The clan arrives for their annual fix…

It’s Friday afternoon and we’re at the end of what seems a long week, and like the changing of the guard, our conference residents have left – some back to their families in Europe – whilst our new guests check in at Reception for their weekend of Scottish country dancing and music making.  Residenial adult education weekends everywhere often coalesce around ‘communities of interest’ and this weekend is no exception.  It is true of embroiderers, archaeologists, historians,  egyptologists and musicians – to name just a few.  Last weekend we had an enthusiastic band of singers who, without any formal musical training, spent a whole weekend having the time of their lives.  The bar did a great trade as thirsty throats needed to be oiled for the demanding sessions.  Next weekend is the turn of the lakemakers which will be by contrast, shall we say, a more sedate affair.

All this demonstrates to me the instinct that people have for spending time together.  Whether it is with family, colleagues or even with strangers, the reward of shared experience should not be underestimated.  In a society under pressure, where families don’t always live in close proximity to their kin, getting together in clubs, groups or around shared interests is enormously important in countering feelings of social isolation and lonliness.  That sounds dramatic but I know that for many people the simple coming together is the real benefit.  Social policy makers need to wake up to the fact even in this age of austerity.


About Dillington Blog

My name is Wayne Bennett and I am the Director of Dillington House in Somerset. Dillington House is Somerset's residential centre for adult education as well as being one of south west England's premier locations for conferences and meetings. Dillington has an incredible reputation not just in Somerset but across the country. It has been in operation since 1950 and a focus of many cultural and artistic events across the decades. The place is an oasis for learning, thinking and debating ideas. In a world in which we seem to be so atomised the opportunity for coming together as human beings in a safe and inspirational setting has enormous value to individuals as well as communities. My job is enormously rewarding because of the creative possibilities and the challenges of making the place work without financial subsidy. I hope you will enjoy reading this blog and following the work of an extraordinary institution committed to excellence in everything it does.
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