Interested in Volunteering? Here is what you should know!
Camphill Grangemockler is a community of international volunteers and adults with special needs situated on 50 acres in Co. Tipperary. We have an organic/biodynamic farm and garden and a weaving workshop and try to involve the local community as much as possible. We aim to create a community in which vulnerable adults, many with learning disabilities, can live, learn and work with others in healthy social relationships based on mutual care and respect. We are about 40 people in total, living in 4 houses and a few smaller buildings on the estate.
A typical weekday in Grangemockler starts with breakfast in the houses at 8:00 am followed by the Morning Gathering for everyone at 9:15 am in the community hall. Thereafter work commences in the workshops, on the land, and in the houses. Lunch is at 12:30 and work commences again at 2:30. Sometimes a person is needed to cover the break-time between 1:30 and 2:30 depending on which residents are in your house at that time. There is a mid-morning and mid-afternoon tea break. This is a time to socialize in the workshops and perhaps to share ideas about the work being done there. Supper is at 6:00 pm and there is often an evening activity from 7:30-8:30pm.
Volunteers will be asked to accompany some of our residents in their work in the morning and afternoon and to some evening activities. We try to organize evening activities to enrich the cultural and social life of the community. There is a ‘film night’ and an outing to the swimming pool most weeks. Other activities might include games, art activities, folk dancing, and any other ideas you might bring. Activities are for everyone (not just those with special needs) and we count on the active participation of co-workers both for assistance and to contribute to the social atmosphere. We usually spend some time during the weekend to work together in the house and to spend time together socially. Weekends may involve a house or community outing to some place of interest.
All meals are communal in the houses, but on their day off volunteers are welcome to use the kitchen as needed as long as it doesn’t interfere with communal meals/meal preparation. We would really like volunteers to feel at home in Grangemockler, so if you have any special dietary needs please let us know.
We’ll need volunteer's help with meal preparation, maintaining the houses and with everyday chores such as cleaning, re-cycling, changing of sheets etc. The people we live with may need some assistance with personal hygiene, getting ready for the day and getting to their workshop on time.
In our morning gathering we sometimes set aside time for a ‘Grangemockler Meeting’. During this time we look back over the previous weeks, share special events and experiences, and collect points that need to be discussed. It is especially important that we listen to and support our friends with special needs if they have something they wish to share. Every second Wednesday evening we hold a ‘Co-worker Meeting’. The Co-worker Meeting is a kind of forum to share ideas and check in with each other. It is important that all co-workers attend this meeting to share ideas and information and help us plan festivals and events.
Living in Camphill is a rich social experience and sometimes a little bit of time away to reflect and rest is needed. All co-workers have one day off per week, usually on a weekday. Volunteers should be flexible about changing their day off when needed (for example, when a fellow co-worker is on holiday or is ill, you might be needed to provide extra support in the house). Co-workers staying for between six and eight months may take one week holiday during their stay, those staying for eight to ten months can take two weeks holiday, and those staying for ten to twelve months may take up to three weeks holiday. We ask that holidays be taken between October and May. The summer is usually a time of transition in the community and is also a very busy time on the land, and so we ask that during the summer people only take a short break of two to three days (including the day off) if needed. If volunteers wish to travel for a longer period during your time in Ireland, they should arrange this for the time before or after they have completed their commitment to the community.
Co-workers receive 45 euro per week as pocket money. For those staying one year, we set aside an additional 15 euro per week as a travel contribution, which they will receive at the end of their stay.
During the first three months members of the community will meet with volunteers to reflect on their first experiences and whether they are rightly placed in Camphill. A person not living in their household will be designated as a ‘friend’ or ‘mentor’ and can be a contact person for any concerns a volunteer might have.
All new volunteers are asked to attend Induction and Introduction courses. The Induction is basically an introduction to life in Grangemockler and an opportunity for all volunteers to ask questions. The Introductory Course is offered by all the Camphill Communities in the area and is an opportunity to learn more about people with special needs and Camphill and to meet co-workers from other communities. Volunteers staying for one year may be offered formal First Aid and Fire Safety training, depending on numbers of trained staff already present.
There is also a (non-compulsory) Certificate course which goes into more depth about working with people with special needs for those interested and committing to stay at least 1 year.
If there are any questions please contact Réka at email@example.com. Our community members with special needs benefit from as much stability as possible, so please think carefully about your choice to volunteer with us as once you have made a time commitment we are really counting on you to be here.