DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
Camphill Village Trust CHARITY – Taurus Craft on ‘Trip Advisor’

The Conversation From 25-May-2018 …

To view the whole Conversation to Date
including
the background facts & opinions:
Do CLICK HERE

.
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE
08-June-2018.

PLEASE BE ADVISED
I comment in my own opinion on my own beliefs
ALSO  Please note I am acting in good faith
with the aim to maximise
The opportunities at Taurus Craft.
ALSO I Comment WITHOUT PREJUDICE

 

RESPONSE RECEIVED 25-May-2018

Taurus Crafts
Annabel Arkless <annabel.arkless@cvt.org.uk>

Today, 16:11 Greg Lance-Watkins

Dear Mr Lance-Watkins

Thank you for your correspondence regards the café at Taurus Crafts.

Taurus Crafts is an important part of Camphill Village Trust, offering volunteer placements to people with learning disabilities and other needs. For this reason, I was keen to respond to the opinions you presented in your email and on your blog.

 

Sometimes, as with any business, we don’t achieve the high standards we set ourselves. As our local manager Wendy explained in her response to your Tripadvisor review, ‘the experiences of our customers are important to us and clearly we have fallen short here.’

 

Thankfully, these experiences are rare. 80% of those who have reviewed Taurus Crafts on Tripadvisor rated it as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. We’ve received the same positive feedback regards our cafes located in our other communities across England.

 

We trust and respect those who run the café at Taurus Crafts, whether disabled or not, to learn from any mistakes that occur. Getting honest feedback about customers’ experiences is vital to this learning, hence Wendy’s suggestion that you visited and spoke to the two of us about your experiences.

 

The generally positive feedback across our cafes reassures us that there is not a systematic failure of standards across our cafes. It would therefore be excessive, and overbearing, for one of CVT’s Directors, one of its Trustees, its Marketing Director and the Head of Human Resources to be involved in resolving a local issue, as you have suggested. Wendy and I would, however, still welcome a meeting with you at Taurus Crafts.

 

Our team, both disabled and non-disabled, are justifiably proud of the service they provide at Taurus Crafts. We welcome the custom of those who support our charity’s aims to our cafes and communities, and will continue to learn from their feedback.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Annabel Arkless

Fundraising Director

I do appreciate Ms. Arkless taking the trouble to reply with a well thought out letter and note her efforts both to negate the facts I have put forward  and her efforts to confine the issue to merely being effectively a complaint about the restaurant at Taurus Craft, which of course it most clearly was not!

May I suggest Ms. Arkless takes the trouble to re-read the entirity of this blog as I am sure she will be able to deduce that a very small part of my comment relates to the cafe. The bulk of my criticism is far more in depth and relative to the utter ineptitude of the management. It is over simplification akin to her own response that so clearly lies at the heart of the problems at Taurus Craft and how it is perceived by so many.

I also understand her efforts to promote the largely unidentifiable and unsubstantiated platitudinous positive comments on Trip Advisor – a very sound move in marketing terms IF you consider your audience to be unable to see past such marketing ploys.

When it comes to considering the apparent lack of facts put forward by staff, tennants & those dependant on CVT do be minded that few have the security or alternatives to speak out and tell the truth as they are mostly low paid staff dependent on their jobs or are unwaged bonded labour ostensibly being trained and naturally those who have invested in the site are in the invidious position they risk their livelihood or rent rises should they dare to speak out – may I remind Ms. Arkless that to reduce the risk of feedback local management has ceased including tennants in meetings, although they were unlikely to speak out for fear of reprisal showing just how unpleasant the atmosphere is on the site.

Clients, and the public will in the main have insufficient interest to comment, in the realisation that even if they did make suggestions it would be all too likely the local management would, as I cautioned at the outset, indulge in CYA management and seek to localise, minimise and outmanoeuver any suggestions.

I am minded to disagree with much that is said in Ms. Arkless’ carefully fabricated letter, albeit competently presented as a CVT employee, being a Fundraising Director, one wonders what the Director of Fundraising would make of her efforts.

