Supporting wider friendships and active participation
A pilot project, financially supported by The Camphill Foundation UK & Ireland, was set up to enable people with learning disabilities in two Camphill places in central Scotland to be more involved with and accepted by the local community, and to play a greater role in the decision making processes that affect their daily lives.
The befriending and empowerment project at Blairdrummond and Corbenic communities needed help to cover the costs of a part-time co-ordinator and other expenses involved in its first year. It was so successful that long term funding was then sought from the Scottish Community Fund and other grant making trusts to extend the project further.
The befriending project aimed to provide opportunities for people to develop and experience friendship, increasing their confidence and encouraging them to take part in activities across the wider community.
Volunteer befrienders from the localities around the two Camphill communities were enlisted as friends of workshop groups, of a household and of individuals. In the first year the total number of active befrienders was seventeen.
The project was also about empowering people with learning difficulties to build their confidence and take a real and active part in the decision making of their Camphill communities, whatever the level of disability and support needed.