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READERS’ LETTERS: Corbenic care community approach offers dignity to residents

Corbenic Camphill Community.
Corbenic Camphill Community.

Sir, – I write in response to the recent report by the Care Inspectorate about Corbenic Camphill Community (Disabled residents ‘at risk of harm’ from care workers, Courier, February 12).

Corbenic is a small community for adults with learning difficulties. It is well known locally in Dunkeld where they have a shop and sell produce such as wooden furniture, candles, pottery and woven items.

Corbenic also consists of a small farm which has rare breeds of animals and where the residents tend the land using very low-level mechanisation.

Together the community have created a poetry path through beautiful landscape.

Generally, the prospects for someone with severe autism can be pretty wretched.

A sort of lethargic, half-life seen through a cocktail of drugs, where existing anxieties are repressed but torment haunts every waking moment.

Often nothing much can be achieved from day to day.

The Camphill – Rudolf Steiner approach is different.

Somehow through a mixture of philosophy, healthy living and love the resident is released from behind their disability and given a new and rich quality of life.

By enabling people and valuing each person’s dignity everyone is afforded self-respect. Every job is an important job and pride is taken.

By placing a value on creativity and the natural world, time is taken to appreciate what one has, rather than what one does not have.

When it comes to the findings by the Care Inspectorate’s investigation, I don’t doubt some problems were found in one of the households within Corbenic.

The staff can’t always get it right and, if things go awry, it is important the issues are dealt with. However, the difficulties in managing such a community through a year of lockdown cannot be underestimated.

Somehow the staff have managed to maintain a calm and creative atmosphere throughout this pandemic.

As a parent of one such resident, I am of the firm opinion that the quality of life offered to the residents through the Camphill alternative approach to life overrides any local problem.

Despite the criticisms, Corbenic has remained a Covid-19 free environment and staff are working to address all of the findings of the recent unannounced inspection.

Camphill Rudolf Steiner Communities are sanctuaries for very special and vulnerable people. At a time like this these communities need to be valued, helped and protected by us in the outside world.

Professor Elaine Shemilt.



Army Covid centre like clockwork

Sir, – My wife and I attended at Templehall community centre for our “jabs” on Sunday.

The overbooking situation had obviously been solved as we attended five minutes before our allotted time and were immediately seen to by helpful NHS staff.

At this point it became apparent that the Army had taken over the proceedings, all of the inoculations being done by Army medics.

Everyone was called in order, the whole procedure was explained clearly, precisely and politely following which the only necessary delay was being asked to sit in a different chair for 15 minutes to ensure nobody had an immediate adverse reaction.

We would like to express our gratitude to all concerned but especially the Army who had everything running like clockwork.

Mike Diack.

Biggin Wa’s,



What lies beneath is a hazard to health

Sir, – The snow has gone, and it shows how irresponsible and lazy a lot of dog-owners have been and still are!

Every where I walk, I find dog-poo, it is totally disgusting.

Do these owners think the snow will dissolve the poo so they do not need to clean up after their dogs?

One cannot blame the animals, they do not know any better, it is the owners who do not want to take the responsibility.

I hope that, one of these days, they will step into a heap of that filth themselves and realise what they are doing to the people around them.

Maaike Cook.

Cash Feus,