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life experience

Longterm Volunteering

Camphill as a longterm way of life - Joining community in later life

Mature Volunteers - Volunteering as a Career BreakWhile many people, who volunteer in the Bridge Communities are in their early twenties and take a year out before going to university some are deciding to come to Camphill later in life as part of a career break.

Older co-workers often decide to stay for longer and become a very important part of the life of the Bridge Community.

They are usually able to take responsibility for others and can contribute their life experience to the different work areas in the community. While such a jump into the community in later life can initially take some adjustments those that continue and persevere often find that it is the kind of lifestyle they were looking for. Community can offer a lot that has become scarce in the world at large. It is a meaningful lifestyle with a strong sense of purpose and a shared striving for doing the good, sometimes intense, sometimes funny but rarely booring.

When people decide to stay longer they are usually joining our longterm group and become part of carrying the life in our community and the responsibilities involved.

There is many a story of people in Camphill who came for a year and enjoyed their stay so much that they decided to stay for longer, sometimes for 2-3 years, sometimes for 10-20 years or more.

This is often a gradual process of connecting to Camphill and of course depends on the individual.

Volunteering as a family lifestyle choice

Family VolunteeringFamilies form the heart and life of many house communities - Couples or single people and their children can really help in creating an atmosphere that is homely and engenders life.

I remember when my children were small and Justine, a girl with down syndrom used to play with them sometimes for several hours while I was doing other things around the house like trying to put a sunday dinner for 12 people on the table. My children grew up in this environment where there were always people around that they could relate to and where their social context was so much larger than just their Mom and Dad.

Many of the people with special needs appreciate the fact that there are children around and it helps people to connect to something that is more important than their own woes and troubles.

Yet we would be able to have three meals a day together with our children, something that many people who commute to work every day can only dream of.

Sometimes people ask me whether we think that our own family suffers living together with a house of many other people.

It is important to create moments in everyday when we are just our smaller family but that does not necessarily have to become a polarity.

I feel that it has enriched our family life and helped our children to be open-minded and tolerant and good communicators. They were able to grow up with a lot of space outside where they could run and be in a safe environment and if they wanted to they could quickly pop into wherever it was I was working and say hello or help a bit and get involved

Mischa (houseparent in the Bridge Community)


Why not contact us and we will gladly answer your questions about volunteering as a family...

Specific Needs for Workmasters

The following are openings and needs for live-in volunteers who are a little bit older (at least 25) who would like to take responsibility for a workshop with People with Special Needs and involve themselves in the life of the community on a more ongoing basis

Click below or on the right for current vacancies


Sep 01 2017


Co-Worker / Vocational

Minimum Age 18

Duration Minimum 1 year

We are looking for motivated, energetic and responsible volunteers interested in joining our life sharing community to live and work alongside adults with special needs.

You will join a vibrant young team of about 12 -14 young adults between the ages of 18-24 from many different countries. The role involves living in a household in the community together with adults with special needs, supporting them in their day to day needs and work life. This role would best suit empathetic, caring and responsible people with a strong sense of commitment. Good English is essential and preference is given to those who can commit for the full year.

Please do get in touch with us personally to explore more about the role, we are very happy to answer any questions that you may have.

You can make contact by email or phone -

Contact Ben Gamble

on 00353 45 481597
or 00353 85 1311608.

A keen interest in adults with special needs is required. An interest in social care, art, music, farming/gardening, homemaking or a specific craft is an advantage. English language is a key requirement. Full training and induction into the role will be provided as well as mandatory external training. Reflective supervision is provided on a one to one basis at regular intervals.

Jan 01 1970

Social Care House-Coordinator


Minimum Age 18

Duration Permanent Contract

The Bridge Camphill Community is currently seeking a highly motivated person to fill the role of Social Care House Coordinator

Job Description:

To manage and support the smooth running of a household for adults with special needs and co-workers in an intentional community by leading a team of volunteers in creating a positive living experience and an environment and atmosphere within the home in which the needs of people can be met. This role will involve:

  • Inducting volunteers in the practical aspects of their roles and coaching / modeling desired ways of working on an ongoing basis.
  • Creatively supporting people to develop and pursue their aims & goals and engage in their leisure interests as well as coaching and leading volunteers in appropriate ways to support people to achieve the same
  • Overseeing and supervising supports in individuals personal and intimate care and ensuring that they are provided to the highest standard in a person centered approach
  • creating a warm, homely and inviting home both atmosphere and appearance, conducive to the development of adults with special needs
  • Ensuring that all issues in relation to health & safety, food, nutrition, cleanliness & hygiene, record keeping, keeping of proper accounts and compliance with Camphill’s policies and procedures are met to the highest standards at all times
  • Engaging constructively with the management Group and communicate any issues or concerns proactively.

Mission Statement

“Camphill Communities of Ireland work to create sustainable communities where children and adults of all abilities, many with special needs, can live, learn and work with others in healthy social relationships based on mutual care and respect. Most communities are a home for both people with special needs and volunteers. Members of the community share responsibility for the tasks and cultural activities of day-to-day life. Camphill is inspired by Christian ideals and the impulse of community building as articulated by Rudolf Steiner and is based on the acceptance of the spiritual uniqueness of each human being.”

Job Purpose

The jobs purpose is to support the intentional community, in developing and formalising a person centred culture, and to achieve a high quality of personal outcomes in a time of rapidly changing regulatory requirements, while maintaining its ethos and values.

Key Requirements, Attributes and Qualifications for employees of The Bridge Community:

  • Excellent communication, people management and problem solving skills, empathy and sensitivity to others.
  • The ability to work collaboratively and motivate a team to enthusiastically support individuals
  • Energy and enthusiasm, be highly motivated, reliable and  have a flexible approach to working hours
  • Good planning and time management skills
  • An openness to the Camphill Ethos and alternative  models of Social Care
  • An Understanding of HIQA Standards, Regulations, Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults and Duty of Care
  • Work experience in a related area such as personal assistant/carer, community development or social care and/or community regeneration
  • Experience in supporting people that display challenging behaviour
  • Full Clean Driving Licence.
  • This post is subject to Garda vetting

Closing Date for applications will be on noon Wednesday the 05th July 2017

Candidates shortlisted for interview will receive notification by the 7th July 2017
 for interviews being held between the dates 10th July to the 14th July 2017

Jan 01 1970

Local Volunteer


Minimum Age 18

Duration Minimum 3 months

At the Bridge Community we always welcome new volunteers to join our dynamic team of volunteers. There are many ways in which people can volunteer in our community and many different areas, some of which are:

  • An Tearmann
  • Coffeeshop/Bakery
  • House Workshop
  • Garden Workshop
  • Farm Workshop

If you have a spare few hours a week and would like to become involved in some way in our community do come in and chat to Ben Gamble who will be happy to discuss with you.

An awareness and interest in disability issues. The ability to work alongside adults with special needs, and volunteers while meeting the agreed developmental goals. Possess cultural awareness and sensitivity. Be highly flexible, honest and trustworthy. Excellent people, communication and problem solving skills.

Contact The Bridge

Address  Main Street
Co. Kildare
Phone   +353 (0) 45 481597

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