Common Ground Postponement

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

We have taken the difficult decision to confirm that Common Ground will not be taking place this Summer. 

Needless to say, we have not taken this decision lightly, and for many of us (as for many of you reading) this is a heartbreaking position to be put in. But safety and wellbeing must come above all else, and we believe strongly that the circumstances of the global Coronavirus crisis make a camp this Summer untenable.

The Common Ground Board and staff members working on the camp met on Saturday 4th April to discuss our options; it was agreed unanimously by those in attendance that the camp cannot go ahead.

We are now actively looking into the options for postponement and for Common Ground to take place at a later date – in 2021 or after. The Board is working on this alongside Woodcraft Folk’s staff and General Council, and with IFM-SEI staff and networks. We are aiming to have a fuller picture and more to say on this by the end of this month, and will be taking this time to consult further and weigh up different options.

The Coronavirus crisis is affecting us all in different ways. For many of us, life will look very different from now on – in ways that are short term, and more permanent. We recognise that the long term impacts of this crisis will need to be considered as we think about what Common Ground looks like going forward. This is a scary and uncertain time, but one thing is certain: our values of international friendship and solidarity have never been more crucial, and we must continue to find ways to live those values even if we can’t be together in person this Summer.

We want to give a huge thanks to all the volunteers and staff across the Woodcraft Folk and IFM-SEI networks who have been working so hard to make Common Ground a success – from programme coordinators, to KPs, to group leaders and the behind the scenes heroes processing mountains of admin. This decision is tough for us all and it will take time to process what it means, both practically and emotionally. We as a Board are here to support this however we can, and we hope you can stick with us as we figure out how to make sure Common Ground still happens in future.

Although lots remains uncertain, we’re releasing this statement now to provide what clarity we can, and will be following up with more information in the coming weeks and months. We’re also putting together a short set of FAQs to release soon which should hopefully address any major questions. Thanks again for all you do.

In friendship and solidarity,

Tom Brooks (Chair) on behalf of the Common Ground Board