PETT News

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One of the joys around Barns House at the moment is the creative take-over by Bobbin  & Twine workshops, and the transformations of our spaces into colourful dens and work/play places for creative children and adults.

 

"We love making things by hand ...So we love to teach these skills in a practical and hands on way, while working alongside people we care about and respect to build a bespoke world, for us and our families."

 

And we love the colour and design that re-shape Barns Centre on workshop days. We love the scents, and baked chocolate chip cookies (other kinds of biscuits available!), and the colours of different squashes in cold glass pitchers. We love the sounds of children flying kites they've just made. We love the ice creams in hand. We love the manual skill and visual imagery on show.

 

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 The tutors are experienced and skilled mums from the local community; the liveliness and enthusiasm are infectious.

 

"We love to host groups for collective learning, or projects. These can be at our peaceful and stimulating venue with residential accommodation [talking about Barns House and grounds!], or at a venue of your choice. They are usually practical based, learning new skills to deliver a collective end result. It is possible to run a group event for an hour or 2 days depending on what you would like to achieve.

So if it's a WI group who would like to learn more about felting, a hen who would like a weekend party with a difference, or a significant birthday for someone who deserves a craft retreat please don't hesitate to get in touch to find out more about what we have to offer."

 

Or if you are a member of the PETT community...what could be better?

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Spot the kites!

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 Bobbin & Twine  Website,  Facebook Page, and Instagram.

 

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(The bracelet and kite-flying pictures are from the Bobbin & Twine Facebook page. The rest are by PETT)

 

A warm greeting to all our friends and supporters in what has long been celebrated as a season of peace and good will. May there be much of these for each of you this year, along with love and play.

 

These qualities and experiences will be all the more needed at this time when in the world at large there are so many strains and strong movements towards getting away and keeping [or increasing] distances, when not seeking outright confrontation and conflict on the ground or from on high – more often “a hard rain fallin’” than the “heavenly hosts” of carols fame - filling the sky with songs and salutations.

 

img 3296 320At the same time there is Hope – as across the globe, sometimes in small but important ways, groups practice and offer an alternative to such fracturing and strident posturing. And on that small scale for balancing we at PETT have worked with many of you and others, our extended and valued community of friends and supporters, to grow and keep ever closer in touch, in tune, broadening and deepening our sense and living reality of interconnectedness. This year that connectedness reached a new peak in July at our Gathering to both mark our 50th year of active existence, and anticipate how we shall continue into and through the next half century. Touching for us was the physical and engaged presence of all those who could join us in Toddington; uplifting too were the communications from many more, of their presence with us in spirit and mind on the day, as at other times. Such a Holding in Mind on-site and from afar we all know is not to be regarded lightly or appreciated only casually. The state of being together not just in a group, but as a group, is a truly powerful thing that transcends time and physical distances. Little wonder such a state of togetherness is a fundamental foundation of planned environments and their potential for living therapy in such human and humane environments

 

Hence, the regular communications from and via us to you all over the year through the Archive - whether Newsletters [complete with photos], letters and messages from PETT Fellows, Patrons and Supporters or other contacts that offer updates and new information, or that ask questions posed to us by people and groups interested and/or experienced in planned environments or Therapeutic Communities. And these are not just quanta/packets of data; they are all the actual and symbolic expressions of our ever growing network of interest, care and concern for all those, past, present and future, in need of being and belonging. In some respects PETT offers a refuge and repository for these “Lite Ages”, perhaps a bit like early medieval monasteries, which kept the light safely burning in the Dark Ages when much of human knowledge and compassion risked being lost forever. I don’t want to stretch the analogy too far, but it came to my mind in July again, when David Millard declared how much he valued PETT as a “Safe Deposit or Storage” for so much of value from the TC tradition, and experiences that could easily be lost.

