blog

January
11

We at Camphill Milton Keynes Communities are celebrating our 40th birthday this year!!One of our senior managers, Thomas, has been discussing the various founders of Camphill to help us understand the legacy of how our community came about. He discusses how it relates to our community today and why our practice has a more profound meaning. We know that Camphill is more than just a name and very different to most conventional social care providers! Here Thomas tells us about Karl Koenig. Karl Koenig was an Austrian Jew who studied medicine in Vienna in the 1920s and worked in an institute for adults with learning disabilities. König then worked as a paediatrician at the Rudolf Steiner-inspired Schloß Pilgrimshain institute in Strzegom and had his own medical practice until he was forced to flee Austria in 1938 following Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Koenig came to Aberdeen and met with many of his former colleagues and friends who’d also fled Nazi-occupied countries during this time. They occupied an old estate called “Camphill” in Aberdeen, Scotland which became the first Camphill Community based on curative education. He was a great believer in the abilities and spiritual/holistic welfare of children with disabilities and the idea that they have a potential that can be unlocked and developed. This was pioneering when seclusion, isolation and chemical control were generally seen as the “correct” approach for people living with intellectually-limiting disabilities. Central to this was using the arts to develop potential- Camphill communities are always alive with art and craft activity, drama and have a very specific aesthetic and architectural style. Koenig was also religious and a great believer in the spiritual potential of those living with disabilities, inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s work before him. From the first community in Aberdeen, Camphills began to develop all across the World – at the time they were founded, built, maintained and run by co-workers who adopted Camphill as a way of life rather than a job. In retrospect, it was decades ahead of its time considering how to work alongside and with adults and children with learning disabilities instead of marginalising them. It’s only in the last 20-30 years that the rest of social care has “caught up” with ideas around inclusion, dignity and occupation that were being espoused decades earlier by these communities.  However, many of the Camphill estates are quite remote. It would have been interesting to …

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April
4

Every day is different in social care. Helping others, having compassion and patience are the key skills in becoming a support worker. You don’t even need qualifications to start, just a real love of people! We’ve been speaking to our support workers about working in care, their motivation, what each day is like and what advice they would give to those considering a career working in care.   CMKC: What’s your name and your current position? JA: James Asomaning and I am a support worker.   CMKC: What attracted you to work in social care? JA: I realised there’s a continually increasing number of people who genuinely need care and support and since I had the passion for supporting others who need it, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to make a positive and helpful contribution to people’s lives each day.   CMKC: What do you find most rewarding working in social care? JA: The joy and fulfilling feeling that I am helping to make someone’s life more meaningful and a little easier each day through my role as a support worker.   CMKC: What is your typical day like at Camphill? JA: All days are not the same, but typically, it starts by checking the house in which I work to ensure all is well and safe for all residents. I interact with each resident to find out if they have any concerns or issue regarding their health or wellbeing that needs urgent attention. I continue with administering medication and assisting those who self-medicate to ensure there are no accidents. I check for all appointments and allocate escorts, help residents get ready and set for their individual routines and workshops, arrange transportation, help with personal support time then followed by domestic duties and finally ensure supper is freshly prepared before all residents return to the house. The evenings are usually climaxed with either a recreational or educational activity, followed by personal grooming assistance, night medication etc. After that, it’s goodnight to residents and preparation for the following day.   CMKC: What’s your most memorable experience working in Camphill/social care? JA: Each day comes with great memories of its own, but it’s a great joy when residents gather in the theatre for community events, music and drama among others. Seeing how happy they are and offering the support they need is very fulfilling.   CMKC: What do you hope …

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Camphill Milton Keynes Communities, Japonica Lane, Willen Park, Milton Keynes, MK15 9JY.

Phone: 01908 235 000 Fax: 01908 235606

Camphill Café: 01908 308738