Camphill School Aberdeen

Camphill School Aberdeen has been at the forefront of care and education for over 80 years. Today the school supports more than 100 children and young people up to 25-years-old with a wide range of support needs. With rapidly rising demand, Camphill School is seeking to provide more places for young people. This resulted in the launch of their ‘Building Futures, Transforming Lives’ campaign to raise £10 million to build three new state-of-the-art, sustainable residential accommodation houses, extend their workshops and create a new social enterprise to provide life-transforming opportunities for an additional 54 young people.

Camphill School needed to demonstrate to the Scottish Government the invaluable role they play in the care sector in order to leverage public funds to reach their fundraising goal.

An engagement programme aimed at Scottish Government ministers, officials, MSPs and relevant public bodies was required to put forward Camphill School’s case for funding and to raise awareness of their work and its impact on families across the country.

Telling Camphill School Aberdeen’s story was our priority. No-one could speak more eloquently about the impact the school has on its young people, families, volunteers and staff than those very people.

As such, after consultation workshops with Camphill School’s key staff, we created an information pack filled with background on the school’s history, facilities, achievements and ambition for the future, illustrated with unique personal stories and photographs. We focused on the experiences of the young people and their families, setting out exactly where the school had impact and demonstrating its role within the care sector across Scotland, by using approved statistics.

True North helped to get the crucial message across to policy makers that Camphill School’s unique model of provision delivers profoundly beneficial impacts to the lives of young people whose needs are often not well or easily met by mainstream health, social care or education routes.

We also developed an engagement plan and invited politicians to visit the school campus and see at first-hand the work that takes place, meet young people and their families. This presented opportunities to hear about the school’s ambitious plans directly from staff. We constantly fine-tuned our approach according to the rapidly changing news agenda which at the time was particularly focused on care provision.

A parliamentary reception, which involved key Camphill School personnel, donors, stakeholders, and young people whose opportunities have been greatly enhanced by their experiences at the school, was held in early 2023.

Throughout the process, we provided communications support and worked as a bridge to key decision makers.

The smiles on the faces of the young people who attended the parliamentary reception said it all. This was the first time Camphill School Aberdeen had taken its case to parliament and we worked with constituency MSP Audrey Nicoll to host an event to highlight the £10 million fundraising campaign and the reasons why the additional accommodation is crucial to care in Scotland.

We secured Kevin Stewart, the then Scottish Government Minister for Wellbeing and Social Care, to address the event, and a number of prominent MSPs attended, including Conservative leader Douglas Ross MSP and disability champion Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP.

Coverage was also achieved in the national press and photography from the evening was shared with MSPs who then tweeted from their own social media accounts showing their support for the school. In Aberdeen, school visits were undertaken by MSPs, including Douglas Ross, Audrey Nicoll and the local MP Stephen Flynn.

True North are extremely proud to have helped Camphill School Aberdeen in this project and to have raised awareness of their outstanding work at a political level. This was the most high-profile government engagement ever undertaken by Camphill School and has has led to promising discussions with the Scottish Government and other key political stakeholders around public funding to support their project aims.

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