What is Camphill?


Camphill communities in the UK and Ireland offer sector leading care to people with learning disabilities and mental health issues. 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.


The management structure is an important element of the way in which Camphill functions. The Foundation believes that, in an ideal world, the enduring success of a Camphill community is more likely when the community manages to achieve a healthy balance between a hierarchical business model and community-based decision making (where decision making and responsibility are, as far as possible, taken collectively). Therefore, one of our aims is to encourage and promote creative approaches to Camphill modelling in order to ensure that it thrives and grows without losing it’s effectiveness and character but, crucially, so it can exist within the appropriate regulatory context.


Today, there are around 50 Camphills in the UK and Ireland supporting many hundreds of residents and day placements. Camphill communities have a complement of employed staff and vocational co-workers. Ergo, not only does Camphill play an important role in the health and social care sector, it provides meaningful work for a significant number of employees and co-workers directly, and establishes a mutually fruitful relationship with the local community.


Placements in Camphill are generally funded through the payment of fees by local authorities. Therefore, service development and capital investment is a challenging process. Improvements in infrastructure and facilities are often funded, or at least kickstarted, through donations and fundraising. The Camphill Foundation plays an important role in this process by helping establish and enable new and existing developments.


Meaningful work; community; purpose; safety; security; routine; dignity; value; worth; individuality; achievement; celebration of culture and heritage; rhythm; life-sharing; family; calm; inclusive; education; care; charity; organic; biodynamic; eco-friendly; environment; natural; built; social; fun