Our August visit from the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile

"The Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile is a non-residential therapeutic community solely focused on the needs of young people who have experienced child and adolescent specific human rights abuses. Our young community members are likely to have experienced a series of overwhelming experiences, in in their home coutries, on their journeys into exile and in the UK where many find making sense of a new society and culture to be very difficult. Those we work with have experienced humiliation, perverse violence, trafficking and violation during their developmental years. Many will have been forced by adults to witness violent acts, to be victims of violence and some to perpetrate acts of extreme brutality. Most will have lost parents and extended family through separation during organized violence and through grotesque acts of violence and many will have been forced to witness the murder of parents and community members." (The Baobab Centre website)


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"Thank you so much for making a space for our therapeutic retreat.....

"The space at the centre and the variety of spaces led to the most harmonious and congenial and enjoyable retreat we have ever had......

"We all feel refreshed and the young people agreed with me that spaces are created in your mind after such experiences of physical spaces combined with reflection and belonging....."

- Sheila Melzak, Clinical Director, The Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile



"For someone like me who is depressed, it is good to be outside with friends. I was really happy and delighted about this trip because it gave me lots of relief.  it was good to learn a lot of things.  There were lots of different people and different feelings and we all respected each other.  I think it was good for me.  Being with people in the same boat and leaving our stress outside and feeling good and happy for life.  I've been through bad things and the retreat made be feel good and calmed me and made me strong.

"The reason why I liked this trip was I met people who have been in the same situation as me and when I saw a smile come on their face I felt really relieved. I liked the place because of the environment, with good views, fresh breeze and also the rooms. Everywhere was perfect for a retreat."

- BY (one of the young people)


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Thank you, Baobab team, for building our new fire pit and benches!


And for an inspiring week of remarkable young people and staff!



Marking the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the "Revive Time Kaki Tree Project".


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P.E.T.T.'s Kaki Tree at 11:01 a.m.,
August 9, 2015.

"KAKI TREE (Diospyros Kaki) P.E.T..T"
by Ewan Anderson, 2015


At 11:01 on August 9th, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese port of Nagasaki. 48 seconds later the bomb detonated, 500 meters above the city. From the devastation that followed, a kaki tree - a Japanese persimmon tree - survived.

In 1994 tree doctor Masayuki Ebinuma successfully nursed seeds from the tree to grow into seedlings, and gave them to visiting children to look after. Inspired by Mr. Ebinuma's work, in 1995 - 50 years after the blast -  artist Tatsuo Miyajima conceived the idea of the "Revive Time Kaki Tree Project". In 2013, as part of The Revive Time Kaki Tree Project, a sapling from the seeds of the mother tree was planted in the grounds of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust.

To read more about the international Revive Time Kaki Tree Project, go to

To learn more about the planting of the Kaki Tree at P.E.T.T. in 2013 with the help of local children, please CLICK HERE.


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"KAKI TREE (Diospyros Kaki). PETT" by Ewan Anderson, 2015

© Ewan Anderson

Shama Parkhe, co-founder with Anando Chatterji of the Hank Nunn Institute in Bengaluru, discusses her visit to England, her background and work in India, and their vision of the future, at the end of an excellent day of discussions (and another great lunch) at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust.

"We will definitely find different ways of working with people as people,
and not someone who's addressed with labels."



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shamaparkhe group

"Creative Illness, not Mental Illness"
- The Hank Nunn Institute, Bengalaru, India

A Meet and Talk event at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust:

Wednesday July 15th, 11.00-3.00

Shama Parkhe is a psychologist and therapeutic community psychotherapist based in Bengalaru, India. Last year she and Anando Chatterji co-founded the Hank Nunn Institute, "a not-for-profit Public Charitable Trust established towards developing services in the arena of mental health." Their aim is to provide treatment, awareness, and training in the field of mental health, with therapeutic community methodology as their primary approach to treatment.

