While traditional Camphill festivals such as Candlemas and Michaelmas continue to mark the important milestones of a year based on the rhythms of the land, the social and cultural life of Larchfield is increasingly initiated and led by the residential community members and day placements.
The Larchfield Learn to Lead team is an example of newer initiatives which encourage the adults we support to take on a more active role in everyday decision making and planning; the focus being on what is important to those who live and work in the community. Projects initiated by the team include the organisation and presentation of family days and designing dynamic road signs for use on site. The Learn to Lead team meets with the teams from Botton and the Croft communities 3 or 4 times a year to share the work they have been doing in their communities, to celebrate achievements and to mix socially over a shared lunch. The Learn to Lead team at Larchfield is composed of residents and day placements.
Sharing memories of a recent Olympic style inter-community event at Botton a member of the Larchfield Learn to Lead group described Larchfield as ‘Loud and Proud’ and we certainly are of the way day placements have been welcomed as equals in all areas of community life and with friendships extending beyond workshop hours.
The community hall is available to use for discos, parties, meetings, concerts, film nights and indoor sports. Newer festivals are emerging as highly anticipated annual events such as Pirate Day and Christmas Jumper Day.
For those who live at Larchfield good use is made of the resources available in the wider community with easy access to cinemas, theatres, bowling, sports centres, shopping, riding, moorland and the seaside – most of these are no more than a 30 minute journey away. One of the highly anticipated social gatherings of the week is the Friday Knit and Natter group which attracts its membership from the general public, volunteers, day placements and residents. The knit and natter group donates many of the knitted projects it makes to be sold in the Larchfield shop and at the Christmas Fayre as a welcome boost to funds which can be used for the benefit of the adults supported here.