VAP’s work in the UK
In this section it is possible to read short descriptions of the voluntary work projects organised by VAP in the UK in co-operation with other like-minded organisations.
Othona is set at Bradwell-on-Sea, in a beautiful, remote corner of Essex, just behind the sea wall at the mouth of the River Blackwater.
An ecumenical Christian community, Othona was founded just after the Second World War, in 1946, in a camp containing displaced Poles and German prisoners of war, for the purpose of peace and reconciliation.
VAP has held a workcamp here every year since 1977. The international volunteers work and live as part of the community consisting of residential staff and volunteers who organise the community on a daily basis.
Buddhafield is best known for the Buddhafield Festival, which is held over a period of five days on a beautiful site in the Blackdown Hills, in Somerset. The event brings together around three thousand people for a sharing and celebration of alternative social, cultural, political and spiritual values.
VAP workcamps with Buddhafield are organised to coincide with the Buddhafield Festival or with the Green Earth Awakening Camp, a smaller event that brings activists and environmentalists together for celebration, joy, and exploring how we might live more in harmony with each other and the environment.
One World Summer Festival
The One World Festival is a summer event in Somerset that brings together individuals and families from all over the world to share in a unique atmosphere of rest and activity, fun and freedom, challenge and adventure.
Volunteers on VAP’s workcamp at the festival are involved in vegetarian macrobiotic food preparation and can also participate in many of the workshops and other activities on offer.
Taraloka Women’s Buddhist Community
Started in 1985, Taraloka is a Women’s Buddhist Community and Retreat Centre of the Triratna Buddhist Community set on the Welsh-Shropshire border.
VAP workcamps at Taraloka involve maintenance and decorating work and learning to cook tasty and nutritious vegan meals for the group. There is often gardening and landscaping work as well as the chance to learn about Buddhism and living as a community.
Located in the hills in the county of Devon, about 25 kms from the city of Exeter, Beech Hill is a small community living together in a large country house. It has a well-established tradition of volunteering.
VAP workcamps at Beech Hill include gardening, maintenance of the grounds and other manual work while building up international and intercultural solidarity.
Clow Beck Eco Centre
Clow Beck Eco-Centre is an environmental project situated on 40 acres of farmland. The Centre is designed to give children an educational experience, showing them that, in contrast to the modern way of life based on high technology, there are alternative lifestyles based on simple, practical and sustainable solutions to the problems of everyday living.
VAP organised two international workcamps here in 2006 and 2007 and also used the centre for the training weekend for volunteers going to projects included in our North-South Programme in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Stanley Youth Centre Summer Playscheme
Stanley is a small town in the north east of England, 15 kms from Newcastle. It is a town that has seen high levels of unemployment and incomes are low. The Stanley Youth Centre is a charitable organisation with the purpose of providing recreational activities for young people aged 8 to 25 years.
Back in 1973 the youth workers at the centre, along with parents and volunteers, decided to establish the Stanley Youth Centre summer playscheme for local children aged 5 to 13 years during the school holidays.
Rollercoasters is a local charity which was established to provide support for families with children aged 4-14 who have acute learning and physical disabilities and live within the Borough of Dudley, which is in the Black Country near Birmingham.
It has organised a high quality holiday playscheme each summer since 1992, providing leisure and social opportunities for about 40 children with various disabilities.
Stanmer Organics/Brighton Earthship
Stanmer Organics is a unique project situated on 17 acres of Soil Association accredited land, in the beautiful Stanmer Park adjoining the University of Sussex near Brighton. The Brighton Earthship was the first Earthship to be built in England and was built as a community centre for Stanmer Organics.