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Ms Cunningham with some of Ochil Tower’s staff

Roseanna Cunningham MSP recently visited Ochil Tower School, based in Auchterarder in her constituency.

Ochil Tower School is part of Camphill Scotland, which provides care services for people with learning disabilities and other support needs.  They cater for children, adults and older people through day care, residential care services schools.

Speaking following her visit, Ms Cunningham said:

“This was a really interesting and enjoyable visit, I was delighted to be able to meet with the staff of Ochil Tower School and some of the wonderful children in their care.

“As well as learning more about the brilliant work that they do at Ochil Tower School, it was also very instructive to hear from them about the concerns they have – as an organisation and as individuals – about the potential impacts of Brexit on their lives and on their school.

“There are about 30 full-time staff at Ochil Towe plus 12 volunteers.  Of that total of 42, fully two thirds are from non-UK countries.  Maintaining staffing levels is important in providing the levels of care that are required for the 32 young people – mostly boarders – who attend the school and is always a challenge. Brexit is clearly a direct threat to their ability in the future to maintain those levels.

“These are concerns that have been echoed by third sector organisations across Scotland that changes in rules related to the EU workforce, medicines research and funding reported by other organisations such as the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, Coalition of Care Providers Scotland, Inclusion Scotland, Scottish Care and SCVO. 

“Indeed, more than fifty third-sector organisations have signed up in support of an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill from my colleagues Joanna Cherry MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP and Martyn Day MP which proposed a review of the impact of leaving the EU on the four health and social care systems operating across the United Kingdom.

“The potential harm that Brexit could cause throughout our society is extremely wide reaching and I think people are only just beginning to realise just how disruptive and unfair it could yet prove to be.”

Dr Neil Henery, Director, Camphill Scotland, added: 

“Camphill was founded in Scotland by Austrian refugees and remains very much a European and international movement. 170 (or 68%) of the 251 short-term volunteer co-workers currently living and working in Camphill communities in Scotland are from other EU countries. 

“Without them Camphill could not continue in its present form to the great detriment of the over five hundred people with learning disabilities and other support needs who depend on us for their care, education and support.”

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NOTE: Above is a photograph showing Ms Cunningham with some of Ochil Tower’s staff [L:R] Svetlana Radostina (Russian), wife of  Veit Seidl (German) house co-ordinator and Miriam Puccianti (Swiss/Italian), Deputy Head of Education.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design