Media Release: Conference to look at relevance of Camphill in meeting today’s needs


A CONFERENCE to be held in Aberdeen on Tuesday, May 17, will review the 70 years since the foundation of the first Camphill community and ask if Camphill’s work is as relevant today as it was when Camphill House first opened its doors to children with special needs.

Commenting on the purpose behind the conference, Laurence Alfred, co-ordinator at Camphill School Aberdeen, said:

“Much has changed in the world since the Camphill pioneers were welcomed into Aberdeen to put into practice their ideas for a community dedicated to helping children with special needs. It is appropriate, therefore, that we pause to consider whether Camphill still meets today’s needs.

“We are fortunate to have high-profile speakers who are experts in three key aspects of our work in Camphill – care, social work and education. From their individual perspectives they will each take a critical look at the work of Camphill and examine its relevance and effectiveness today.”

The three speakers at the ‘Discovering Camphill’ conference are:

* Thom Gerfat, senior lecturer at the School of Child and Youth Care at Riverson University in Toronto

* Mark Smith, lecturer in social work at the University of Edinburgh

* Professor Pete Stollery, head of the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen

Delegates at the conference will include representatives of the medical professionals, educationalists, academics from five of Scotland’s universities, social work specialists, local authority officials, representatives from special needs charities and politicians.

The ‘Discovering Camphill’ conference, in Camphill Hall on the Murtle Campus of Camphill School, in Aberdeen, coincides with the publication of a book with the same name.

Since Camphill House in the Milltimber area of Aberdeen opened in 1940, the Camphill Movement has grown to 100 centres in 23 countries.

In the Aberdeen area, more than 700 people live and work in Camphill Aberdeen City and Shire communities.

The seven Camphill Aberdeen City and Shire charities provide opportunities for children, young adults, adults and the elderly.

To enquire about places at the ‘Discovering Camphill’ conference contact Laurence Alfred at Camphill School Aberdeen on 01224 866156 or email

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