Camphill is a world-wide initiative, dedicated to building communities where everyone can find purpose and belonging. The first Camphill community was founded in Aberdeen in 1940 by a group of refugees led by Dr Karl Koenig, an Austrian paediatrician. Inspired by the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, they found their purpose living and working with children with learning disabilities. At a time when people with learning disabilities were excluded from education and many other dimensions of society, Camphill took the opposite approach and created communities where the potential of even profoundly challenged children, was developed.
Today, there are 62 Camphill communities in the UK & Ireland. Not only does Camphill play an important role in the health, social care and educational sectors, it provides homes and communities, meaningful work for a significant number of people, and establishes a mutually fruitful relationship with the local community.
The Camphill approach to social care works with mainstream healthcare and complements it with approaches and therapies which often have their roots in anthroposophical approaches to care – holistic care in an intentional community setting which espouses life-sharing at its heart.