“My family chose L’Arche to provide a home for our brother. They provide excellent services and mix this with a special warmth and commitment which makes the support they give family-like. All of us can recognise this goodness when we see it, and will wish to see it flourish.”
Julian Hillman, ex-CEO of Ealing Mencap
What L'Arche means to families
Ellie’s mum Julia says “We were so delighted when our first child was born. Eleanor Rose was complete, petite and with a halo of red hair. She captured her father’s heart the moment he held her. By the end of her first year, as she failed to reach a range of developmental milestones, the realisation dawned that she was indeed uniquely special and would need all the love and care we could lavish on her and then some more. In the years that followed we determined that she would know, with her two younger brothers, what it was to have a ‘normal’ childhood and got on with being a family, albeit ‘with a difference’.
Nothing prepared us for the time when she experienced a full nervous breakdown in her teenage years. This shocking event made us confront the fact that we could not fulfil her healthy yearning to grow and develop to independence and she certainly couldn’t do this on her own. It was a bleak and terrible time to watch her suffer and struggle against impossible odds. How wonderful, then, that earlier this year we were able to celebrate together both her 33rd birthday and the completion of 10 years as a loved and cherished member of the Preston L’Arche community. Ellie has recovered her sparkle and has a fulfilling life of her own. As we move into retirement we know that she has a secure and promising future ahead of her. L’Arche is so much more than a care home. It is a place of welcome and fulfilment for all its members. We count our blessings every day.
Laura’s mum Amanda says “The plan was always for Laura to move into her own supported accommodation after she had left college at the age of 22 but our relationship had broken down so much that I had to ask for it to be sooner. My physical and mental health was suffering and Laura was stifled living at home. I knew L’Arche was the place for her. Social services tried to get me to place Laura in one of their homes but I knew that she wouldn’t be able to communicate her needs to the plethora of new faces (agency staff) that she would come into contact with. I kept fighting for a place at L’Arche. Laura is much more independent now and has a really good time. She has many friends. Our relationship has improved beyond expectations and she is much more mature and independent when she comes back to stay. Both our lives have improved in quality and we are both a lot happier than we were before she moved into L’Arche.