Does it cost me anything to volunteer at Camphill Blair Drummond?
You will only need to meet the costs of getting here, your visa application and the health surcharge. We appreciate that these costs are not small and will make every effort to offest these costs by offering a wide range of activities and experiences outside of your core volunteering hours, many of which will be free.
What will my volunteering days look like?
You will be allocated to one of the seven houses in the grounds of the estate here at Camphill Blair Drummond. Each house is home to seven residents. Over the year, you will become part of the family of that house. You will help provide personal support and friendship to the residents throughout their day. Meals are taken together within the family home, and everybody participates in household activities depending on their ability. During the evenings, there are usually social and recreational activities to be involved with.
Monday to Friday is structured with a daily morning gathering in the Castle library after breakfast, where the whole community comes together to sing together and prepare for the day. You will then join with our residents in a range of tailored activities, including bread-baking in the commercial bakery, estate management, cultivating fruit and vegetables, choir, arts and a broad range of studio-based craft activities.
The weekends are more relaxed. You’ll be involved in a number of different activities depending on what the residents in your house want to do. We get involved in a lot of social and leisure activities across Central Scotland, but there’s a lot to do locally, and when the weather is good, just hanging out on the beautiful grounds with a barbeque or picnic is hard to improve on.
How long do volunteers usually stay?
We ask you to commit to joining us for a period of one year. This will give you time to settle into the way of life here, become confident in yourself and your abilities and establish meaningful friendships. It also gives our residents the sense of security and stability they need from seeing familiar people every day.
What skills and experience do I need?
You should be reliable and dependable, have a genuine interest in people and a caring nature in addition to tolerance, patience, sensitivity and a great sense of humour and fun! These qualities are more important than any specific skills and experiences you may have.
What will my room be like?
Your bedroom will be in the Castle or the new volunteer house – Amber House. Many rooms have beautiful views looking down over the surrounding countryside and safari park. Because it is a castle, the rooms tend to be generous in size. You will either be in a single room or share a room with one other volunteer. You will be provided with new bedding, towels, and coffee and tea-making facilities.
What about meals?
All your food and meals (including vegetarian and vegan) will be provided in the houses. You will join the residents of your house to eat on your volunteering days. There is ample opportunity for you to develop your cooking and baking skills - the house meals are cooked in the house kitchen by the members of that house. On the days when you are not volunteering, you have the choice of joining the residents of your house to eat, using the house kitchen to cook for yourself or preparing yourself a snack back in the volunteer accommodation.
What age do I need to be?
You need to be 18-26 years old.
What support will I get with my day-to-day life?
We’ll help you with all the practical things you need to do when you arrive at Camphill, such as opening a bank account, registering with a GP, applying for a YoungScot card, which offers you a discount on transport, cinema tickets, shops and restaurants. See the full benefits your YoungScot card offers by clicking here. You will also be given access to WiFi.
You will have a dedicated Volunteer Team, who will look after you throughout your stay. You will also have the support of the members of staff in your allocated House and activity areas.
How do I get a visa?
If you are coming from overseas, you need to apply for a ‘Temporary T5 – Charity Worker Visa’.
Click hereThis currently costs £259.
We are able to sponsor your visa application and can support and guide you through the application process.
As part of your visa application, you will need to pay an ‘Immigration Health Surcharge’ of £624. This will enable you free access to the National Health System in the UK through the local Health Centre throughout your stay, although you’ll still need to pay for certain types of services, such as prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests.
Will someone meet me when I arrive?
Yes. If you are arriving by plane, a friendly member of staff will be there to meet you off your flight at the airport. If you are arriving by train, we will meet you at Stirling railway station.
Do I need to be able to speak English?
We ask that have an understanding of written and spoken English. Living at Camphill Blair Drummond is an excellent way to improve your English. We may be able to offer extra help with English if required.
Will I receive training to help me in my role?
We will provide you with a full induction on arrival and regular training and team-building sessions throughout your stay. You will leave with a formal record of all the training you have undertaken.
Will I get the opportunity to travel during my stay?
You will have the opportunity to go explore Scotland or further afield on your non-volunteering days. You will also have 26 days of time off to travel wherever you choose in the UK or Europe.
How do I apply?
Contact us by email at [email protected].
Camphill Blair Drummond is a full member of the Year Out Group. The Year Out Group is an association of approved gap year providing organisations, most of which are registered in the UK.
Full members of the Year Out Group have met specific criteria in relation to the provision of well-structured gap year programmes, financial security, professional support and welfare, the accuracy of the information, and ethics.