I shall, as previously, delay my response until I have had the opportunity to take soundings as to how others consider it.

I caution that I would willingly go to Court in support of any individual who might find they are being eroneously accused of colluding in my comments, they are made in a spirit of seeking, as I have said already several times, with a view to improving the sad situation and maximising on the value of the entire site both for CVT, those dependent on CVT, the bonded labour, the staff and the area – The Taurus Craft site in its entirety is in my opinion being under utilised and mismanaged to the detriment of all.

When it comes to under utilisation, failure of management and ineptitude even now is clearly visible – Be minded this weekend is a Bank Holiday and absolutely nothing has been organised to capitalise on this fact! Beyond renting one room to an iondividual for them to profit from a children’s ‘Slime School’ Good (profitable) for the exhibitor and no doubt for the cafe, but of little benefit to other unit holders. This is just the sort of time that the excellent venue of Taurus Craft should be maximising its opportunity and location, yet local management have made zero effort to maximise either for Taurus Craft or CVT!

It was good to see the cafe functioning well with laughter and banter amongst both staff and customers – although it was busy, clearly the staff were coping and co-operating and seemingly stress free, an unusual situation to notice in the cafe. It was clear more was being achieved with smiles and good humour than one normally sees where putdowns, snippy comments and interference normally leads to poor service, where a smile and apology to a customer kept waiting works miracles – I still contend name and status badges would do a great deal to improve understanding and tollerance, as would be a CVT collection box near the till for small change (It adds up!), also every table would benefit from a well designed leaflet presenting the charity and its venues & aims.

I find it hard to believe Ms. Arkless’ claim that it is just a local vexatious claim regarding the cafe, as she will readily note on re-reading the conversation to date and in the light of the facts I have presented I find it surprising she feels that the Trustees, senior executives, Directors and HR would be disinterested – if she is right what a sad reflection on CVT.

I am not prepared to believe that the Trustees and Directors are disinterested in maximising the assets of the Trust for the benefit of its stated aims!

Minded that edict would seem to be that staff are no longer ‘permitted’ to talk to customers, clients or even tennants and those who smoke are to be found skulking in the bushes either behind the garden cafe or as I have also seen in the bushes by the herb garden – rather than in the designated smoking area presumably to prevent them engaging in any social pleasantries it seems a fair amount of intimidation is taking place to try to minimise the outcome locally – rather than seeking to open up the conversation with the best interests of Taurus Craft and those it serves being the aim.

