L’Arche Manchester opened its doors in 2013. Our first house, Heathside, is home to four young adults with learning disabilities and several live-in assistants who share life together. Four years later we opened our second house, Bluebell, which is home to three women with learning disabilities and several live-in assistants. In 2018 we opened two more houses to welcome and support more individuals with learning disabilities.
Our houses are embedded within the local communities they are situated in, and our neighbours are frequently seen being welcomed in for cups of tea and shared meals.
As well as shared living, L’Arche Manchester offers day activities (Monday-Wednesday) for its members and for people with learning disabilities in the wider Manchester community. We run activities including a gardening and allotment group, inclusive yoga, music, bread-making, and storytelling.
And that’s not all! In partnership with the Withington and Fallowfield Foodbank, and St Paul’s Church in Withington, we run a community cafe – The Hive – three days a week (Monday-Wednesday). The Hive is run by people with and without learning disabilities who serve delicious, home-cooked meals at affordable prices. The Hive is a space where people are made to feel welcome and where those who want to can meet others for conversation and good food.
We are a vibrant and growing community, well loved by our neighbours. We have a vision for people with and without learning disabilities to be at the heart of their local communities, and to see the gifts of people with learning disabilities in Manchester recognised and celebrated.