Request for help Along with everyone else, L’Arche Manchester continues to move through challenging times as we respond to the pandemic. We have had to re-think how we support people, to reduce the risk of infection. We have been really creative, with lots of FaceTime chats, activity sessions over Zoom, prayers over the phone, sharing silly videos and a weekly challenge on WhatsApp. Technology is really helping us to continue to create community despite having to be more separate physically. We have been overwhelmed by the offers of help and support from friends around the Community. We’ve had to close the Hive Community Café, stop Day Activities for a while and stop visits between the houses. Core members haven’t been seeing their families, other than on zoom and familiar activities out in the local community and volunteers and visitors to the houses have stopped. Sadly, some of our overseas assistants had to leave us to go back to their families but others were allowed to stay. Some core members and some assistants were infected, but we are thankful that everyone has recovered and we are beginning to enjoy the new freedoms as lockdown eases. We are conscious that we have some vulnerable people in the community and will continue to risk assess and tread the relaxation pathway with caution. This means that we will continue to have challenges in making sure that everyone is safe as they get the support that they need. But we will be looking again for people who can help us. We know that some people are still unable to work in their usual jobs or join in their usual relaxation activities and may have time on their hands, and may be able to help. In particular, over the coming months we will need:Live –in assistants to become part of our fabulous assistant teams in our houses. We would especially love to hear from people who already have care experience / qualifications so they can get going quickly. Some may be with us just as long as we need to cope with this crisis, others may be interested in becoming a L’Arche assistant in the longer term. People who can become a friend of a house, and once Covid is over, will become a regular visitor, joining various events. People who can support our assistants by having a regular phone or Facetime chat to check how they are, lend a listening ear and offer encouragement. In L’Arche, we call this ‘accompaniment’, which means ‘walking with’ people and supporting them through their journey. People who may be able to offer hospitality to our assistants who come from abroad, offering the occasional meal, or “bolt hole from the community” for a few hours. We’d also love to hear your ideas of other ways you might be able to help – maybe things we haven’t even thought of ourselves! If you, or anyone you know, would be able to help, please contact us at: [email protected] If you are interested in any roles that involve direct contact with people, then we would need to chat with you about your current social isolating and would also need to complete a DBS check. We would provide any training you may need.