The Results Are In!Type: Blogs | Research
Topic: Camphill | Research
Published on: 15th December 2017
Our end of year reflections were very much enhanced at Camphill Scotland Council this week when we heard a presentation from Why Research on the results of their research into the reputation held by Camphill communities in Scotland and by Camphill Scotland.
Two hundred and twenty six people responded to the online survey, which is very encouraging in itself, showing how much people care about Camphill. Around half of those were parents, carers or family of a community member. The evaluation of Camphill from this group was extremely positive. Informally, the researchers told us that
some organisations would kill for these scores
Of the other respondents, 15% worked within a local authority and 13% within a third sector organisation.
The research company followed up the online questionnaire with individual interviews with twenty people – ten from the local authority, five parents and carers and five people from other third sector organisations. The interviews helped to provide greater richness and depth to the findings. So, what did they find out?
Key research findings
They found that the most cited reasons for choosing a Camphill community are as follows:
- They provide a safe and secure environment (94%)
- Staff and volunteers are dedicated and caring (91%)
- There are opportunities to learn new skills (85%)
- They offer a good range and choice of activities (83%)
- They have competent and well trained staff (83%)
Parents and carers suggested the main strengths of a Camphill community were that it offers:
- Friendly community living and a strong sense of community
- A safe and secure environment
- The family member is accepted and valued as an individual
These strengths were also echoed by professionals participating in the research. One local authority respondent commented:
They are impressive… The therapeutic input and choice is excellent, the environment and fabric of the buildings is set up to be more nurturing and is very impressive. The methods being used are good.
This very positive evaluation bodes well for the future of Camphill in Scotland as does the strong sense that Camphill is unique in what it provides. The researchers noted that
the qualitative data shows that Camphill communities are still regarded as being relatively unique in Scotland, with very few similar services that compare directly
Indeed, one of the few negatives that emerge from the study was the complaint that there were not more Camphill communities in Scotland to choose from!
What about Camphill Scotland?
As for Camphill Scotland, the research showed that awareness of the organisation is high, particularly among other third sector organisations. One of our colleagues from the third sector commented:
Camphill Scotland is important. Its focus is on disseminating what is good about the Camphill model, offering opportunities to present that at events, being part of campaigns and influencing activities where there is common ground; working with the 3rd sector and connecting more with people who make policy in Scotland
The research also gave us some equally useful insights into some more ‘negative’ perceptions. Some local authority respondents wondered how ‘well connected (Camphill) is to the local community’ and questioned how effectively and promptly they respond to changes in the external environment. Interestingly, the researchers also reported that
local authorities are not proactive in searching out information on Camphill communities and it is likely to be parents and family members who will prompt local authority consideration of other external service providers
Both the positive and negative findings will help us at Camphill Scotland in our policy, influencing and communications work on behalf of our members. We will summarise the findings in accessible formats for various audiences and use the material in our website and other publicity. Watch this space!
Overall, this research shows that Camphill in Scotland has much to be proud of and is held in very high regard by all stakeholders. The esteem with which it is held by parents and carers in particular is very striking.
Some good news in time for Christmas and to take into the New Year!