Welcome to the Association of Camphill Communities
Camphill was founded in 1940 by Austrian paediatrician Dr Karl König and a small group of like-minded followers who, among them, had special interests in teaching innovation, administering medical and social care and working through art. Initially their work was with children with special needs but, as the Camphill Movement grew and developed, people of all ages and abilities, including those with learning disabilities, mental health problems and other special needs, were offered opportunities to live, learn and work together in an atmosphere of mutual care and respect. Latterly, their work was based in the type of community setting that has become the familiar norm in Camphill centres wherever they might be located. For more information about the history of Camphill, click here.
There are around sixty communities in the UK and Ireland, including independent residential and day schools, specialist colleges of further education and adult communities, where each individual's abilities and qualities are recognised and nurtured as the foundation for a fulfilling life.
Each community is different. Some are large; some are small. Some are in towns and cities; some are in quiet rural areas; some are on the urban fringe where town meets country. Some are independent charities; some are part of larger charities.
All are caring, life-sharing communities, where the contribution made to community life by each person is valued. All members of the community are appreciated for who they are, for their individual personalities and the special qualities they bring to community life.
The Camphill philosophy is that, no matter what anyone's apparent disability might be, the spirit - the essential core that makes us all human - always remains whole. Thus everyone is deserving of equal respect and opportunities in life so that all may be able to fulfil their potential.
Artistic and cultural themes run through the daily lives of all our communities where life is based on Christian values and inspired by the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner.