Camphill: Helping people of all abilities to live as they choose

About Camphill

Universal idea, worldwide movement


The Camphill movement is made up of over 100 communities in over 20 countries around the world. where people of all abilities work and live together. Each community is different but all share the belief that we are not defined by our ability. Our communities are places of meaningful work, friendship and a springboard to engage with the wider community. 

We are defined by our humanity


The essence of a committed Camphill community is the belief that we are defined not by our abilities but by our humanity. Our communities in Britain, Ireland and around the world  provide a space where people of all abilities share their lives or  their work -or both- as equals. A place where there is no sense of  being disabled and where people can live the life they choose. 

Friendship and meaningful work


Camphill was founded in Scotland by Karl König a refugee from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1939. A founding principle of Camphill is that we are at one with the world around us, that we have a spiritual connection to the earth and the seasons. Camphill was one of the pioneers of biodynamic farming rooted in the belief that for the earth to keep giving you have to put something back. 

what it means to be human

Being with not just caring for



The essence of a Camphill community lies in the word reciprocity. People of all abilities live and work together each drawing strength from the other. Anna Falch, a volunteeer at Ploughshare Farm in New Hampshire, USA, describes why volunteering at a Camphill community was a defining experience for her: “What makes us human is not a special IQ; it’s not one single ability like being able to speak or walk like anyone else; it’s not a look. It is true love  between all beings, the energy that makes the world  go round. It is staying true to yourself and meeting others and life itself with respect. Once when I felt deeply sad and lost I went to the living room at Plowshare Farm  and there was Emily a wonderful 45-year-old woman with physical and mental challenges. As I sat down I laid my head on her shoulder and told her: ' Emily I’m so sad'  She knew exactly what to do. She put her good arm around me and said : ‘ Don’t worry I’m here for you ‘ and then she gave me a kiss on my head”.  

Camphill: an idea ahead of its time

Biodynamic wine: as good as it gets

The Fruits of the earth

Biodynamic wine is taking the world by storm. It works, it's sustainable, it has social relevance, it's wine on a human scale and it's profitable. Alain Catzeflis visited one small vineyard in south-west France to find out how. 

How Annie found inclusion in a Camphill community


Since moving to Heartbeet Camphill Annie has reclaimed her happiness and confidence. She walks — or snowshoes — miles each day. She now weighs 120 pounds. She works part-time at a local artisanal cheesemaker, and takes personal pride whenever they win a gold medal.

April 28, 2018: Launch of a new community bringing fresh hope


The Esk Valley Camphill Community in North Yorkshire celebrated its formal launch on April 28, 2018. It represents a remarkable rebirth driven by the dedication of families, villagers and co-workers who resisted attempts to change their way of life. Support their work 

make a difference: support the esk valley community

nimble spaces changing lives

Following the Irish financial collapse of 2008, a group of people in and around the Camphill community in Callan Ireland began to work towards a new model for housing in a new era of rights and social inclusion, of spatial justice. This brilliant project offers privacy and self-determination for people with support needs in an inter-dependent social context, 

the essence of community

Arts and culture at the heart of communities


Ever since the dawn of man culture and the arts has been part of who we are and how we see ourselves. The arts - music, dance, weaving, song, plays - helps us to relate to each other and tell our story as human beings. The arts are a crucial part of life in Camphill communities allowing people to find self-expression and fulfillment. 


We need to talk about social justice

seeing beyond our abilities

An essential part of the ethos of Camphill communities is that we are define by our common humanity not our ability or our disability. American actor Frank Stephens, born with Down's Syndrome, is one of the most powerful advocates of this view. Here in a memorable speech to the United Nations he lays out his case with stunning clarity. 

Video diaries

Our stories define us. We have put together a collection of interesting, funny, moving and sometimes provocative videos about learning disability. Here Chris Packham talks about autism. See the full range on our VIDEO PAGE

These will be added to from time to time. We welcome suggestions at info@allianceforcamphill.

About Us

Camphill Svetlana in Russia is a living breathing organism, The word "handicapped" loses its meaning here and people of all abilities take part in the daily care for the earth which feeds us, the houses which stand on it, and nature which makes our lives beautiful


Our campaign, like most, was born out of adversity. Camphill, a  pioneering way of caring for people with additional support needs,  thriving for 60 years- has been under pressure from a care system that has lost its ethical  moorings. Find out more. 

Read the manifesto

As a movement we are interested in wider social and political issues that impact on the struggle for equality and inclusion.  Our Facebook page, updated regularly, covers a wide range of news, comment, videos and stories about social care and social justice. 

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Contact Us

Alliance for Camphill

Unit 13923, PO BOX 7169, Poole, BH15 9EL UK