About the project
image_map Watercolours Poetry Photography Eggs Oils Prose
Rollover Tree

Cherry Orchards is a therapeutic community for adults recovering from mental health problems, situated on a 20 acre organic farm on the edge of Bristol. The community is part of the Camphill network, which aims to build communities with people with developmental or learning disabilities, recognising and encouraging the innate and often hidden talents of each individual. Cherry Orchards is the only Camphill community within the UK to offer support for adults recovering from mental health problems. They are referred by Social Services or apply to stay there by personal choice.

jug, paints and sketch books

Painting in the garden.

Like other Camphill communities, the philosophy at Cherry Orchards is based on the anthroposophical teachings of Rudolph Steiner. This advocates creating a healthy environment and a fulfilling life for individuals.

An important part of life at Cherry Orchards is about exploring creativity through artistic activities, which all members are encouraged to participate in. The aim is to realise the potential of each community member, enabling them to lead independent and successful lives upon leaving Cherry Orchards.

Tutors, gardeners and artists visit the community on a regular basis to support the community's activities. There are also places for co-workers, often from elsewhere in Europe, to come and learn about living and working in a small community setting.

Wild meadow picture

Mixing paints.

The art programme at Cherry Orchards includes both structured therapy sessions and activities for pleasure. Therapy usually takes place in a group setting, though some is on a one to one basis with an art therapist. The groups are open to all members of the community. Steiner believed that art should be taken seriously, and the creative process is encouraged as a healthy and safe way to express emotions. Creative activities include speech, drama, creative writing, painting and drawing, sculpture, and music. High quality facilities and materials are provided for these activities, and there are also fully equipped workshops for candle making and weaving.

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