we can bring healing to ourselves, to each other, and ultimately to the earth. On so many levels, seldom has healing been more needed than it is today.
The world was recently warned by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that we have about a decade to avoid a climate catastrophe. Those of us who take this warning seriously are challenged by the enormity of the task ahead of us. While our buying and voting choices continue to matter, ultimately, it will require a more radical reassessment of who who we are, and how we relate to each other and the natural world. We see the Healing Through Community project as a humble effort towards developing the more holistic and transformative solutions we are going to need.
We have a work team in the back garden most weekdays (9-12am / 2-5pm). If you are interested in what we are trying to do, please just poke your head in (come round to the back garden): ‘Homefield’, 87 Ainthorpe Lane.