Claire has been a member of L'Arche Nottingham since 2003. Here she talks about how her time with Community has impacted her life.

I’ve been involved with L’Arche Nottingham since 2003. It’s given a sense of belonging. It’s my safety net. No matter what happens in life I’ve still got somewhere where I can be myself no matter what.

We have done so many different things together. We have been on retreat, I performed a prayer and sang in front of 2000 people at Greenbelt, we have parties. We do love a party. Everyone from L’Arche came to my thirtieth. I had a disco, which I know L’Arche loves. We have some great dancers.

I’ve learned to cook. I knew some basic skills of cooking but now I know much more. I’ve also learned how to handle money. At the beginning of our group I did all of the money, all of the finances. So I learned how to handle money better.

For the outside world I think L’Arche is a good way of learning about not looking down on people with a disability. I think that’s such a big thing. If an outsider comes in, they can’t pass judgement on their disability, because the person with that disability will get hurt. So L’Arche teaches us that we can be ourselves no matter who we are and what disability we have.