MY RESPONSE eMAILED & POSTED
06-June-2018

To: Taurus Crafts
Annabel Arkless <annabel.arkless@cvt.org.uk>
From: Greg Lance-Watkins
Dated: 07-Jun-2018
Dear Ms. Arkless,
firstly please accept my apologies for the delay in my response, you will I am sure be pleased to know it was not because I had lost interest in my efforts to assist Taurus Craft in improving its efforts on behalf of those CVT seek to assist, by maximising the opportunities of the excellent site at Taurus Craft.
As you will by now have appreciated I am not acting in isolation and thus, by publicising the issue and concerns on the internet I am seeking to increase the feedback I receive to gain the maximum awareness. Also my wife and I have had several house guests in the last couple of weeks and several appointments with Consultants regarding health!
Ms. Arkless I take the liberty of assuming your colleagues have drawn your attention to the Web Site:
where I have published the details of the conversation to date, I would rather hope they have or it would express a staggering disinterest, on their part, in the wellbeing of both Taurus Craft and CVT itself. Particularly as I am well aware from feedback that the matter has been a relatively popular topic of conversation!
In the light of feedback to date I rather regret that I have not had a single negative summary or negative comment. On the contrary I have had very clear agreement from many, the general comment would seem to be that they would not wish it to be known they had commented, due to their position as working in various capacities for CVT or as clients or customers in one way or another, be that directly or indirectly – however NOT ONE has disagreed and almost unanimously they have wished me luck as they feel I have said nothing that is incorrect; all be it several admit they might not have phrased a comment as I have.
Most admit they, in their position, would not speak out – well they do say leadership is lonely 😉 I submit it is, very much for the reasons I have stated!
It is largely for these reasons I feel it would be both dishonest and inapropriate to withdraw or alter a single part of my submission to date.
You will no doubt appreciate that it is my opinion endorsed by various commentators that this issue is way more consequential than efforts by local management to seek to flannel their way out of their very clear ineptitude – one need only note the responses to me to date & the failure to make the major alterations that are needed and in fact even the minor ones!
it is for this reason that I totally disagree with your belief this does not concern the board of CVT; I believe that this wasting of opportunity and obvious discontent, noted by many, reflects badly on CVT not to mention the failure to maximise opportunities for what is after all a public charity, not a sinecure for job seekers & virtue signallers!
Yes I believe a meeting with Trustees, Directors & HR is appropriate – surely they have sufficient sense of responsibility to wish to maximise opportunities not just pass the buck. I also stand by my suggestion that this issue should be broadened not try to pretend it is just some vexatious individual with a complaint about service in the cafe!
Yes I believe there is a sound case for an extended committee contributing & long term commitment to maximising opportunities, representing tennants and staff alike and ensuring income from REGULAR & FREQUENT events can be accrued for CVT & constant improvements.
and reconsider your position – this has little to do with the cafe despite your transparent efforts at damage limitation!
I look forward to meeting with your Trustee, Directors & HR.
Soon would be a good idea & rapidly thereafter the setting up of an action committee to advance the organisation & essential improvements needed for the benefit of the charity – I am sure it has not evaded peoples perspicacity, this conversation started on Trip Advisor in April it would be a shame to waste the entire summer!
Nothing of consequence has yet changed – not a soul with a name and job title on display, though I note a few Tea Shirts have been printed to identify staff, which some wear! Nor has a single collection box materialised and sinage regarding the aims has not become more apparent.
Interestingly I was talking with a business owner who lives in Lydney and is a regular visitor to Taurus Craft, yet they were completely unaware of CVT’s activities and did not realise the role of the sometimes ‘rather odd’ (their words not mine) staff.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

 

RESPONSE RECEIVED 08-Jun-2018

 

Taurus Crafts
 
Annabel Arkless <annabel.arkless@cvt.org.uk>

Today, 16:52Greg Lance-Watkins

 

Dear Mr Lance-Watkins

 

Thank you for your response. It is heartening to read of your commitment to supporting the team at Taurus Crafts.

 

Unfortunately, your actions come across as less than supportive. You talk of wishing to help our social enterprise but refuse to meet with the local management and me. The stream of negative articles posted on your website about the café team and the wider CVT management team also come across as an attempt to shame, rather than support.

 

It is my privilege, as fundraising director, to meet those who are supportive of our charity, whether this is through donations, in-kind support, volunteering or our friends who simply wish us well. Their kindness and generosity shines through.

 

I see on your website that you’ve campaigned on a wide range of issues: there are indeed many injustices in our world that justify such action. The quality of service at Taurus Crafts and the management of the centre is not, however, one of them.

 

Our team of disabled and non-disabled people at Taurus Crafts will – from time to time – make mistakes. If this irritates you, as it clearly appears to, please don’t feel the need to visit.

 

I’d like to thank you for your input, which will be acted upon, and confirm that we now consider this matter closed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Annabel Arkless

Fundraising Director

 

Direct Line: 07377 871007

Office: 01287 661284

E-mail: annabel.arkless@cvt.org.uk

Fundraising Office, Botton Village, Danby, Whitby, YO21 2NJ

As is the spirit of this conversation I have posted this correspondence on the internet to ensure transparency and solicit feedback – to ensure that there is both an opportunity for feedback and to ensure no one is under any misaprehensions.

