My name is Ben and I’m responsible for nine people with disabilities and a great team of assistants in two L’Arche houses.

What I really enjoy about L'Arche is just daily life with people with disabilities: doing stuff together, going out, going swimming, grabbing some lunch afterwards, supporting people where and when they need it.

But we’re down three full-time assistants, which either means employing [agency] staff at an extortionate rate, or pulling through as we are. Sometimes, it’s even hard to find [agency] staff because the whole of social care is in crisis.

Not having enough assistants puts big pressure on me and my team and on the people with disabilities we support. And it inevitably means them missing out on the more interesting sides of life. But it’s hard to find assistants to join us because it’s a vocation.

This Community has been going for 47 years. People with and without disabilities have shared lives for all that time. And L’Arche has had to change so much. What drives me is to keep that spirit and that community alive, to adapt and bring it into the future, while offering the highest possible standard of care.

Ben is just one of our Leaders in L’Arche, who help us build Communities where people with and without learning disabilities shine and their gifts are held up and celebrated.

Make a donation to L’Arche, and help us spread the light of love in our world this Advent.