Camphill School in Aberdeen has launched an ambitious fundraising campaign to help more people with additional and complex support needs.
The charity in Bieldside aims to raise £10m over the next decade to help 60% more young people and their families across the north-east after seeing a huge increase in demand.
The programme will see three new residential homes built among a range of other services such as land and craft workshops.
The school’s day service manager Wiepke Busch said they had so far raised £2.3m and needed a further £3.1m to start building in 2023.
She told STV News: “We know that around 350 children and young people across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have insufficient access to day care or residential services.
“We’ve also seen a 250% rise in placement enquiries over the past two years, which just shows how much this funding is needed.”
Joe Broadbent is one of the young adults who currently benefits from the charity.
Now 22 years old, he has been attending Camphill since he was five and is enrolled in the young adult programme – which his mum Nicola described as “pivotal” for him.
She said: “Joe is autistic and when he was young he wouldn’t talk, he wasn’t verbal, and wasn’t confident, nor was he interacting with other people.
“But now he can do all those things because Camphill has allowed him to be creative and useful and he’s now working towards producing things that can be sold and displayed.”
Nicola, an adult care nurse, has also been able to return to work, something many parents with disabled children can’t do because they’re unable to find suitable support.
She added: “I’m a lone parent and Camphill School has really been my grounding, it’s allowed me to progress my career.
“I know that by the time this has been built I’m going to be through the system, but this fundraising is so important to be here for families after Joe.”