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Reform Magazine | July 14, 2020

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I am… a L’Arche core member

I am… a L’Arche core member

Kathy Louise Barton describes life as a L’Arche core member

I used to live with my mum, Mary, and Tommy. Tommy is a cat, and he used to sleep with me in my bed. Tommy liked the sunshine, to play with other cats, and sleeping.

I have been in L’Arche since September 2019. My mum became ill, so it was time for me to move to L’Arche Manchester. I had many friends who helped me to move. One of my friends, Denise, helped me to settle in L’Arche. I have made lots of new friends too. I enjoy waking up to see my friends on a daily basis, and I like to do lots of activities, like going to the Hive (L’Arche Manchester’s community cafe and activity centre). At the Hive, we did lots of different things like paper mache, we cooked bread, we painted and we made necklaces out of a special clay.

I have found lockdown hard, as we have not been able to get out and I am not able to see my mum. But we are here to keep our friends and family safe in this pandemic.

My house is called Bluebell. We have lots of fish. They are our pets and we gave each fish a name. I have done lots of painting. I play sports and do yoga in the garden with my friends. Yoga is great. I do my exercises and then I relax.

We have had lots of parties and some sneaky ice cream in this warm weather. We’ve been doing fun things in the evening like henna and foot spas. We have music sessions with Billy and Andy. They are great. I like to sing.

I have enjoyed living in L’Arche and have learnt lots of new skills. It has made me grow as a person.

Kathy Louise Barton is a core member at L’Arche Manchester, a community of people with and without learning disabilities who share life together. L’Arche began in France in 1964 and is now an international federation in 35 different countries. www.larche.org.uk

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This article was published in the July/August 2020 edition of Reform

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