TAURUS CRAFTS creates exciting opportunities for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems through work, work experience and vocational training based around our thriving art and craft visitor centre at Lydney, Gloucestershire. We support people through our day and residential programmes, promoting greater self-reliance and integration.
The Taurus Crafts centre, created as a social enterprise, includes a restaurant, pottery, craft gift shop, gallery, artist-in-residence studio, craft units, organic food and wine shop and organic market garden. We welcome 140,000 visitors a year. Like all Camphill initiatives, we provide an environment in which everyone is valued.
Our managed accommodation in Lydney includes two community houses where those providing support live alongside those with special needs, and town houses and purpose-built flats for those with greater independence with support always close at hand. Most of our housing is near to Lydney town centre and our latest project is developing accommodation adjacent to our craft centre.
The Taurus Crafts centre is open year-round and work and training opportunities are available in all our activities so those with special needs may interact with the public. We support community members in gaining qualifications at local colleges and we also have a programme of life skills training to support those wishing to take steps to greater independence.
Our restaurant specialises in fresh food using mainly organic ingredients; our pottery produces high quality hand-thrown and moulded stoneware; our gift shop sells quality items from Camphill communities and craft workers in the Forest of Dean and further afield, including overseas; our organic food and wine shop sells produce from our market garden and a wide range of organic foods, environmentally-friendly household products and the widest ranges of organic wines in the area; our 4-acre organic market garden grows vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs for the Taurus restaurant and available from our shop. Local craftspeople have workshops at our centre, making and selling quality craft items.
Our crafts centre is a valued part of the local community and is our cultural focus. Events throughout the year involve our community members, staff, visitors and local people in a wide range of activities, from a Christmas tree decorating competition for schools to cookery food demonstrations, story telling, readings and musical and art events. Taurus is a starting point for visits in the Forest of Dean ‘Open Studios’ programme and hosts the spectacular closing event.
Our community members are also involved in many activities taking place in Lydney and the surrounding Forest of Dean area, and there are close links with the Camphill Grange and Oaklands Park communities at nearby Newnham-on-Severn.