Clare's Volunteer Experience - Community Work in Ireland

Clare wrote to us at Lattitude to tell us about her experience at a Community Placement in Ireland. Read on about her wonderful experience and what she has learned!

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I am in a community placement in Ireland and I couldn’t be happier.

It is called Camphill and we care for people with disabilities. The Camphill communities are spread in many different countries and there are over 25 in Ireland alone. It is a wonderful program that applies to people of all ages.

In my community, the residents (the people we care for) range from the age of 25-60. However there are many Camphill’s that are for children as well as adults. They also have a variety of different disabilities, in my community. We have people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, autism and others. There are also other communities with residents with a diverse range of abilities.

I have loved my placement because it has taught me so much about myself. I never thought I would do half of the things that I do now. I feel that a community placement pushes you in ways that other placements might not. You are given so many situations to take control of. You are basically running the whole show as opposed to being told what to do. It is such an eye-opening experience, and I have really enjoyed it. Two months after I arrived, I decided that I was going to stay the full year as opposed to the original nine months.

I’m very fortunate to have been given such an incredible placement, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I truly believe that I am a better version of myself and I owe it all to the people I am living with.

I hope those who choose a community placement enjoy it as much as I did and still do.

If I can give you one bit of advice, it would be to do everything, even if it is just once, and do it to the best of your abilities.

Regards,
Clare.