We are a Christian-inspired charity providing a space for hospitality and friendship amongst people with, and people without, learning disabilities. We seek to value each other not for what we achieve, but for who we are. We meet regularly as friends to share meals, outings, events, birthday and other celebrations, prayer, and worship. As core friends, volunteers, residents and supporters we develop lasting relationships, and in doing so provide a contrasting experience to the often intensely competitive academic and work settings of Cambridge. In all we do, we try to offer, and be a sign of, the transformed relationships and fullness of life that the gospels point to.
Lyn’s House has three distinctive elements that distinguish it from many other learning disability charities:
- The primary focus on friendship and hospitality, rather than providing care;
- The explicit intention to embrace the context – Cambridge, including Cambridge University – so as to find a way for young adults to balance participation in a L’Arche-like experience with continuing participation in study or employment;
- The commitment to creating an open community, not in spite of, but because of the explicit Christian confession lying at its heart.
At the heart of our concern in Lyn’s House is giving the sort of experiences evident in the following quotations from family members and carers of our core friends:
–“It’s somewhere she hasn’t got carers and she hasn’t got us: she can just be herself. Every where else – even at home with us – there are certain rules, expectations or contractual obligations. At Lyn’s House she’s free: she just goes in and treats it as if it were her home.”
-“She loves coming and the attention she gets… We’re quite a large family and she easily gets ‘lost’ in a crowd because she’s quite reserved. I don’t really know what happens when she’s there because she doesn’t talk, but she loves it! If I ever had to say she wasn’t going to be able to go (if we were in the middle of a snowstorm and couldn’t physically get there, for example, she’d be devastated. She has to: she loves it. And she certainly wouldn’t go if she didn’t want to: she’d make that very clear.”
– “The people at Lyn’s House have the ability to be friendly, not patronising.”
-“There’s an acceptance of people… it’s a tremendously loving and confidence-boosting place for a very diverse and different range of people and needs.”
-“It’s nice he can go where I don’t have to worry about him.”
Lyn’s House is the working name for the Cambridge Friendship Trust, a charitable incorporated organisation registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales with registration number 1187876. The registered office is: The Lodge, ℅ Margaret Beaufort Institute, 12-14 Grange Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DE.