Othona West Dorset

Postal Address
Coast Road
Burton Bradstock

01308 897130
Year started
rural and coastal
Number of over 18s
Ideological focus
Legal structure
Open in principle to new members
Charge visitors
Work in Lieu

Othona West Dorset is run by a small residential team who provide an experience of living in community for visitors staying in our 14-room community house, as they attend programmed events throughout the year. We see Othona as “A place to be real together”. While our roots are in the Christian heritage, we are open to all based on mutual respect and a sense of the everyday sacred. In approaching spirituality we are light-hearted, down to earth and unafraid to face change. Othona particularly suits people who are on a journey to discover their spiritual path or find a way to evove within Christian faith. Some of us on team see ourselves as Christian and some do not, or acknowledge other faith traditions as a guiding presence. Within the team and visitors we affirm diversity among people in faith, spirituality, age, ability, race, background and sexual orientation. For a new generation of retreat seekers we offer an informal community atmosphere, a simple lifestyle, and home cooking against a backdrop of great natural beauty. We schedule plenty of time for personal retreat in a community setting, often with creative arts. Othona is distinguished by the way visitors can join in a whole rhythm of life from gardening to leading chapel services. Singing, music, silence, candlelight and mindfulness are part of our life. Events during the school holidays are usually child friendly. Our stone house is set in 6 acres on the West Dorset coast and can accommodate 30 visitors. Located above the first natural World Heritage Site, Chesil Beach: walking, bird-watching and beachcombing are popular activities.

community does not share income
community does not require capital from members
community has broadband internet access
community generates some of its own electricity
community uses solar energy
community buildings insulated to a high standard
community members use bicycles
community has organised system for car sharing
community is accessible by public transport
community shares utilities
community has tool sharing system
community has organised systems for recycling
community has some kind of ecosewage system
community is involved in land management
community does not grow vegetables
no communal animals
regular communal meals
community has policy which restricts smoking
community buildings at least partly wheelchair accessible
community is not involved in campaigning

Othona West Dorset is currently looking for new members

We run a rolling advert for Short Term Core, our essential supporting people, who are with us for 3 months to 1 year, with full board & lodgings & a small stipend. This position is available from September 2019. Even if you are not available until later in the year you are very welcome however to start the recruitment process now as it can take several months to complete.

Short Term Core members support the team and help provide a good experience for our visitors. You may be taking a gap year, a career break, a change of direction or want to explore service and hospitality.

Personal attributes include a desire to live in community, mature outlook, self awareness, sensitivity to others, flexibility and adaptability, enjoyment of working in a team, being on a spiritual journey, possessing good health and an open-mind.

You also receive time off, opportunity for personal development, a contract, and extensive experience in beautiful natural surroundings.

If you live in the UK, we will want you to visit Othona as part of the recruitment process.

If you’re interested please email recruitment@othona-bb.org.uk.

We’d like to hear from you if you would like to join us as Core Member-Caterer.

You’ll need some competence both in cooking and in running a kitchen including menu planning, ordering, food hygiene and so on. You will enjoy cooking good simple home cooked food, using local produce where possible and encouraging others to develop their skills and confidence in the kitchen too.

We all get involved in some cooking, cleaning, visitor liaison, event hosting, daily quiet times in chapel and a willingness to help out if something arises, regardless of our main job focus.

You will live in a beautiful part of the country with sea views, receive full board and a room in shared team accommodation on site, along with a modest salary.

If you’re interested please email recruitment@othona-bb.org.uk in the first instance and look on our website “Live & Work – Vacancies” for a longer description.

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Othona West Dorset is currently looking for volunteers

At Othona West Dorset, up to six core members live and work full-time so that other people can visit, take part in our programmed events and share in the experience of community.

We appreciate offers of volunteer help with a range of tasks, indoors and out. To find out more about our community, go to www.othonawestdorset.org.uk and browse through the pages.

From time to time, we welcome help from:

Locally based volunteers, coming in for the day to help us at various times with such things as:
• vegetable gardening
• cooking and cleaning
• log splitting
• grounds maintenance
• painting
• envelope stuffing

If you are interested in joining our locals’ network, please contact us at volunteering@othona-bb.org.uk for a list of up-coming Locals’ Days and Events.

Volunteers from further afield who stay with us – usually for a week – during our busiest times to help out with general core community work. This helps us cover, for instance, when core members take holidays. Almost always these volunteers will already be familiar with Othona, rather than coming for their first visit. They need to ‘know the ropes’ and be ready to take on a range of duties from welcoming visitors to cleaning or making breakfast for up to 30 people. If you’re interested in this, we ask you to spend some time with us as a visitor first.

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