The Camphill Community Ballytobin is a small rural community caring at present for 22 children and 12 adults all with disabilities. Ballytobin has a school, a garden, an organic farm, a weaving workshop and also offers many individual therapies, for example: music, coloured-light speech therapy, eurythmy, physiotherapy and horse riding!
Ballytobin was established in 1979 to provide a home and school mainly for children with exceptional needs. The community has always been open to caring for challenging, disturbed and severely handicapped children, alongside more amenable and sociable children.
Ballytobin is part of the International Camphill Movement. Long-term volunteers beginning in July and staying for 52 weeks are needed. There are some places for short-term volunteers in the summer for only 4 - 6 weeks.
There are six houses. Everyone lives as an extended family, sharing in cooking, cleaning and the household tasks, with everybody contributing what he or she can. Every co-worker has a definite daily programme with main responsibilities. Some have the care of a group of children as a main task and in addition help out in the school, house or farm. Previous experience is not asked for, but willingness to do what is needed and enthusiasm to learn is essential!
To live in Ballytobin presents a challenge for most people. To share one's life with children and adults with disabilities in a community setting, can be demanding and tiring, especially in the beginning when there is much to learn. Yet it is intensely interesting, often humorous, good fun and is a life full of idealism. There are also 'fun things' to do together as co-workers, like singing, dancing, playing music and of course going out for entertainment too! Artistic activities are considered of great importance. Music especially has a well-established home here and if you play an instrument you must certainly bring it along. Individual creativity and initiative is particularly welcomed.
Volunteers with an offending background are not usually accepted.