Story — Shaun Vincent shares about his time in the Findhorn Foundation

Words by Shaun Vincent (Interviewer: Britta Schmitz)

“What really struck me is the way that people interact with each other, with themselves and with nature.” — Shaun Vincent, Fundraising Director, talks about leaving the Findhorn Foundation in March 2024

“What really struck me is the way that people interact with each other, with themselves and with nature.”

Britta: How did you come to join the Findhorn Foundation?

Shaun: I was living in Bangkok and my kidneys failed. I needed to return to the UK to get on the kidney transplant list. So I looked for work in Scotland and Northern Ireland because I hadn’t been to those parts of the UK before and I came across this opportunity advertised on the Findhorn Foundation website and I was intrigued by the advert. Very intrigued. Then I remember jumping on to the Findhorn Foundation website and then YouTube, and I became more and more attracted. It had like a magnetic force to it. I had three interviews and each time I felt more and more comfortable about coming here. I took the decision to move from Bangkok to Findhorn – and here I am.

Britta: Can you describe what felt intriguing or magnetic about this place to you?

Shaun: It was the mix of eco and spiritual presence in all conversations that really struck me at that time. It felt like the Foundation was trying to project a different way of being compared to the majority of other organisations that I would come across, which was appealing to me.

Britta: What was your most wonderful, magical, most outstanding experience during your three years in the Findhorn Foundation?

Shaun: That’s a difficult question to answer. I can’t really identify a moment or an event. What I can say is what really struck me is the way that people interact with each other, with themselves and with nature. I actually see the three core principles ‘Inner Listening, Co-creation with Nature and Work is Love in Action’, being acted on every day in the way people behave, and that’s actually really nice. I really appreciate that and the way in which those principles are integrated in day-to-day life and influence our day-to-day work. And that’s actually really nice. I really appreciate that and find it very comfortable.

And there is a silly little thing. I remember when I first arrived, I used to get emails from various people and there would always be a kiss at the end. It just seemed like the weirdest thing. (laughs) Now, three years later, I’m doing it myself and I know I’ll have to stop myself from doing it when I’m outside working in another organisation, because I’m sure that it won’t be received well. (laughs) So yes, basically the overall atmosphere here is really positive and I like it very much.

Britta: Why are you leaving the Findhorn Foundation?

Shaun: The most important reason relates to my underlying health condition, because I take dialysis three days a week. It is very difficult, very challenging for me to travel to England to see my family. I rely on a service provided by the National Health Service (NHS) called Holiday Dialysis, but actually accessing that service in the West Midlands or Bristol, which is where my family is from, has proven so challenging. It is preventing me from traveling to see my family as often as I would like.

I was hoping that after COVID the service would improve, but I’ve been here three years and it’s not. It’s actually getting more challenging. So I’ve decided that if I want to see my family, I have to move there. So that’s what I’ve done, I decided about six months ago that I needed to make a change by being closer to my family.

Britta: Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Findhorn Foundation?

Shaun: I have been privileged to see the SCIO* plan and I really hope the Foundation’s leadership team will decide to go for it. That would be my one wish. I’ve got no doubt that the world needs the Findhorn Foundation. I think the plan that’s being developed to take the SCIO* forward is a really good one. I hope that through that the SCIO can thrive and maybe in the future I can continue to support the Foundation in some shape or form. Maybe at a distance from being in the West Midlands, which is where I’m moving to, or if and when I do get a kidney transplant, I’ll be able to come back more freely than I can currently. That would be my wish.

*The Findhorn Foundation envisions to shift from the structure of a Charitable Trust to a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).

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