Shama is currently travelling across the United Kingdom on a research and training visit, seeking to find out more about therapeutic communities and environments in the UK, and to share what the Hank Nunn Institute is doing in Bengalaru - and she will be at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust on July 15th. This is an invitation to come, meet and talk about your experience and work with Shama and others -
to learn and to give Shama ideas and information to take back to India with her.

Shama is very interested in meeting people, sharing experiences, and especially in initiating discussions on collaborative ideas, and learning more about implementing international standards in therapeutic communities in India.

Can you come?

It's short notice! But a special opportunity! Please join us -

RSVP if you can come (contact Craig at P.E.T.T. 01242 620125). There will be no pressure to leave at 3.00 - you can probably even arrange to stay overnight if you wish. We're suggesting a contribution of £20 to the costs of the day, with refreshments and lunch (overnight accommodation would be extra). Let us know ASAP about any special dietary requirements. AND you get a day in the countryside:

Wednesday July 15th, 2015
11.00 - 3.00, with lunch and refreshments
at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust in Gloucestershire

RSVP 01242 620125


May 13th, 2015


Wennington Old Scholars and the Planned Environment Therapy Trust's

open invitation to bring inner maps of community and connection and share them




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See details of their Building for Families project here.

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See a description of the project here.

commonroots2015 albertlamb See "Growing a Yurt Based
Education Initiative" webpage

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See the Early Pestalozzi Children Project website here

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Common Roots

May 13th, 2015

10.30 to 4.30

[come early, stay late]



Wennington Old Scholars and the Planned Environment Therapy Trust

invite you to bring your inner map of community and connection and share it


The 20th and 21st centuries have been filled with schools, communities, clubs, organisations, institutions, societies and just plain people who belong to a family of other schools, communities, clubs, institutions, societies and just plain people who are familiar when you meet them; who speak the same language when you get past the different accents and dialects; and who can tell you things about your own roots and associations, increasing your own understanding of them and yourself, without you or they ever having known they were there to be known. "Common Roots" is like a family reunion for people, many of whom will think they are strangers, but when they get together discover they have cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents -  people, ideas, perspectives, and ways of going about things - in common.


2014 saw the Wennington Old Scholars' first Common Roots Event, which came in the midst of their annual Archive Week.

22 people took part, from varied backgrounds: free/democratic/progressive schools, children's therapeutic schools and communities, adult therapeutic communities, related organisations - Forest School Camps, Brazier's Park.... There was much meeting and talking and the traditional very nice lunch (with beautiful strawberries at the end).

Before lunch Len Clarke and Will Eiduks of the Early Pestalozzi Children Project presented their project on the home they were given in the long aftermath of the Second World War, between 1959-1965 at Sedlescombe in Surrey (an offer later rescinded, and the experiment itself largely lost except to those who took part in it. Until now, of course). After lunch PhD student Emily Charkin focused on children's participation in building and shaping their environment, using her own experience, and building on a presentation she gave at  the Child Care History Network conference in 2013 which celebrated the centennial of the Little Commonwealth in Dorset.

Comments after the event included:

"a brilliant opportunity", "Good day, interesting discussions and nice lunch", "exciting to experience the generosity of the whole group", and "I feel less tolerant of the status quo than I did a week ago".

Coming a week after the General Election, will similar comments be made in 2015?


It's a fascinating day based around talk and meeting: Some more formal presentations from people sharing their community or organisation; but with plenty of time for following up and discussing. People wanting to stay the night and carry the conversation on almost certainly can, especially if they bring tents; but with enough advance notice the Wenningtonians may have some rooms in the accommodation building available (at PETT's usual b&b cost).

Who is coming? Wenningtonians, of course (see their website, and, at this early stage, people with a range of experience that includes therapeutic communities for children, Forest School Camps, Summerhill and democratic education generally, Henderson Hospital, Pestalozzi Children's Village, and more...members of an interesting diverse family. Get in touch and add to it.



Venue: P.E.T.T., Barns Centre, Church Lane, Toddington, Gloucestershire GL54 5DQ

Cost: Time, and £15.00 to help with cost of prepared lunch and refreshments during the day

RSVP (capacity is limited, unless there is very good weather!)