Do you believe in a world where all belong?

Community Leader (Director), L’Arche Highland
Up to £41,600

L’Arche UK is part of a global network of communities where people with and without learning disabilities live and share in life together, working for a world where we all belong. Are you a leader who can:

  • Inspire and lead a community of 100+ people with and without learning disabilities.
  • Manage a growing team responsible for a budget of £1.5m and a range of housing, care and support services, and
  • Balance rigorous business management with an ability to build strong relationships and attend to the person-centred needs of Community members?

L’Arche Highland is an ecumenical Christian community which welcomes people of all faiths and none.

The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker, have extensive senior management experience, emotional intelligence and an ability to manage complexity. Specific experience in managing housing, care and support services is highly advantageous. However, there is a Care Inspectorate Registered Manager in post, so transferable skills will also be considered.

The closing date for applications is 17th September at 5pm and interviews will take place on 29th and 30th September 2020.

L’Arche is more easily experienced than explained. If you would like to find out more about us, we would normally encourage you to visit before you complete the application form. Sadly, these are not normal times. If you are shortlisted but have not visited the Community before applying, you will be invited to ‘visit’ in a Covid-compliant way a community house before the interview.

Kathleen Boyle, Deputy National Leader, would be very happy to talk informally with you to answer any questions and give you a feel for what being a Community Leader in L’Arche is like. Kathleen is on 07712 394 976 or [email protected]

Submitting your application

Please email the following to
[email protected].uk by 5pm on 17th September.

• your CV, and also the supplementary application form.

Interviews will take place on 29th and 30th September 2020. The arrangements for these will be confirmed closer to the date, depending on how the current situation develops.

Job Description for the role of Community Leader (Director)

Reports to: Regional Leader
Hours: 37.5 hours. There will be some evening and weekend commitments locally and
some events which require travel and overnight stays.


The Community Leader (Director) is responsible for ensuring that their community is living fully the mission of L’Arche in its four dimensions (community life, provision of professional care and support services, spiritual life and outreach).

Key Responsibilities

  • To lead a vibrant community which is faithful to the L’Arche Identity and Mission, actively engaged in the local neighbourhood, in L’Arche within the UK and in the world.
  • To ensure the Community is financially stable, by robust setting and management of budgets, negotiating fee levels with funding agencies, managing vacancies and co-operating with fundraising initiatives.
  • To develop and deliver against a business plan, and effectively manage the senior leadership team to deliver against objectives.
  • To ensure the quality of care and support provided for people with learning disabilities by employing and supporting leaders and assistants with the right skills, experience, and values, and ensuring their professional and personal development.
  • To foster an open and inclusive spiritual life in the community.
  • To be a visible representative of L’Arche locally, developing strong relationships with local authorities, professional organisations, faith communities and their leaders.
  • To work collaboratively with a local committee, and within the structures of L’Arche UK.

Profile for this role

The Leader appointed will be a person who is passionate about the vision, values and mission of L’Arche and desires to be part of a dynamic, exciting, progressive and nurturing faith community;

They will have:

  • Significant experience of senior leadership and management;
  • The ability to lead and manage a complex organisation to achieve its mission;
  • Evidence the ability to think strategically;
  • Excellent financial planning and management skills;
  • The ability and willingness to work collaboratively with others in L’Arche and in particular with those with learning difficulties, others in leadership, the local committee and the national charity.
  • EITHER experience of leadership within the learning disability field OR transferable skills and experience in a related field.

The new leader will have:

  • The ability to negotiate with social service commissioners, the housing benefit office, other funding bodies and with housing providers, and to forge relationships with external stakeholders;
  • Emotional intelligence, including the personal qualities of compassion, courage, integrity and humility; an openness to being mentored and a willingness to ask for help;
  • The ability to work with people in ways that enable free speech, encourage creativity and build consensus.
  • A desire to build community with people of different ages, abilities, cultures, nationalities, faith perspectives and past experiences
  • A good standard of education equivalent to degree level or a professional qualification; excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Key terms and conditions

The role of Community Leader (Director), like those of senior leaders in L’Arche worldwide, is linked to a statement of priorities in a Community Mandate. The L’Arche Highland Mandate runs to 2020, and the process to renew it has begun. A new Mandate is required from 2020-2024 and the new Community Leader would play a key role in finalising this document. The current draft is being worked on, and will be shared with shortlisted candidates.

The role is initially offered for a term of service of 4 years, to autumn 2024. Terms of service are renewable, with a maximum of 3 terms. This means that the maximum period anyone could remain in this role is 12 years (i.e. 3 terms of 4 years). Towards the end of each four year term, a new Mandate is drawn up and the Community Leader is involved in discussion as to whether they wish to remain in role to lead the Community in its next Mandate.

The role requires a flexibility to attend local and national events. There are approximately 7 overnight stays in an average year (2 x 2-night stays for national meetings with all Community Leaders, 2 x 1-night stay for regional meeting, 1 x 1 night stay for AGM.) In the first or second year there is an international 5-night residential course for new community leaders.

The role has a two point salary scale at £40,000 pa and £41,600 pa. The second point is paid on successful completion of one year. A candidate with significant experience at a similar level will be offered the second point as a starting salary.

A relocation package is available if taking up this role requires you to move home.

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Community Mandate 2020 - Easy Read