Camphill was established to work with people who have intellectual disabilities - and this is still its principal role today. From the outset, the intention was to do this work not as a 'job' in the usual sense of the word, but as a way of life.
The Camphill ideal is of a community life where each person according to ability contributes what they can towards the well-being of their fellows.
Our Communities are formed of groups of people, some with special needs or disability, some more able, who live, work and learn together, in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
At the core of the Community is the recognition of the dignity of people with mental disabilities and a putting aside of their own material needs by those who care for them as part of the giving and sharing of communal life.
How this ideal is approached varies widely from community to community:
- schools for children in need of special care
- young people's colleges for further education and training
- mutual help communities for adults of all ages with varying degrees of handicap or mental illness
- working villages for adults
- enterprise projects with employment opportunities for community residents and day attenders
- independent, supported accomodation.
These are some of the types of Camphill Communities.
Each person cared for has different needs. Camphill has responded by establishing centres which cater for these differing needs and by constantly adapting itself to meet changes in these needs.