 

img 3306 320So, Light there is in an era when dark clouds of ignorance, suspicion - hate, even - don’t just loom on the horizon, but are advancing from several directions. We at PETT, as many of you, don’t just remain stalwart in promoting planned environments, preserving their legacies and contributions and supporting/encouraging groups committed to offering the potential life changing experiences a planned environment approach embodies. We know we too must grow, and that means changing in important ways - or there will be no future for us. Therefore, we were delighted this autumn to yet again be awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, this time a Transitional Grant to assist us in our task of making ourselves a Trust fit to meet the challenges that will take us forward to 2066 (and all that!). On our website you can see the details of the Project for which we have received funding, a not small part of which involves volunteer engagement in various areas, including creating a Heritage Garden on our grounds. This Grant, on top of others we have received, encourages us greatly to see and feel that we are recognised and can well have a future that will equal or surpass our first 50 years of service.

 

As always, along with the hope and growth that change brings, there is Loss as well. We have lost several supporters along the way this year through death or serious illness. One whom I trust you will understand that I single out is our PETT Trustee and former Executive Director, John Cross. Last year, having had many years of excellent health [“so far as I know”, he was wont to observe], John suffered a series of strokes. Despite being stabilised physically, he has lost his hitherto sharp mental capacity. And we have now lost him from our Trustee group, although we are comforted to know that he is being well looked after at home by those who have long loved him dearly. And he remains in our hearts and minds as we continue on with much of what we know John would approve.

 

So some lights might be going out across the globe but not all of them. Some are fiercely burning still, PETT amongst them, with your support. And from within this light we wish you, our friends and supporters, and all those living and working with and as groups, health and happiness over this Christmas season and throughout 2017. And to paraphrase the philosopher/polymath Wilhelm Leibniz, “If we get closer and stay together wisely, we shall not go far wrong”.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Richard and the Trustees and team at PETT

December 2016

 

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All photographs are from the grounds of PETT: Daffodils planted by our friends from the Caldecott Association bloom behind the Kaki Tree, a sapling from a Japanese persimmon tree that survived the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945; daffodils and blooms.

Members of the team, with flowers, to the kaki tree.

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Trustees Rosemary Lilley and John Moorhouse,Trust Secretary Maureen Ward and Executive Director Richard Rollinson in eleven o'clock silence.

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Places of memory, solace, reflection and resolution.

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PETT: SUMMER!!!...


In this issue:
  1. Holding the future in our hands: An invitation from the Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust
  2. Congratulations!
  3. New on the website
  4. A view from the Archive
  5. Just a few dates this time
  6. End notes
PETT eNewsletter 22. June 29th, 2016
 

1. Holding the future in our hands:

An invitation from the Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust

 

Put on your thinking caps, get ready to work...

...and join us at 11 a.m. on Friday July 15th, to reflect on all that we have achieved over the past 50 years, to think about the next 50 years, to enjoy lunch, and to do more thinking and working together during the afternoon. (We aim to let people go by 4.30!)

As we progress through our 50th Anniversary year we want to bring friends and supporters together to share a discussion of where we are, and how and where we can go from here into our next 50 years – identifying and discussing the current challenges we face and the potential opportunities we hold.

For my full invitation for this important event, please click THIS LINK.

To RSVP - we need to know how much food to prepare! - please click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Many many many thanks!
And please join us!

Richard Rollinson, Director

on behalf of PETT's Trustees and members of the staff team

(Some overnight accommodation is still available on the night before)

Enjoy the rest of the Newsletter!

2. CONGRATULATIONS!


Former Caldecott Community child Cyril Ives, whose reflections on his early life, his experience of the Caldecott Community, and the world today have been published in the Therapeutic Care Journal. Something of the power of the piece is encapsulated in the brief sentence on burying his father: "I said goodbye for ever without knowing to whom". Plus fellow Caldecott child Jean Mole's paintings! CLICK HERE

The goodenoughcaringjournal, issue 19 of which is now out! Issue 20, which comes out in December, will be the last, and the editors are encouraging everyone - this means you - to consider making a contribution: "We have always tried to have a combination of articles in the range of 'written by experienced authors' to 'written by first time authors'", they explain, "for we’ve thought it makes a very rich and fresh combination.... articles, stories, essays, poems, memoirs, reviews and reflections..." : All are welcome. CLICK HERE.

