Art Group Shortlisted…

We’re pleased to announce that L’Arche Project, In Other Words has been shortlisted for the Co-op Local Community Fund.

As a Co-op member, every time you shop at Co-op, 1% of what you spend goes to the Co-op Local Community Fund. We are asking you to please go online and vote for In Other Words.

Vote immediately if you’re a Co-Op member or you can become a member easily by signing up online or in any Co-Op shop.

The more votes that In Other Words gets, the more funding. And the more funding, the more valuable sessions we can deliver. 

Root Soup Catering in the City Hall

On 6th February L’Arche, Root Soup, Grow Cook Cater and a whole group of new volunteers joined forces to cater for the  4 Corners Festival Belfast closing feast in Belfast City Hall. It was an honour to cater for the group of carers who were invited by the Lord Mayor for a three course dinner in the grandeur of the City Hall.

What an amazing team! Root Soup, led by Alison Pettigrew,  were preparing food all day with many of their regular, loyal, volunteers and some new volunteers such as local chef Jason Harris. In the afternoon the Grow Cook Cater team arrived to set the tables, a mammoth task which they completed to an absolute professional level. More volunteers kept arriving with Thomas, Andrew and Vinny from the Hearth L’Arche house completing the finishing touches on the tables. Some of us were taught how to pour wine for the guests while the another team of young volunteers from the Clonard area assisted the Root Soup guys to serve and clear up.

Special respect to the dishes team, slogging away in the background and the last ones standing at 10.30pm!

Thank you to everyone for your help and to the 4Corners Festival for the opportunity. See you next year!

Grow Cook Cater are recruiting participants NOW!!!!!


Grow Cook Cater is a unique training programme for young people with learning disabilities, linking growing tasty organic vegetables and fruit with cooking and catering.

Who: The course is for young people with a learning disability aged primarily between 18 and 25 (exceptions will be made on the upper age limit).
Duration: 10 months, 1 and a half days per week (one day in allotment, half day in kitchen).

Schedule:  Kitchen Sessions = Monday OR Thursday OR Friday 9am – 1pm & Allotment Sessions = Tuesday OR Wednesday OR Thursday 9am – 3.30pm

CONTACT: Brian Burns (L’Arche Belfast),    07741462552

Funded through Big Lottery Fund NI Empowering Young People programme.

GROW   In the Garden young people will follow the seasons of the year and be challenged to ready the ground, plant, tend the plot, and harvest.  They will also take responsibility for caring for the chickens.  As part of this work they will benefit from a structured programme of education, training and exercise and be encouraged to develop their own gardens independently. Nutrition awareness and improved diets will result.


COOK    In the Kitchen young people will have the opportunity to prepare, cook and serve meals using produce grown in the Garden.  The training will develop independent living skills, communication and team work. Nutrition awareness and improved diets will result.


CATER   The Table Programme will develop the young people’s skills to share the food they have grown and cooked.  They will develop food service skills in different environments – serving their friends and families with meals, providing community lunches for disadvantaged communities and catering for community and corporate functions.


The training programme will include a Summer Scheme, participation in Festivals, Fetes and work day visits providing interactive, social and work experiences for participants.

Christmas Fair

People came from far and wide to attend our Christmas Fair where there was a whole range of high quality craft and food, games, wreath making and even an appearance from the man himself!


Hi! I’m May!

So much has been going on, I can’t remember it all!

I started working in the office on Tuesday afternoons with Naomi. We plan events, count money, make posters, send emails, make calls, and stuff like that. I love it.

I’ve been to Canary Islands, Kilkenny, and Amsterdam on holiday in the past year. We went to visit a past assistant (Luisa) in Tenerife, had a great time, went to the beach!

Cross links is a youth group that I used to do it was on Monday nights and it’s finished now. I feel sad about that.

Life in the Ember is great, I like the other core members and the assistants.  It’s Easter, we’re having some parties.



What is your name?  Thomas 

Where do you live?  Hearth.  L’Arche Belfast.  

How long have you lived at L’Arche?  A really long time [12 years].

What do you like to do?  Walking, and run, and have time on my own.  

What do you do during the week?  Go to centre, see people.  Go home.  Go on a wee walk, go to the Ember sometimes [L’Arche Belfast’s first home].  

What is your week like?   [On Sundays] go on a run at Mary Peters Track if it’s a nice day.  Go to church; sometimes I go to church and sometimes I don’t.  

What about the rest of your week?  [Saturday’s] go to work at Common Grounds.  

Do you like to work?  I do.  Spend time with nice people.  Very busy in the front [of the cafe].

Do you like living at L’Arche? I do.

What do you like about it?  Nice persons.  Spending time with my family.  

Is L’Arche your family? Yes.  Two houses [the Ember and the Hearth].