For many people church as it currently exists in many, many places just doesn’t work, can’t work, won’t work. And it’s not just people on the margins of society that this is true for, it’s true for the majority of the communities in which these churches are located. It’s just even worse if you don’t happen to conform to the ‘typical’, ‘expected’ profile of church attendee; and that includes many, even most, families who have a child with additional/special needs or disabilities. Church needs a reboot before everyone can truly belong.
If a picture paints a thousand words, I wonder how many a video paints? This four-and-a-half minute video, which I recorded with Urban Saints, provides you with seven tips to help, encourage and inspire you to make your children's or youth work more accessible and inclusive, to create belonging for everyone. There are loads of links to other resources, videos and information to help you too!
Surely in this day and age there can’t be anyone who would stop children with additional needs or disabilities, and their families, from being able to access church; anyone who would exclude them from all that church offers; anyone who would prevent them from belonging to the church community, can there? But sadly, this does happen all too often and some of the people responsible might surprise you!
How do I include all children & young people with additional needs in my church? As many church children's and youth groups return back after the summer break this week, we explore how everyone can be included and belong.
Going on an overseas mission trip can often be a transforming and life changing experience; offering an opportunity to serve in a very different culture and environment, challenging our worldview and our perceptions of our role in the world. Taking young people on a short-term mission trip experience can equip them and inspire them for … Continue reading Can You Take Young People With Additional Needs On Overseas Mission?
A question I get asked loads of times is this; “How can I explain additional/special needs to children?” The answer depends on the context, as there are different ways that this can be responded to, determined by who the answer is meant for. Are we responding to a question from a child with additional needs … Continue reading Answering Children’s Questions About Additional Needs – With Help From Winnie-the-Pooh!
‘Lost Voice Guy' wins Britain's Got Talent On Saturday 2nd June 2018, Lee Ridley, who performs as the comedian ‘Lost Voice Guy’, won the 2018 series of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. His win was remarkable for a number of reasons, including that he is the first comedian to do so, but also because he has Cerebral … Continue reading ‘Lost Voice Guy’ – A Disability Watershed Moment?
20% of children and young people have an additional need or disability of some kind; if your church includes children and young people, some of them are likely to need additional support. Many of these children and young people, and their families, feel excluded from a wide range of social and other activities, including church, … Continue reading Six Ways To Make Your Children’s Work And Holiday Club More Inclusive
That moment… that moment as a children’s or youth worker when you realise during the ‘talk time’ that you’ve just lost some of your group. They were able to focus for the first three or four minutes, but now, five minutes in, you see them starting to get distracted, starting to fidget. You’ve lost contact … Continue reading Additional Needs Children’s Work: Using What They Enjoy To Help Them Learn
Devoted… an important word, one which we often hear, and a word that we all probably think we fully understand; but do we? How truly deep a word is it? And what might it mean in the context of caring for a child or young person with additional needs; whether as parent, carer, other family … Continue reading ‘Be Devoted To One Another In Love’