Jonathan Reinarz, who gave his Inaugural Lecture as Professor in the History of Medicine on June 1st, to a packed house, in the University of Birmingham Medical School's very big Leonard Deacon Theatre. Taking as his theme "The Uses of History: Engaging with Medicine's Past", Prof. Reinarz adopted an autobiographical thread which held and entertained a dozen children present, and considerably more adults, many of whom had travelled from thousands of miles away to sample the post-Lecture buffet. PETT was honoured to be present. To see what the stern countenance of a senior historian looks like, and for background details on the person himself, CLICK HERE.

Former children and staff of Reinden Wood House therapeutic community, who met - many of them for the first time, and many for the first time in 30 or 40 years - at a reunion in Folkestone, followed by the installation of a special blue plaque to mark the woods which the community called home. See below, "New on the Website".

The Planned Environment Therapy Trust, which has been given an EORI Number by HMRC. The Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number is valid throughout the EU, having replaced the old Trader’s Unique Reference Number (TURN) some time ago. The EORI Number allows PETT to import and export goods to and from the United Kingdom as an EU member state, and was required in this instance to import the personal and professional archives of American-based therapeutic community pioneer Dennie Briggs (stay tuned; they are still on the ship at the dock as we write).

The Community Archives and Heritage Group (CAHG), which celebrates a decade of raising awareness and championing community archives such as ours with a 10th Anniversary Conference on July 12th, at University College London. The conference is free, and in a long tradition, the lunch provided for those attending will be delicious and plentiful, and the gathering welcoming - but you have to book! You will remember that PETT won CAHG's "Most Impactful Archive Award" in 2012. For more information on the conference, and to book a place, if any are left (it's very popular) CLICK HERE.

The Dialectics of Liberation Congress of 1967, whose archives are held at PETT and have been used by Jacky Ivimy in creating DIALEKTIKON, a play with music based on the speeches of the Congress, and is having a first draft performance for the public on Friday July 1st (HURRY!) at 2.30 pm, at St Barnabas Church Hall, Shacklewell Row, Dalston E8 2EA: CLICK HERE

3. NEW ON THE WEBSITE


1. A series of features on Reinden Wood House therapeutic community (1969-1980):

 

2. Holding the future in our hands: An invitation from the Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust...
An important meeting to reflect on the past 50 years of PETT, and learn and share our visions of the future. July 15th. Toddington.

3. Lost and Found: Volunteering, by David Trudgian (originally 2014)
At least as true and relevant now as when originally written in 2014, when the archivist lost it (see below).

4. Archival Pleasures: Walking to Work: Friday, June 24, 2016
A meditation on process, life-changing decisions, and History.

5. 5. The Kaki Tree bursts into leaf: it's summer!
To compare it to the same day last month, and the miraculous change, CLICK HERE

4. The view from the Archive

Lost things
Craig Fees writes: One of the most chastening experiences for an archivist is to mislay something, so when volunteer David Trudgian recently brought to my attention that I had not only not used something I had asked him to write in 2014, but had not even acknowledged it; and worse, could not account for it, I almost burst into tears. Fortunately, he still had a copy and sent it to me again (see "Lost and Found: Volunteering" above.) Although written in 2014, it's surprising how much is still (if not more) apposite. AND it was a reminder...

...Help!
At some point every year I tend to ask people for their help: Are there things I've forgotten to do? Are there things they've asked me to do? Are there things I've said I would do, but haven't? Without supporting staff or a secretary, it is a genuine kindness if people can chase me up (in a spirit of love and charity, if possible).

The invisible work of the Archive
Whirling away in the virtual background of the Internet are the digital files stored on the website - audio recordings, videos, pdfs, powerpoints - a whole range of library, archive, and oral history resources, being quietly asked for and used by people around the world. Needless to say, if everyone who made use of these resources felt it right to make a donation, we would be in a very strong position indeed. But the amount being downloaded and used makes all of the hard work put in over the years by ourselves and volunteers feel worthwhile!

During June (well, up the point we began assembling this newsletter):
    • There were 3,402 downloads of 318 separate Oral History (audio, video), Archive, and Library files (these figures don't include documents or items in html, tex/doc, or jpeg/png/gif/tif image format).

