In a world that values winning and coming first, L’Arche Communities are places where people can discover who they are, not just what they can do.
L’Arche believes that people with learning disabilities have much to teach us and contribute to the world. L’Arche Communities focus on building relationships and a sense of belonging, and on supporting each member of the Community – with and without learning disabilities alike – to reflect on what they have learnt and to share that reflection. L’Arche Communities hold in balance four elements: service, community, spirituality and outreach. Fifty years of experience has shown that each element has an important role to play and needs to be present, not only for a Community to be healthy, but in order to make us better at each of the different elements.
Internationally, L’Arche Communities share this common philosophy and approach while reflecting the ethnic, cultural and religious composition of the countries in which they exist. There are 12 L’Arche Communities in the UK where people with and without learning disabilities share life together, living and/or working in community.
The first Community opened in Kent in 1974 and there are now Communities in Bognor, Brecon, Edinburgh, Inverness, Ipswich, Kent, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Preston, which together provide friendship, individual support and care to just over 200 adults with learning disabilities, often with complex and multiple disabilities. There are also communities being developed in Flintshire and Nottingham.
Although grounded in the Christian tradition, L’Arche Communities welcome people of all faiths and none: our vision is a world where all belong.