What to expect

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

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
  • 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 frustrations through challenging behaviour.
  • 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.


All new assistants will complete the Care Certificate during their first 3 months and are expected to complete a number of short courses which equip them to carry out their roles. These will include First Aid, Moving and Handling, Fire Safety and Food Hygiene. Some of these can be completed online.

In Preston we also operate a small City and Guilds centre through which we can offer some QCF qualifications for assistants in the UK.

Once assistants have completed the Care Certificate they are offered the opportunity to register for an Award in Supporting People with Learning Disabilities or a Certificate in Supporting People with Learning Disabilities. Both these qualifications contribute credits towards the Diploma in Health and Social Care.


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