As I cautioned at the very outset it was my opinion and that of others that management would resort to a CYA position and it was clear there would be efforts to sidestep the issues, minimise my concerns and as Ms. Arkless showed in her previous response, seek to control the issue whereby there was a pretence that my wide range of comments were nothing more than a vexatious member of the public complaining about the cafe – when clearly that was not the case.

 

It would seem that now we have an individual within the management in Yorkshire, seeking to claim my purpose is to be negative and thus by inference destructive, this seemingly being a method by which to ‘sidestep’ the issues.

 

You will note no consequential meeting has been held and no consequential changes been either made or notified – there have been several instances which to me would seem to be instances of bullying/intimidation of staff even going so far as to find a member of the supported staff being cross examined, in a manner which concerned them sufficiently that they told me of it – I did not wish to increase their ‘concern’ so I thanked them answered their direct question and changed the subject however I gather they were called over by a member of the support staff and asked, in front of the manageress if I had given a member of staff a lift after work.

For the record, firstly: what staff do in their own time is absolutely no business of the manageress
and secondly: I have given numerous members of staff a lift when I am leaving at the same time as they are.

 

I was amused at Ms. Arkless’ transparent effort to minimise the issues I have raised:

I see on your website that you’ve campaigned on a wide range of issues: there are indeed many injustices in our world that justify such action. The quality of service at Taurus Crafts and the management of the centre is not, however, one of them.

Yes I have indeed campaigned on a wide number of issues for over 50 years – seeking to right injustice and improve situations for others.

I totally disagree with Ms. Arkless’ contention that the management and conditions at Taurus Clrafts is not worthy of campaigning to improve – in that it is in fact a Publicly Registered Charity No.232402, I believe it is something of a duty to seek to campaign in its support. It is clear for the many reasons I have shown and which have been endorsed by others to act in just this manner relative to Taurus Crafts and CVT.

 

I also note the efforts to avoid confronting the issues with the comment:

Our team of disabled and non-disabled people at Taurus Crafts will – from time to time – make mistakes. If this irritates you, as it clearly appears to, please don’t feel the need to visit.

which reads to me as a deliberate effort to misrepresent the situation in an effort to try to avoid further efforts to improve the situation – you will note that I have NEVER claimed I found the situation irritating and it is clear that I have acted throughout to seek better outcomes for both CVT and Taurus Crafts. It may well prove easier to sweep the issue under the carpet were I not to visit this local amenity and short of ‘banning individuals’ who seek to support Taurus Crafts and CVT one would hope others would seek to help by making efforts to maximise on this excellent venue other than for their income!

I’d like to thank you for your input, which will be acted upon, and confirm that we now consider this matter closed.

As I raised the issues I feel it inadequate that those in charge of those very issues, ostensibly, consider  them to be closed!

It seems clear to me that CVT Trustees, Board Directors and HR should be particularly concerned at the fact that their operation at Taurus Crafts is so clearly under performing and now in this fourth letter is still seeking to avoid the issues and the suggestions to date.

 

I shall as usual be leaving this on the website to allow for further feedback prior to responding to Ms. Arkless’ communication but respond I will. Let us hope for a more constructive and professional a response in the future to ensure an improved outcome for CVT and the area as a result better exploiting the opportunities at Taurus Crafts.

Copies of parts of this website have been eMailed to:
CVT: trustoffice@cvt.org.uk
Taurus Craft: enquire@tauruscrafts.co.uk

they and other concerned individuals are well aware of this conversation
and of this web site.

Forest of Dean Review: revieweditor@theforestreview.co.uk
Other interested Parties.

DO PLEASE
remember to spread the URL
address of this posting:

https://gl-w.com/2018/05/05/camphill-village-trust-charity-taurus-craft-on-trip-advisor/

so that as many as possible get involved in trying to help CVT maximise the much neglected potential of the Taurus Craft site as possible.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
.
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

Skype: GregL-W

TWITTER: @Greg_LW

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<
I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual
.

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings
https://twitter.com/Greg_LW

& Publicise

My MainWebSite & Blogs

To Spread The Facts World Wide

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

 

Advertisements