I’d like to respond to the letter, Sandbaai Hall not unwilling to help, as published in the 8 May edition of The Village NEWS.
I apologise if the article referred to (Gas and smoke still a threat to Camphill School, The Village NEWS 1 May), created the impression that the Sandbaai Hall was in any way unwilling to help Camphill School, or that they left us in the lurch, as that was not our intention at all.
In fact, on behalf of our children, teachers and staff I would like to thank the Management Committee of the Sandbaai Hall for all the support they have shown our School Community during our time of need. Thank you for accommodating us for four months and for your flexibility in extending our stay, often at short notice.
Since the fire of 11 January 2019 the school has not been able to return the children to the premises due to the risk posed by emissions from the peat fire in the Onrus River. The majority of our learners are severely challenged, not only intellectually but also physically.
We have been taking advice and guidance from the environmental departments re timeframes for our return. Optimistically the school held on to the hope that we would be able to return the day school to our premises by the end of April, but in my meeting with the Health and Safety representative of Working on Fire on 25 April, it was confirmed that our children could not return while the work in the river continued. We also understood that the Sandbaai Hall had put off their maintenance work to accommodate us and that they were running out of time to do so.
The challenge was finding suitable premises to accommodate our 60 special children, their teachers and support staff in a way that would create a favourable learning environment and cause the least disruption to all concerned.
We are extremely grateful to Bosko as they have made several separate rooms and the hall available to our school until the end of term, which is suitable to accommodate our more severely challenged children. This will also enable us to continue with the much needed-therapies for our children.
Camphill School would like to thank the Hermanus community for its support during this time; it is much appreciated.