DELROW COMMUNITY assists those with mental health problems, learning disabilities and other support needs to rediscover their self-confidence and find new directions in life. The community supports adults of all ages to build new lives through education, work, and home life. In addition to residential opportunities, the community provides day places for people living locally. People at Delrow benefit from the regular rhythm of the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly life in the community. The celebration of the Christian festivals provides focal points to the different seasons of the year. The community helps people grow and develop by encouraging them to contribute what they can and to support each other. The community’s close relationship with local health and other professionals, who advise and support its work, is highly valued.
Delrow offers a variety of accommodation: independent life-sharing in Delrow House, purpose-built houses and apartments in the grounds, and houses and cottages in the adjacent lanes. All offer a comfortable home life, with everyone sharing in the everyday life and tasks of their household. The daily interactions and interdependence of people at home help to build confidence and social skills, assisting individuals towards an appropriate degree of independence. Accommodation also includes several smaller units providing opportunities to have a more self-reliant lifestyle while remaining close enough to benefit from support if it is needed. This greater independence can provide an important stepping-stone towards supported living elsewhere.
The week at Delrow typically consists of two Adult Learning days, three workshop days, and weekends. Most people attend Adult Learning. Different themes are followed during the course of the year as well as talks, discussions, eurythmy, speech, drama, painting, writing and music. Some community members may also attend courses at nearby colleges to attain formal qualifications. In our craft workshops, work is educational, health-giving and productive. Learning new skills is encouraged and work is done individually or with others to achieve goals. The workshops give a sense of belonging, and the community values every achievement. The workshops include Basketry, Garden, Bakery, Needlecraft, Pottery, Store, and Weavery. Bakery produce is freshly made for our households and the store provides groceries and household goods. On the land, the fruit and vegetable growing follows organic and biodynamic principles and is aided by new polytunnels. The land care group maintains the community’s beautiful environment and provides outdoor learning opportunities such as bush craft. The newly acquired property at Longwood awaits development as elder care provision.
The Foundation Course comprises guest volunteers from all over the world. Their contributions greatly enrich community life. They have their own weekly study day for induction, talks on topics relating to Camphill, English lessons, cultural and artistic activities, and outings.
Apart from the work supporting people to make choices and grow in independence, a busy and varied social and cultural life lies at the heart of the community. Activities are organized for groups or the whole community. These include music, dancing, social evenings, plays, gym, concerts, films and videos. Delrow’s refurbished and spacious Karl König Hall attracts musicians and actors to perform there. Drama, musical productions and festivals involve many and bring hidden talents to the fore, building confidence. Individuals are also encouraged to pursue and develop their own interests and to be involved in the local community. Delrow’s position on the outskirts of London gives easy access to its cultural activities.