Co-worker FAQ

What experience do I need?

None. Short-term workers need no experience of working with adults with special needs. Just bring an open mind and a willingness to get involved and to take initiative in the house and at work. We like you to be with us for at least a year to experience the cycle of the seasons and festivals.

Those wishing to make a long-term commitment to our Community should ideally have experience with us or other Camphill Communities.

Will I receive training?

All short-term co-workers attend an induction and an ongoing foundation course. Other ‘on-the-job’ training is given according to the work you do. Those who intend to stay with us for more than a year are encouraged to take part in additional training.

What about pay?

Co-workers living in Camphill Communities are not paid for the work they do. Their needs are met from the resources of the Community.

Those working with us for a year or less receive financial support to cover clothing, other personal needs and outings. You should come with a return ticket or enough money for your fare home at the end of your period with us. Those staying for longer will have the cost of their return flight refunded..

What about insurance and medical cover?

You will be insured during your stay if you come from an EU or other country which has a reciprocal health care agreement with the UK, any medical and dental costs will normally be covered. Those coming from outside the EU will have to pay a fee with your VISA to the NHS. This fee is £200, and will allow you to be covered by the NHS while you are staying here in the UK.

Where will I live?

Those who work with us for a short time have a room of their own, usually in one of the houses and live as members of the household. Our houses are comfortable with modern conveniences. Mealtimes are shared with everyone in the house as is the rest of your home life.

Gathering blackberries on the old railway line.

Those who make a long-term commitment to our Community normally take responsibility for a household or for supporting some of those with special needs who follow a more independent lifestyle. We provide suitable accommodation to meet the needs of you and your family.

What work will I do?

Almost anything related to the life of our Community!

In supporting those in your household with special needs you may help them with their personal hygiene, care of their possessions, their participation in the working day, and social, recreational and educational activities.

At home there is cooking, cleaning, gardening.

Will I get time off?

Being involved in our community is a way of life, not a job. So we try not to create on and off times, as the intention is to share our lives. But everyone gets time to themselves and for leisure, and you will have one day off a week.

The world famous Dunnotar Castle

If you spend a year with us, you can take up to four weeks holidays. Because we are dependent on each other in our shared way of life, holidays – even for a weekend – need to be planned and discussed with those you live and work with.

Please do not come with pre-booked holiday’s, but rather make holiday plans after you have arrived.

What if I have problems?

New co-workers have an experienced co-worker as a sponsor, to whom they may turn with any problems or questions.

After three months with us, a meeting with your sponsor and those responsible for your household and work will discuss how you have settled-in and see if any changes are needed.

Habitual use of alcohol or drugs is not in harmony with our shared community life.

Do I need to speak English well?

You need to be able to communicate well with everyone in our community, so you must be able to speak English reasonably well by the time you arrive.

Must I be a practising Christian?

No. We live our lives according to Christian principles and welcome those of any persuasion who respect this aspect of our Community life.

What if I need a VISA

We will help to guide you through the VISA application process. We will write you a sponsorship certificate and you will need to make the application and pay the fees yourself.

You might get a phone call from the UK Border Agency to interview you about why you are coming to Tigh a’Chomainn. Don’t be nervous, and remember, you are coming to Tigh a’Chomainn to live with adults with learning difficulties. The Border Agency needs to ensure you are coming to volunteer. So you can share that you are coming to experience something different, to volunteer with a charity that is trying to create an inclusive community with adults with learning difficulties. You won’t be paid, but the charity will provide you with food and lodging and a bit of money to get out once and awhile.

Having volunteers from around the world helps to create a rich and vibrant life in Tigh a’Chomainn. We look forward to seeing you.