A Co-worker’s Story

Hi-ya, my name is Anna, I´m 20 years old and have been a Co-worker at Camphill Blair Drummond for a year. We have about 35 international volunteers here – a mixed group. Quite a few people are from Germany, just like me, or from Korea, but of course there are always more nationalities than that.

If you are about to apply to be a Co-worker at Camphill Blair Drummond, you are probably wondering what it is like here? Well, when I first came here, I didn´t have any experience of working with people with learning disabilities and I was a bit worried about how I would cope with all the unknown situations. But it turned out not to be that hard at all.

I work in Linden House, which is a welcoming home to 7 lovely residents. My working day starts at 7:15 am, when I wake up the residents and start preparing breakfast. Most of the residents are quite independent and can get up and ready themselves. We all have breakfast together and then afterwards everyone completes their chores and helps clean up.

At 9am we go over to the main building, where the whole community assembles for “Morning Gathering”. We listen to the announcements of the day, sing a song and say a morning prayer. After that the workshops start.

I mostly help out in the bakery, where we prepare buns and biscuits for tea breaks, and breads, homemade pasta and pizza for the houses. During my year at Camphill Blair Drummond I sampled several different workshops like pottery, woodwork and textiles, so I got an insight into the different activities on offer here. Workshop time is separated into morning and afternoon by lunch and we have a rest hour after lunch which is free time for Co-workers.

After workshops finish we have supper. Depending on the weather we may go out with the residents for a walk or a bike ride. Then it´s time for a shower or baths. The residents in Linden House only need a little assistance with their personal care. At night time everyone sits together and watches television or plays a game. Typically my working day ends between eight and nine pm.

On Friday I take one of the residents to her Adult Learning Class in Stirling where I support her with any assignment. Additionally I often support one of the residents to go to swimming lessons on a Friday.

At the weekends we often have outings to local places, but we sometimes also go further away. Working in Linden is very much like living in a huge family where everyone is aware of each other’s needs and characteristics.

We have a couple of days off each week, where we have free time to relax or make trips to different places in the local area.

Of course it is hard work and exhausting sometimes, but I really enjoy Camphill life – in the house, and especially life with the other Co-workers who share my experiences. It can be a lot of fun! You never feel alone with any worries or problems you may have because there is always someone you can talk to.

I can definitely say that this year at Camphill Blair Drummond was the most rewarding and enjoyable of my life and I have also made some of the best friends I have ever had, that I will hopefully keep forever.

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    • “I have been very lucky to see the new workshops and houses become a reality. It has been talked about for a long time and it is great to see it happen. There has been quite a bit of upheaval along the way and the residents have coped with it brilliantly. However it has all been worthwhile and you just have to pop into Sycamore or Garden House to see that the residents think so too.” (Irene McLaren, Amber House Leader)