March 17, 2022
We sat down with our Day Service Manager Wiepke Busch to ask her about her time at Camphill School Aberdeen and the real difference we make to the lives of young people with complex additional support needs.
How long have you worked at Camphill School Aberdeen?
I came to Camphill School Aberdeen in April 2006, that's 16 years!
What brought you to the amazing Camphill School Aberdeen?
I came here from the Netherlands, initially for a year as a volunteer, after finishing my studies in Amsterdam. I visited Camphill School Aberdeen during my studies and decided to come for a year. Being part of the lives of complex, wonderful children and young people with a close-knit team became very meaningful to me. At the time CSA offered a BA in Social Pedagogy with the University of Aberdeen and I decided to stay and do my studies. I became a house coordinator, married, and had my 4 children here. We still live on-site and feel very lucky that my children grow up in a beautiful environment alongside the children and young people that live here and come here during the day.
Since 2019 I am the day services manager at Camphill School Aberdeen. I am able to grow and develop the range of craft, land-based and social enterprise opportunities we have here and make sure all children and young have real-life learning experiences that contribute to reaching their potential.
If you had to describe Camphill School Aberdeen in 3 words what would it be?
Meaningful, community, learning oh, and if I can add a fourth? Great outdoor environment! and fun!
Are there any key highlights that stand out for you during your time at Camphill School Aberdeen?
Too many! But here are a few - it is true what they say that we equally learn from the children and young people we support, at times even more than the other way around.
Being part of the lives of the children and young people through the years and seeing them grow, develop, and mature. They might have gone through difficult periods that I was able to help support, and through these periods strong connections were built up that are still there years later.
I got married on the estate to my amazing husband, and most people living and working here were part of the wedding which was really special.
Being part of developing and growing the day service and the young adult programme. For most of the 80 years Camphill School Aberdeen has been here we were a school provision and over the last 10 years our young adult provision grew a lot and our day service became a part of the core provision of CSA, growing and developing all the time e.g. we are opening our newly build teaching and production kitchen workshop at the end of next week
How much of a difference will the capital appeal campaign when complete make to students and their families at Camphill School Aberdeen?
It will be huge. The new residential houses will enable CSA to offer more young people a beautiful home and a meaningful and tailored day programme here, at the moment we have a waiting list for our young adult residential provision.
If we can open a social enterprise initiative to the public people can get to know us. We still have quite a few people visiting that maybe live close by or commute on the North Deeside road daily and did not hear about Camphill School Aberdeen before or imagined it was this big, beautiful, or meaningful.
The social enterprise initiative will offer e.g. produce from our farm and gardens and will have products from our craft workshops for sale too. People can come in and experience what we do.