The Garvald Centres are a group of six affiliated but independent Scottish charities that support people with special needs and learning disabilities. It is based on the work of the Austrian esotericist Rudolf Steiner. The charities operate in the Midlothian, Scottish Borders and Edinburgh area of Scotland.

Founding edit

The Garvald School and Training Centre was founded near West Linton in 1944 by Dr Hans Schauder, his wife Lisl and others who decided to join him after working at the Camphill community in Aberdeen for some years. Dr Schauder himself was of Viennese origin and had fled Austria some years previously as he came from a Jewish family. Connected with anthroposophy, the medical and therapeutic work of Rudolf Steiner and with the group around Karl König, he had been among the founders of Camphill. After working at Garvald for some years he opened his own practice in Edinburgh and developed his own method of counselling until meeting the Dominican friar, Lefébure, with whom he wrote his best-known work Conversations on Counselling.[1]

The Garvald school later became the Garvald Training Centre and later became six independent communities:

Garvald West Linton, the original community established in 1944.[2]
Garvald Edinburgh, established in 1969, runs a bakery and confectionery delivering to whole food shops, delicatessens and cafés and private customers, which was featured in the short film Breadmakers produced by Jim Hickey and Robin Mitchell and directed by Yasmin Fedda in 2007. The Mulberry Bush Shop sells artisan gifts produced in their workshops as well as books, art materials and craft produced by other suppliers. Craft workshops include a glass studio, joinery, pottery, puppetry, textiles and hand tool refurbishment. In 2007 it opened the Orwell Arts building in the city, where the former Dalry Primary School had been.[3][4]
The Engine Shed, an extension of Garvald Edinburgh founded in the 1980s.[5]
The Columcille Centre has a range of programmes like Edinburgh All, Columcille Eskbank, Music for All, the Library project, Columcille Hall that is also available for rental and the Columcille Ceili Band, which featured in the documentary "About A Band" by Jim Hickey and Robin Mitchell.[6] In addition it hosts the Makers Markets.[7][8]
Garvald Glenesk, a residential care centre established in 1998.[9]
Garvald Home Farm, a Biodynamic farm associated with Garvald West Linton established in 1987[10]

Garvald social therapy edit

The centres are based on the work of Rudolf Steiner, in particular his ideas on social therapy expressed through the type of opportunities provided, the approach and the interdependence they try to create. The goals are to give structure and rhythm to member's lives, bring people together to form a solid community through common activities or the celebration of events and emphasize the quality of what the workshops produce so that everyone can take pride in achieving the best possible. Within this philosophy, the items produced should have a value or benefit to others rather than making things for one’s own sake.

They provide creative working environments focusing mainly on craft, catering, artistic skills and agriculture. There is a focus on craft activities because they strive to offer a wide range of possibilities for people to express creativity. Crafts are also a tool used to encourage a connection to nature. In addition, they engage in approaches such as the talking points methodology, which focuses on outcomes for service-users and carers. The centres themselves produced Talking Points tools which have been designed specifically for people with learning disabilities. The program hopes that by providing these resources, there is an opportunity for anyone coming to one of the Garvald centres to affect their environment and community — local and beyond. A range of therapies like eurythmy, creative speech, massage and various other therapeutic arts are also offered.

In addition to providing structured and creative working environments, the majority of their studios and workshops have an enterprise focus: returning income to offset running costs. These opportunities are designed to help people gain confidence, with a focus on those leaving school and transitioning into adulthood. The workshops teach skills that one can apply in a work environment as well as skills to continue developing their creativity.

They have experience in supporting people with a range of needs and syndromes including autism, Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, epilepsy, Prader Willi Syndrome, dual diagnosis and those with other physical and communication difficulties. Members' ages range from sixteen to the mid seventies.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Axel Westhagen (6 October 2004). "Forschungsstelle Kulturimpuls – Biographien Dokumentation".
  2. ^ "Garvald West Linton, Registered Charity no. SCO20909". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
  3. ^ Oberlanders Architects. "Orwell Arts, the Garvald Centre, Edinburgh".
  4. ^ "Garvald Edinburgh, Registered Charity no. SC014228". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
  5. ^ "Garvald Centres, Registered Charity no. SC002245". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
  6. ^ "Columcille Centre".
  7. ^ "The Makers Markets – Morningside Makers Market".
  8. ^ "Garvald Centres, Registered Charity no. SCO24228". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
  9. ^ "Garvald Centres, Registered Charity no. SC028187". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
  10. ^ "Garvald Centres, Registered Charity no. SC015243". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

External links edit