John Peet, former General Secretary of L'Arche UK, is hoping to raise £30,000 by cycling 1500 miles around the UK and visiting every L'Arche Community and Project on the way. The money will go to L'Arche in Zimbabwe, where funds are so desperately needed just to keep the Community going, and to the Projects in Glasgow and Manchester that, with your help, will soon become L'Arche Communities.

Friday 11
th July

Rest Day

The previous day had been pretty exhausting so I was glad of a long lie. The Cornerstone is a tribute to all those who were involved in its re-configuration and refurbishment from the former Childrens' Society Home. The original features have been retained and it feels very much like a large family house whilst meeting the stringent care home standards.

With the help of David Wells from the office, I found Moons Cycles and left the bike there with Simon. I'd broken another spoke and he obligingly undertook to have it sorted by close of business. Meanwhile at the house preparations were being made for the Barbeque which had been planned to coincide with my arrival in Ipswich, and to which local friends of L'Arche had been invited.

Later in the morning, I went into town with Nick who wanted to explore a few of the games shops. It's literally 15 mins walk to the centre of town. I was impressed by Nick's awareness about cost, as he tried persuaded a number of game shop assistants to give him the best deal. I realise I'm out of my depth when it comes to Play Stations and Wii systems.

It was just great to relax with the core members who are all much younger than those in the other UK Communities, and who lead quite independent lives in comparison. They are great company and I really enjoyed the chance to recharge the batteries before tomorrow's trip to Basildon.

When I collected the bike from Moon's Simon wouldn't accept any money for the repair. I really appreciate your sponsorship, Simon, and am indebted to you and the Moon's team. Thank you so much.

The clouds started to gather as the evening approached, and as guests arrived the heavens opened leaving the BBQ team stranded under the gazebo. A shame after all the hard work preparing the food. However, it didn't put too much of a damper on proceedings and a fabulous buffet was enjoyed by all. At the end of the meal, I had the opportunity of saying a few words about my trip, and about the Zimbabwe Community. Liz, who volunteers her time for the Community had organised a raffle which ran throughout the evening and raised about £90. Thanks so much for this initiative, Liz, and please pass on our thanks to those who generously contributed the prizes.

Great to meet new people and old colleagues, including Bernard and Heather and Derek too. A pity Kathy wasn't able to make it. A great day and it was impressive to see the house team working hard on the hospitality front. Thanks to Angie, Martin, Nick, Nicola, Stephanie, Steven, Andrew,Miriam, Andrea and Julia for your hard work, and to Anne-Marie and David too, for your help in boosting the appeal funds.

Thursday 10th July

I arrived back from Yorkshire at 5.30 and Anne Marie and Martin kindly collected me from the station. It was Miriam's birthday party, so great activity was underway in the kitchen. Helene Gibbings and son Joe had been invited, so all in all there were 16 round the table. I have to say i was one of the best L'Arche meals I've had – great cooking Andrew.

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