Appeals

Susanne Macdonald, Brenda Rafferty (turning the butter churn) and Michael Crook in the creamery of the Loch Arthur Village Community, near Dumfries. Mr Crook is wrapping rectangular-shaped butter pats, and round soft cheeses, called 'Crannog'; behind him are the creamery's Farmhouse Cheddar cheeses maturing in the cupboard. The community, which was established in 1984, belongs to the Camphill Village Trust, which during the last 30 years has founded eight communities in England and Scotland for adults with handicaps.

The trust, in turn, is connected to the internationally known Camphill Movement, founded in 1940 by Dr Karl Konig and a group of Austrian refugees at Camphill, near Aberdeen, and aimed at providing a healing environment for the education and upbringing of children with special needs. Now the movement has over 60 communities, working in its name, throughout the world, helping both children and adults.

Loch Arthur aims to provide the right environment for its residents. Sixty-five people live at the community, 25 of them with handicaps, working on the 500-acre farm: sheep, dairy cows, beef and vegetable- growing are the main enterprises, all farmed organically. The garden, the bakery, the weavery and the creamery all provide work, too, with the latter producing milk, yoghurt, cream cheese and a prize-winning hard cheese. When the creamery was started it provided just enough dairy produce for the community; now the cheeses are sold in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London.

The present creamery is now too small and cannot be extended any further: the community needs to raise an estimated pounds 100,000 for a purpose-built replacement if it is to increase dairy production and plans for the building - along with other strategies to improve and expand the farm buildings - are being drawn up at present. A new house is also being built at Loch Arthur to provide extra accommodation: so far pounds 170,000 has been raised towards the overall cost of pounds 320,000 and building work should be completed by the end of the year. For further information, contact: The Camphill Village Trust, Loch Arthur Community, Beeswing, Dumfries DG2 8JQ, telephone 038776 224.

Photograph: Denis Chanarin

The International Social Service UK is holding its 34th International Spring Fair, from 11am to 5.30pm, on Wednesday 12 May, at Kensington Town Hall, London. Stalls representing 102 countries will be selling their home produce: the wives of ambassadors and high commissioners are organising the event. The ISS was founded in response to the thousands of refugees' need for help after the First World War: the British branch, founded in 1955, evolved out of the International Migration Service. ISS UK has social workers, with specialist knowledge, working on individual social-service cases involving another nationality or country, often where another ISS agency is based: 80 per cent of the cases involve children; and over 100 countries are contacted each year. ISS UK also reunites families by providing a tracing service for those wanting to find their birth parents, sometimes paying for air fares for those in need. This year seven new countries are taking part at the fair: Slovakia, Armenia, Croatia, Latvia, Lesotho, Vietnam and Namibia. Admission costs pounds 2.

ISS UK, Cranmer House, 39 Brixton Road, London SW9 6DD, telephone 071-735 8941.

The Hospice of Our Lady and St John, at Willen, Milton Keynes, is appealing for pounds 1m to build an extension to enlarge its day centre and provide 15 extra beds. The hospice, which opened in 1981, has 10 beds and a day centre which sees 40 patients a week. With its new facilities it will be able to expand its provision of respite care.

The Hospice of Our Lady and St John, Manor Farm, Willen, Milton Keynes MK15 9AB, telephone 0908 663636.

The Independent welcomes details of appeals from readers. They should be sent in writing (no more than 100 words) to Gazette (Appeals), The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB (fax 071-956 9358). Please include a daytime telephone number.

(Photograph omitted)

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