October 22, 2019

October Shortlist – What impact can a community have?

Daisy Thomson, 20

This essay is many things, a love story, a family history, the history of an organisation, but most importantly this is an essay about the incredible value of community, and the life-changing effects it can have not just on an individual but on generations. It does this through the lens of my own family history and the story of an amazing but little known institution – the Caldecott Community. The Caldecott Community was a foster-home that was ground-breaking in its approach to childcare. It viewed children as people equally worthy of respect and it realised the importance of children having a sense of agency over their lives, particularly for those children who have suffered from abuse. We tend to only hear negative stories about care homes so it feels important and timely to share the positive impacts it can have, and to remind people of the value of institutions like these. It is an incredibly emotive essay for me, Caldecott is both my family’s origin story and life ethos. I can see the way its philosophy has carried on down the generations’ parenting ethos and lifted generations out of a destructive cycle of poverty and abuse.

The Caldecott Community, 2019