    • 55 Oral History files were downloaded 350 times
      • The most popular, at 115 times, was Tom Harrison's talk at the recent Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments Special Interest Group conference, accessed via the Oral History Society website: CLICK HERE

    • 150 digitised Archive objects were downloaded a total of 661 times.
      • The most popular being Dennie Briggs' Maxwell Jones photos, for a total of 85 downloads. Dennie Briggs archive material accounted for 640 downloads! These are mainly accessed through our joint Dennie Briggs Living Archives pages: CLICK HERE

    • The 123 pdf-ed theses, articles, monographs, newsletters, and reprints in our Library section acounted for a whopping 2391 downloads!
        • The 12 issues of the groundbreaking Joint Newsletter (2001-2004) were downloaded an astounding 443 times! Why? By Whom? CLICK HERE

      • 15 theses and dissertations were downloaded 251 times:
        • Most frequently was Polly Shields' 2007 "Finding a place for Forest School (1929-1940) in the history and future of education", downloaded 64 times.
        • John Diamond's 1993 "The Use Of Supervision And Consultation To Develop A 'Reflective' Practice With An Emotionally Disturbed Client Group In Group Care Organizations" came in eighth at 11 times,
        • The most recent addition - Robin Posniak's 2015, "Black Power Meets Flower Power: The Participation and Interaction of Stokely Carmichael and Allen Ginsberg at the Dialectics of Liberation Congress" - eased just above John Diamond's, and was downloaded 14 times.
        • That accounts for 3 of the 15 downloaded theses and dissertations. What would you guess were the others? CLICK HERE

  • Dennie Briggs, meanwhile, accounted for 1,612 downloads. And Marjorie Franklin's 1945 "What is Planned Environmental Therapy" was downloaded 28 times.
Amazing.

5. Just a few dates this time

    • July 7: The National Centre (for Therapeutic Residential and Foster Care) Research Group, Mulberry Bush School, Linden House Annexe. 11.00 - 2 pm (with lunch). Anam Raja, a researcher from the Dartington Social Research Unit, will present her current work. For details or to reserve a place, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • July 15: a 50th anniversary confab at PETT. Information above and everywhere: CLICK HERE.

    • October 28-30: Celebration of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry's (OWC) centenary, at Brazier's Park in Oxfordshire.
      • With a special talk on the history and legacy of OWC by Barbara Whitemeyer, titled "Learning by Doing: The Seton Way. Ernest Thompson Seton's College of Indian Wisdom", 19.00 Saturday October 29th, cost £5.

  • 21-23 November. The Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association 2016 Gathering: “come sit together”, Melbourne:
    • Working together with Aboriginal health organisations, bringing together people from across the alcohol and other drugs sector to provide a forum to highlight and foster interagency partnerships that improve outcomes for clients, especially Aboriginal clients. CLICK HERE

6. End Notes


1. We were very sad to hear of the death of Bob Holman, who recently gave books for the Library, and who set a profound example for engaged social and community work.
  • Bob Holman was a Patron of the Child Care History Network, and David Lane CBE's thoughts can be FOUND HERE.
  • Terry Philpot's obituary of Bob Holman in The Guardian can be FOUND HERE. "Bob Holman gave up a comfortable life as a university professor to follow his religious convictions to live and work on deprived housing estates."

2. PhD researcher Kate Brown, who was a member of staff at the Cotswold Community, which forms the subject of her research, gave a very interesting talk at the recent "Psychosis and Psychoanalysis" conference at the Freud Museum in London. Entitled "Attachment Theory and Psychosis", the podcast is now available: CLICK HERE.

...to our PETT Friends and supporters on the occasion of our 50thAnniversary year - 2016

 

Dear Friends,

 


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I would like to invite you to come and meet at 11am on Friday 15th July, to reflect on all we have achieved, think with us about the future, and enjoy lunch while you are with us.

 

As we progress through our 50th Anniversary year we want to bring our friends and supporters together to share where and how we can go from here into our next 50 years – identifying and discussing the current challenges and the potential opportunities we face. The former can feel sometimes daunting; the latter often exciting and full of hope. And that’s before we begin to consider options you will have thought of and may wish to propose as a key part of PETT’s continuing commitment to the field we all have long supported, contributed to and benefitted from.

