About The Bridge Community
The Bridge is a Camphill Community - Living and working with people with special needs - based in a small, but busy town called Kilcullen which is about 25 miles south west of Dublin.
An essential for the overall vision of the Bridge was the provision of integrated community-life for adults with special needs and co-workers, with a view to the integration into the local environment.
An Tearmann Coffee Shop
A door from the main street leads into AN TEARMANN (an Irish Gaelic word meaning refuge or sanctuary), which is a three-storey building housing coffee shop and restaurant, also selling crafts and books.
At the back of An Tearmann is a catering kitchen - supplying our coffee shop with wholesome lovely food and our community with scones for the all important teabreak, a weavery (making rugs and scarves which are for sale through the shop), and a lovely garden and small orchard producing organic vegetables and fruit. A second shop is selling vegetables and other fresh foods and we have a small farm with chickens, geese, ducks,turkeys, sheep and pigs.
We are at present around 35-40 people in our community, which includes 19 friends with special needs, three of whom still live with their parents and join us during the day.
The Bridge Community has a lot of contact with people in the town of Kilcullen. Our community has been drawn into local community groups e.g.the drama group, tidy towns and other community development groups and is well accepted and supported within the area. Being in the public eye for a large part of every day is at times a challenge, and requires support and involvement from the wider community. This has been generously given since the beginning of the Bridge Community and we indeed feel blessed by it.
The Bridge Community began in the summer of 1991 as a sister community to Camphill Dunshane to provide living and working situations for some of the young adults as they were leaving the training college environment of Dunshane.
In 2006 a group of coworkers and people with special needs from the Bridge Community also helped pioneer the farm community calledGrangebeg which is about 10km away from Kilcullen. There are close links and good support between all the communities in Kildare and we join on occassion for services and social events, as well as for the festivals.