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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Ten year, £10 million plan launched by north east children's charity


Ambitious fundraising project is underway

A north-east charity supporting children and young people with learning has launched a campaign to raise £10 million over the next 10 years.

Camphill School Aberdeen which is based across three campuses in the west of the city, has seen an unprecedented increase in demand for its services in recent years, with the pandemic putting families under increased strain.

The charity’s 10-year vision will increase its capacity by 60% extending its workshops, developing a social enterprise, creating a certified internal awards centre, and building three new residential homes.

Phase one is expected to commence in the autumn, with the planned construction of a £3 million, 11-bedroom house, with independent living wing.

The home will enable the charity to open its doors to more vulnerable young people in our community who are in urgent need of support. Camphill School Aberdeen has already secured 50% of the funds for the home but more is needed to make it a reality.

Alex Busch, executive director of Camphill School Aberdeen, said: “Currently the demand for our services far exceeds our capacity, the only way to help more young people in the north-east is to make our plans come to life.

“We want to ensure that every young person who needs access to our support, receives it. Together with the support of the local community, we can build futures and transform lives.”

The new house has been designed by award-winning Glasgow architects Collective Architecture who worked with Camphill’s young people to create a home that will be environmentally sustainable and fully accessible.

The first phase of the project also includes the development of a sustainable social enterprise, which is central to providing young people will opportunities to develop their skills. The plans aim to extend the charity’s bike repair workshop, organic farm shop, and refillery store to the wider community.

As well as this, it aims to promote its 80-year history and showcase the traditional arts and crafts made in the workshops by students taught at the school.

Young people supported at Camphill often struggle in mainstream education and other care options - but thrive at Camphill School Aberdeen. Regardless of their abilities the children and young people at Camphill grow in confidence, independence and fulfil their potential – often achieving outcomes their families never thought possible. 

The school’s unique approach integrates education, lifelong learning, and expert care within a therapeutic environment as part of a shared living community with onsite medical support.

Karen, mum of Laurence, a student supported by Camphill said: “As soon as we stepped onto Camphill Estate we knew this was somewhere special, a home from home that would celebrate Laurence for who he is. We were relieved to find a calm, accepting and loving environment in which our son could truly thrive. And for the first time, we were part of a strong support network we could call on any time."

Founded in 1939 by a group of pioneering Austrian refugees led by Dr Karl König, Camphill School Aberdeen was the first of its kind in the UK, sparking the worldwide Camphill movement which now consists of over 120 independent charities, seven of which are based in the north-east of Scotland. 

Busch added: “Launching this campaign and securing the vital funding will safeguard the future of our facilities and services in the north-east for another 80 years. We hope as many people as possible will get behind our campaign – their support can truly transform the lives of children and young people with very complex additional needs.”



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