On a sunny summer’s day, L’Arche members from every corner of UK gathered round in Hope Valley ready to pitch up their tents and begin a long weekend filled with summer festivities. The mini festival organised by L’Arche Nottingham was a place for not only people with learning disabilities, but also for assistants, community friends and families – and we all had easy read packing lists and programmes to keep us organised!  

The weekend was filled with yo-dancing, djembe drumming, movie watching, open-mic singing (with a backup of the wonderful Old Codgers), hiking, sharing evening meals and playing games by campfire under the starry skies… For many, it was truly a highlight of the entire summer to be able to spend four days in beautiful countryside, with friends they haven’t seen for a while in an environment that is accessible and safe to all – a perfect time to let your hair down, grab a friend and sing along to your favourite song!  

HopeFesters were blessed with gorgeous weather, amazing company and opportunity to shine but watch it for yourself because we want to see you there next year!  

… and a short reflection from Nem, L’Arche Manchester Community Leader, who by the sounds of it enjoyed the gathering very much: 

I got to waste time with a bunch of people I love. I got to see the things I go on about like deep joy and friendship and those moments where roles like carer and person cared for blur and diminish happen before my eyes. It was pure gorgeousness.