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A Place to be Real Together


by Tony Jaques
Saturday 15th January 2022

Othona's first full-on 'conference by Zoom ' was a real feast. Experience, passion and invigorating ideas about how we can respond to the greatest issue of our time: climate change and the degradation of the planet.

We had a raft of different speakers, some of whom were at COP26 last November. All the way from hands-on farmers to a protesting climate activist, to an international campaigner for inter-faith cooperation on the environment. There was a storyteller too and an expert on rewilding and bringing back the beavers! People who know their stuff and walk their talk.

Now you can catch up with them all on Youtube!

https://youtu.be/WQhEZdxwIpU  ... Read More

by Tony Jaques
Sunday 24th October 2021

Othona West Dorset events for November to March are now on our website and open for booking.

There will be some extra events added later for January, February and March, but already we have quite a selection. Festivals, working weeks, prayer, creative writing, yoga, spiritual dance...

There are two sessions that'll suit really practical can-do folk who fancy a bit of decluttering.

We're keeping our ultra-flexible cancellation terms for anyone who has to drop out because of Covid. (If you cancel for other reasons, however, we've now gone back to our usual T&Cs.)

And thanks to the Association for Promoting Retreats (which we belong to) on most events we can offer 50% bursaries to NHS staff and to carers! 

... Read More

by Tony Jaques
Wednesday 29th September 2021

We are still enjoying some early autumn sun here in Dorset. I wanted to bring you a video'd walk, a vivid experience of earth and moon, and news of a leadership opportunity at Othona's Bradwell centre.

Who Will Fill Tim's Shoes?

Tim Fox, my opposite number at Othona's centre in Essex, will be stepping down around Easter 2022. He'll be much missed, and as you'll appreciate the Community has an important recruitment task ahead.

If you would like to learn more about this role - for yourself or someone else - visit our 'Othona at Large' page.

Come Walk With Me (No 18)

Two weeks ago I enjoyed a sunny afternoon in Thorncombe Wood and Puddletown... Read More

by Robin Shaw
Monday 30th August 2021

We had a beautiful summer of family-focused events. Themes included 'Rewilding', 'Astronomy', Cook & Craft' and music making with the wonderful Jo Eden. There was beach foraging, campfire cooking, yoga, meditation, visualisation, arts, crafts, music, games and story-telling, night sky gazing with lots of free time to rest, recharge and reconnect. All this in Othona’s inclusive community ethos. It was a lovely time together. Thanks all. See you again soon...!

Thank you to Lou Heatley for the lovely photo of some of the fab kids who joined us.

by Tony Jaques
Sunday 1st August 2021

Dorset Magazine in July carried a feature article (by yours truly) about the history of our site, the remarkable woman who bought it 100 years ago and the community she established here before Othona.

Here's the article about Adela Curtis and her community. There are some fine historical and contemporary pictures too.

Back in July, Othona hosted a wonderful weekend of talks and presentations called 'Adela Curtis Centenary Celebrations', inspired by the research of our very own Core member, Liz Howlett. Liz shared fascinating material from her researches into Adela and other members... Read More

by Tony Jaques
Monday 31st May 2021

Do come and visit us during the Dorset Art Weeks exhibition. Learn more about the artists and the art on our DAW2021 page here on our website. Even if you can't come, do tell others about it!

The exhibition is open every day from now to Sunday 6th June, from 11.00 to 5.00 daily. With refreshments in the mornings (11.00 - 12.30) and afternoons (2.30 - 4.30).

And here s a link to a quick 5 min video tour of our art exhibition and beautiful 'refreshments hub'!

by Tony Jaques
Sunday 14th March 2021

We are looking forward to being able to, once again, welcome visitors here at Othona West Dorset. We are planning a couple of non-residential events for the Spring and clarifying when we aim to open to residential visitors this Summer - all depending on covid restrictions (fingers crossed).

We will list events here on the website, of course, but the best way to keep up-to-date on OthonaWDorset happenings is to subscribe to our newsletter - so do sign up (you can unsubscribe at any time).

Here's to seeing you all soon!

by Tony Jaques
Tuesday 25th August 2020

It’s been a long 6 months without visitors at Othona, but at last we’ll be able to open our doors and we really look forward to seeing you again.

As we open again it’ll be with some major changes. There will be fewer people at any one time. We’ll have new precautions and protocols because of the virus. But you’ll also find some lovely new facilities, indoors and out. And for us – maybe for you too – a renewed appetite for being in community with others.

Most of the “Welcome Back to Community” events on offer this autumn and winter will follow a similar pattern. You’ll have plenty of time to spend as you wish, because mostly these will be... Read More

by Tony Jaques
Monday 6th July 2020

That headline sounds dramatic, doesn't it? But I don't apologise. These are dramatic times, for many other charities and for Othona. You may well have been wondering how we'll weather the storm.

Today I'd like to offer you a broad brush picture of Othona's finances. For everybody who cares how we'll survive - and if we will.

I've checked this for accuracy with our treasurer and chair of trustees, but this is my own overview - not an accountant's report.

The briefest summary of all goes something like this:

1. In the last nine months we've spent more than half our reserves in improvements at our two centres in Essex and Dorset. (Watch the video below to see what's been happening here at West Dorset!)

... Read More

by Tony Jaques
Saturday 4th July 2020

Othona began in Essex where our other centre is to this day. The landscape is very different there, but like us they are near the sea on a stretch of relatively unspoilt coast.

Way across the fields, near the village of Bradwell, you see two large buildings remaining from the old nuclear power station (Bradwell A) that stopped generating back in 2002. But go there today and you'd also see all sorts of heavy equipment digging boreholes to test the feasibility of a second nuclear station, Bradwell B.

This annotated sketch shows you the relative positions and sizes of... Read More