 

It is always heartwarming for us that so many of our supporters and Friends continue to take an active interest and involvement with what we try to do at PETT, not least in terms of preserving and developing the Archive and gathering together to think and reflect upon what we have learned - especially about making a difference with and for those who have struggled at times with serious emotional difficulties across the entire life span. Together we have captured and shared many wonderful experiences and the rich inheritance that Therapeutic Community and Progressive Education approaches have bequeathed to us, to residential therapeutic care, education and treatment and to planned environment therapy, all of which PETT still stands for and supports today.

 

It would, therefore, be our great honour to welcome as many of you as possible to join us on Friday, 15 July, here at our Toddington site, to meet and consider, discuss and reflect upon the What and How for PETT’s next 50 years.

 

On a first-come first-served basis people are welcome to come the day/evening before and stay over in the accomodation as our guests (for no charge), or to camp on the site. (We currently have 13 double bedrooms available, with one or two other indoor spaces available for the adventurous. Unfortunately, because we have a group coming in early on Saturday morning, we can't invite people to stay on the Friday night itself). We shall be providing lunch on the day, and tea/cofee will be available throughout. Donations, of course, are always welcome.

 

Please do let me know by no later than Friday 7th July if you are able to join us.

To RSVP or for more details:

Email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or phone the office at 01242 621200.

 

Looking forward to seeing, hearing and speaking with you,

Richard Rollinson, Director

on behalf of PETT Trustees and staff

 

 A room full of people and three exciting speakers. Mike Phillips, masters degree student at the University of Leeds - who is researching urban free schools between 1960 and 1980 - writes up his reflections on another stimulating Common Roots Event:

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The Common Roots conference has influenced the perspective of my research by providing further layers of enquiry. The conference provided a sense of togetherness with the presence of former students of Wennington who warmly welcomed various other attendees. It has introduced the idea of the community as a wide series of diversified actors, and I suppose in this way it has showed me that community is all about empathy and developing commonality at the same time as accepting, and fostering, diversity.


It has also further highlighted the commonality of purpose within radical therapeutic, educational and transformative movements, and simultaneously showed that there are various differing approaches to achieving these aims. In its broadest sense community means all human relationships, and especially those founded on shared views, and experiences. Though, it must also be said that perversely community can sometimes be developed by a shared opposition, by what people are against rather than what they are for. The conference has highlighted that inclusion and togetherness are much more productive building blocks.


Community is all human relationships and it is a term that has been redacted in mainstream culture. Just as the word 'environment' is often taken to relate to the subset of radical environmental campaigners, when it in fact in refers to everything in the physical world. Though, due to the breadth of this definition, it should be noted that it does tend more toward describing a movement. Community often operates on a localised level and is intersected at different points by outside actors (the huge media response in the wake of Columbine for example). The Free School movement was also intersected by outside actors, namely local and governmental authorities. Community can also be a localised group with ambitions of creating a movement or a wider community (For instance, Kibbo Kift’s ambitions for world transformation and redevelopment).


Therapeutic education at New Barns School, trauma awareness in the wake of the tragedy of Columbine, and the Kibbo Kift’s attempts to radically restructure post-war society through a return to primitive living and through a wide amalgamation of various different cultures could, at first glance, appear to be a fairly eclectic grouping of conference topics. However, they all highlighted the enduring struggle to interpret the world and to connect with others. This will be helpful for my own research as it has shown how important the prism of commonality is in building community and how wide these networks can spread. In the case of Free Schools from c.1960-1980 the commonality would be the desire to implement freedom, and the wider spread of the movement seems, at this mid-stage of my research, to filter into spheres such as anarchism, socialism, libertarianism, working-class solidarity, and perhaps many more.

Mike Phillips, May 11th, 2016

 

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Common Roots 2016, co-hosted by Wennington old scholars and P.E.T.T., was  held at P.E.T.T. on May 10th, 2016. The poster for the event can be seen  here.