A real life story from: Blair Drummond
I cancelled my school because I wanted to see what is in the world and I felt that it was time to go out and gain some experience.
I decided to go to a community with disabled people because I had good experience already in a Camphill. I was interested to see Scotland and so I arrived in October 2019, I was 17 years old.
Camphill becomes a second family
I moved in to a room in this amazing Blair Drummond Castle and started to work in ‘Garden House’. There were six residents living there. The months up until Christmas was an amazing time with all the Advent and Christmas projects in the workshops and the many visits to the Scottish pantomime or restaurants.
During this time we Co-workers (volunteers) were a close-knit group and my house became my second family. I felt so included in this big community. The advent time until Christmas was for me a time with hope, peace, joy and love.
Choosing to stay on through Coronavirus
Then the spring started but not for me with sunshine and happiness, but with the Coronavirus, the biggest topic at the time. It was rumoured that Co-workers have to go back to our country’s, but, in the end it was our own decision and I didn’t even have a second thought to go back to Germany.
There was no reason to go back and I felt that everyone here had greater need. A lot of friends decided with legitimate reasons to go back to their home country’s and in this difficult time, especially for the residents, we all had to say goodbye to the co-workers that decided to leave, and who were now a family member or friend.
What is normal?
That was a time when in our morning gathering some houses was missing and fast came every week changes and we didn’t have the chance to prepare the residents for the big changes so the morning gathering was cancelled and the day service closed.
A week later we had workshops only with the house, the workshops were then closed. We got new staff in the houses, and we had to do social distancing so we can’t have meals together anymore. One house closed so that we have an isolation house in the worst case.
Every house got two or one new residents. Every day we have new rules and something is changing and we don’t know for how long. So we can’t tell the residents when we can go back to normal and what is after this time again normal?
Now I have the feeling we can manage and that we are as good as possible prepared for whatever… I am so surprised how well the resident are doing because not all of them can get the situation why we can’t hug each other anymore or why we have no workshops and why they can’t go home now.
I never thought that my volunteer year will be like this but actually I enjoy it, to do so much with the residents from my house and support them in this time.
I decided to stay longer because if I go back in August I don’t have the feeling that I will be finished here. I went with my residents in this difficult time and I want to support them back to their normal routines.
Written by Magdalena Briesch, a co-worker at Camphill Blair Drummond from Germany, during coronavirus lockdown in 2020.