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Working with People with Special Needs

A Cultural and Social Impulse in a Changing World

Siegfried W. Rudel

Book Cover for BY THE LIGHT OF THE LANTHORN

September 2011; 176pp; 23.5 x 15.5 cm; paperback

£14.99
ISBN 9781906999278

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'We cannot hold a torch to another's path without brightening our own.' - Ben Sweetland

When Council Inspector Paul Clark visited the Peredur Trust in Cornwall over 20 years ago, he was under pressure to serve a legal notice to comply with various regulations or face closure. He expected to encounter a cult organization with weird and unpalatable practices. In the event, he found something quite different. As he says in his Foreword: 'I came to inspect - I stopped to evaluate - and I remained to admire!' Paul later became the Trust's chief executive.

The Peredur Trust has been caring for disadvantaged and differently-abled individuals, effectively and successfully, for over 60 years. Siegfried Rudel, its President and one of its four founders, tells the story of how the impulse behind the organization - which is inspired by the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner - first transpired. But this is not simply the narrative and history of a single organization. Rather, this book represents a universal cultural impulse that embraces the needs of our time, and one that reappears today in many residential communities for people with special needs around the world. In a fascinating presentation, and with the aid of many archival photographs, In the Light of the Lanthorn tackles interrelated themes including the arts, the environment, sustainability, agriculture and nutrition - all in the light of working with individuals with special needs.

SIEGFRIED W. RUDEL was born in 1928, in the rural setting of Silesia, then part of Eastern Germany but now Poland. After the turbulence of the war-end he was determined to finish his school years at a Steiner Waldorf School, which he succeeded in doing. He then trained in Special Education, first in Scotland and then Switzerland. A group of four students returned to England in 1951 to found a Home-School for 'maladjusted' children (as they were then referred to). Siegfried has stayed the course throughout the Peredur Trust's 60 adventurous years to date. He is now the charity's President.

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