What to expect

Becoming a L’Arche assistant is an extraordinary and life changing experience.

We welcome people of all ages and nationalities into an experiece that has the potential to fundamentally change the way you see the world.

We ask people who wish to become a live-in assistant to be open to a minimum of two years with us. Building trusting and life-giving relationships takes time and real commitment to the person and so we particualrly seek people who are able to commit to this time. our formal training equips assistants with all the skills they need to work effectively and supportively with vulnerable people. Our new Assistant Development Programme supports assistants to develop their awareness and deepen their understanding of community and spirituality and spans this two year time period. The programme is unmatched in the care sector for its depth of exploration of what it means to be human in a faith comumnity.

Be inspired, challenged and grown to build a more human society.

Whether you’re interested in living and working in a Christian community to build a better world or contemplating a career in Health and Social Care and want to gain unique, paradigm-shifting skills and learning - discover what we have.

L'Arche will offer the following:

In year one:

  • Comprehensive induction on the best of professional practise leading to formal qualification of the Care Certificate
  • Introductory training on L'Arche values and ethos such as, Gifts of People with a Learning Disability, Living Community: Spirituality, Prayer and Celebration
  • Access to the entire first year Assistants Development programme, focused on L’Arche values, history and current practice, including The Story of L’Arche, Personal Leadership, Ethics of Touch and Working together and caring for oneself
  • Two facilitated full-days of reflective practice and professional evaluation.
  • An opportunity for personal and professional mentoring throughout your time/journey in L'Arche
  • 28 days of annual leave (incl bank holidays), access to the L’Arche childcare voucher scheme and access to the L'Arche pension scheme
  • Access to affordable time away accommodation in London and around the country


In year two/three:

  • A four-day guided L'Arche retreat away from daily work, sharing time alongside like-minded people to reflect on your experiences in a fully-catered retreat centre
  • 33 days of annual leave (incl bank holidays) and access to the L’Arche childcare voucher scheme and access to the L'Arche pension scheme
  • Access to the comprehensive L'Arche regional development programme to deepen your experience of your personal development covering topics such as Choice and Decision Making, Group Dynamics, Diversity and Unity, Growing and Belonging in L’Arche and Change
  • Access to professional qualifications (incl Diploma in Health and Social Care).

 I promise you – you have something. L'Arche is like a diamond. I have been to many places all over the world and no one has what you have. The depth of compassion for one another, the depth of simplicity, the depth of openness and welcome that exists in L'Arche: no one has it – no one.

You are the living communities of peace. You are the living example and role model of what I believe the world is hungry for.”

Tim Shriver (Kennedy), PhD

Chairman and CEO, Special Olympics

There are some things you need to consider if you are interested in joining one of our communities:

  • The rhythm and culture of each L'Arche house is set by the people with learning disabilities who have made it their home.
  • You may be asked to support people with their personal care.
  • You will be expected to do housework. We have a saying in L'Arche – everyone needs to be prepared to clean the toilet!
  • L'Arche is a Christian Community. We welcome people of all faiths, or none, but we expect you to be open to all aspects of other people's spirituality.
  • It is important to understand that in the UK, L'Arche communities are faith communities and professional support providers. We are regulated and inspected, and must legally meet set standards. This means we require a level of competence and expect all assistants to undergo initial and on-going training.
  • As a live-in L'Arche assistant you may not get a lot of personal space, including in the evenings.
  • Some people with learning disabilities can express their emotions in ways that others will find challenging

Still interested? Click here

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