What started out as a social experiment has caught the interest of people from all corners of the world. I am talking about Botton, a village located in the North Yorkshire Moors. So what makes this village so interesting?
It is home to about 300 people – most of whom have learning disabilities and other mental illnesses. The special quality of Botton is that it is a place that welcomes anyone who may be shunned by “normal” society. The people of Botton have set it in their minds – and indeed show it in their way of living – that any special quality or eccentricity is welcomed and tolerated within their community.
The set up in Botton is that those with special needs are dubbed the villagers while volunteers are called co-workers. The co-workers hail from all corners of the world, with the aim of helping those with special needs. The living arrangements are such as several villagers live together with a co-worker and the co-worker’s family. Daily life in Botton is very structured, with everyone having something specific to do.
The whole idea of the village is based on the philosophical teachings of Rudolf Steiner and they are strong advocates of communal living, which is basically their set up. Of course, there are some who are skeptical of this set up but people who have experienced Botton will be quick to debunk their skepticism. In fact, Botton seems to be quite a huge success as the waiting list for villagers is quite full as of this writing.