The most obvious aspect of life in Camphill MK Communities (CMKC) is that residents live with, and are supported by co-workers (long-term vocational volunteers), guest co-workers (short-term volunteers) and employees, all committed to helping them become more self-reliant in the community setting.
Co-workers are part of a household, are involved in the workshops and participate in the life of the whole community through meetings, training, social and cultural events. Before anyone begins working with the residents, they have to receive induction training.
Co-workers come from all over the world. For the residents, as for everyone involved, it is a life-enhancing experience to live with people from different countries who can share something of their own culture, language, cuisine and outlook on life.
During the week the residents are busy. Some go to college or work outside the community, while many choose to attend CMKC workshops and work there regularly.
In the evenings and at weekends there is time for sharing a wide range of activities and interests. Some residents like to make their own arrangements, while others need a bit of help. Many of the residents spend their evening in the social room - a space for games, conversation, watching TV together, refreshments and so on.
Newly arrived co-workers from abroad are encouraged to practice their English by talking with the residents, especially those who can’t read well, providing them with information about what is happening in the world. Co-workers in need of additional help to build their language skills are provided with English lessons: but they are expected to have reasonable ability in spoken English when they arrive.
Co-workers living in a household are asked to give direct support to the residents with their household tasks such as personal laundry, cleaning and tidying, cooking and shopping: it essential to the smooth running of each household that everyone contributes. For more information see the Co-worker role description - you can download it using the menu bar at the top left of this page.
The house co-ordinators give advice and guidance to guest co-workers about their role. See the House co-ordinator role description.
All short-term co-workers take part in workshops. When they arrive, they are given the opportunity to try all the workshops during their first two weeks. After that they will have a regular timetable based on a balance of their wishes and where support is needed.
The residents and co-workers of CMKC have chosen to live in this intentional community. They share festivals, concerts, outings, parties, sports and events of all kinds; they create plays, make music, give talks... These activities bring everyone together, and work best when everyone joins in.
For a resident's view of life at Camphill Milton Keynes, see Alex's Blog.