The innovative communities that make up the Camphill Movement have, for almost 80 years, been creating new ways of supporting people with learning disabilities and other special needs so that their full potential can find expression.

The first community was founded at Camphill House, just outside Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1940, to educate children with learning disabilities. At that time,  children with learning disabilities didn't usually receive an education, either staying at home or being placed in a hospital.

Camphill's founders, led by Dr Karl König and inspired by the Austrian thinker Rudolf Steiner's philosophy of anthroposophy, wanted to make a real difference in the lives of these people who were marginalised and excluded from society. They believed that children and adults with learning disabilities had much to contribute if only their inner self could find expression.

Dr König felt that, through communities, new ways of healing might be introduced into society to counter some of the more harmful aspects of modern life. The vision still lives and each new generation in Camphill strives towards achieving it.

Camphill Communities are communities with children and adults with learning disabilities living together with co-workers and their families in such a way as to foster mutual help and understanding.

Helper and helped live and work side-by-side, each learning from the other.

Effective community-building does not come about without a struggle and makes tremendous demands on those involved, both humanly and physically. The Camphill way of life provides an enormous stimulus for those who take it up, whatever their age or ability. By providing challenges for self-advancement and by respecting the developing individuality of each person, life in Camphill allows everyone the freedom to grow to his or her fullest potential.