Brexit’s impact on families and volunteersType: Blogs
Topic: Camphill | Intentional communities | Policy and legislation
Published on: 7th June 2018
I have enjoyed being an EU citizen all my life, moving from Germany to England and then to the Netherlands and France and finally arriving in Scotland in 2006. My partner is from the Netherlands and my child is British. It’s been quite a shock to wake up one morning and find that the ease and possibilities between Europeans and where and with whom they make a home may no longer be available for future generations.
Volunteer applications drop after Brexit referendum
Losing open borders with the rest of Europe would be a big loss and this is already showing in Newton Dee where the interest of school leavers wanting to come for a gap year has markedly reduced since the Brexit referendum took place. In addition to that, the Tier 5 system has suddenly changed its parameters but no-one has told us why, or what the new requirements for volunteers from overseas should be now. We suddenly experience visa refusals where we never have before.
Multi-cultural living in Aberdeen
I live attached to a house community with four adults with learning disabilities; all together we are 11 people and amongst us we have seven nationalities (French, Italian, Bahamian, German, Scottish, English, Dutch). This is a great opportunity for us who live in Aberdeen permanently to experience other cultures and customs and get to know people from all over the world.
Our residents enjoy different nationalities and experiences and what new co-workers have to bring. Partly because of the international network of Camphill communities and connections with ex co-workers they are widely travelled themselves, having been invited on holidays across the globe. Last year our residents were invited to Japan for 10 days, and they have had exchanges with people in Germany, Africa and the US.
It is such a privilege for all of us to have this fresh input from all around the world every year and Camphill would not be the same without it. There is a big difference between someone upping sticks at home and travelling to a foreign country to contribute for a year as a volunteer than someone who lives nearby and is employed from 9 to 5, five days a week. We appreciate their contribution, too, but it is a very different kind of contribution.
International volunteers help Camphill to sparkle
Taking international volunteers away from Camphill would lose us our sparkle and youthful enthusiasm as well as our reach to support the establishment of new Camphill communities in other countries. We welcome visitors from all over the world and the fact that we had Korean co-workers here not so long ago, made welcoming a delegation of Koreans who are hoping to establish a Camphill in Korea so much easier.
I really do hope that there will be an easy arrangement between all nations so that we can continue to welcome international volunteers to Aberdeen and continue to provide excellent care to our residents and day placements.
This blog is Ulrike’s personal view, and does not necessarily represent the views of Camphill Scotland or Newton Dee.