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Milltown is a small community and everybody knows each other well. Milltown House, Peesie's Knapp and the Day Workshop are all close to each other. Because of this it is easy to deal with questions of management in a way that is largely informal and spontaneous.
The co-ordinators who come in to work in the Day Workshop are primarily responsible for the management of all aspects of running the Day Workshop. The co-workers who live and work in the community are responsible for everything to do with the life of the residents and the day-to-day management of the community. There is a great deal of interaction and mutual interest and support between the two parts of the community, the residential side and the Day Workshop.
As far as possible the co-ordinators in the Day Workshop and the co-workers in the house avoid creating hierarchies of authority and influence and instead they try to create a style of community management that is based on co-operation and support between each member of the community. The emphasis is on creating healthy social relationships and encouraging each person to be aware of everybody else and the needs and well being of the community as a whole. The co-workers and the co-ordinators try to make sure that everybody – including the clients, tenants and residents - is informed about what is going on in the community and has the opportunity to be involved as far as they wish and as far as they are able. Co-workers and co-ordinators are encouraged to take initiative and to develop a sense of responsibility for their work while at the same time remaining accountable to others. Decisions are taken on the basis of consensus rather than by voting. This means that it is important that all the people involved in making a decision on something come to appreciate the point of view of others and a decision is only made by common agreement.
Many aspect of running Milltown are discussed in conversations between people. This might be at a tea-break or meal-time in the houses or in the Day Workshop; it might also be a case of the people involved getting together to talk through and resolve an issue.
If necessary, issues that need a formal discussion and decision are then talked through in either the Milltown Meeting, in one of the House Co-worker Meetings or the Day Workshop Co-ordinators Meeting.The Milltown Meeting and the House Co-worker Meetings are each held every two weeks and the Day Workshop Co-ordinators Meeting is held once a month. However, these meetings are also called whenever necessary.
Some aspects of management are delegated to named individuals so that everybody can know who is looking after what aspects of the life of Milltown. Some examples of this is that there are named people who are responsible for issues to do with the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland, with the funding authorities, for the finances, with training, for Health and Safety, looking after the vehicles and so on.
The Milltown Community Council meets every month. This is the group of people who are responsible for the management of Milltown as a charity, as a business, as an employer and as a care provision. The Council is made up of people from Milltown Community and some local people. This is a formal meeting where issues are discussed and decisions are made that affect all aspects of Milltown.
There is also the Camphill Mearns Council. Again, this is made up of people living and working in Milltown Community and local people. Camphill Mearns owns the land and property of Milltown and leases this to Milltown Community. As a landlord Camphill Mearns is responsible for the major repairs and renewals of the property. As a charity that aims to provide suitable provisions for people with special needs Camphill Mearns has undertaken to fund developments at Milltown such as renovations and the extension in Milltown House and the building of the new house, Peesie’s Knapp.
Both the Milltown Council and the Camphill Mearns Council are part of the wider association of Camphill communities in Scotland and in Britain and Ireland.