Encanto: What Does Luisa’s Song Teach Us About Mental Health?

(A guest post from my good friend Lydia Gibson...)I’m sure many, like me, can really relate to the character Luisa in Encanto. Her song has been going round and round in my head for days now (mostly because my 9-year-old is obsessed with the film at the moment!) I have been really struck by the … Continue reading Encanto: What Does Luisa’s Song Teach Us About Mental Health?

Artificial Intelligence ‘AI’ And Additional Needs

Something a little more unusual in this blog post as we’re going to be exploring how Artificial Intelligence can be a tool that we can use to help and support people, of any age with additional needs or disabilities, in our churches. A few years ago, the former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said…“Technology has changed … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence ‘AI’ And Additional Needs

The Tooth Fairy Is Real, And Her Name Is Sarah…

A lot of things have changed for James over the past six months. He had his 19th Birthday in June, and since then we have been working through many transitions from children’s services to adult services. Different teams, different styles, different locations, lots of changes. David Bowie might have written a song about it… This … Continue reading The Tooth Fairy Is Real, And Her Name Is Sarah…

12 New Year Resolutions For Inclusive Children’s And Youth Work

I don’t know about you, but I've tried to keep the festive season going as long as possible, hanging on to the Christmas tree until the last needle had dropped and stretching out the leftover food in as many creative ways as possible. I’m always the last in our street to be taking the plethora … Continue reading 12 New Year Resolutions For Inclusive Children’s And Youth Work

Rose And Giovanni: Inclusion Champions!

If you’ve been following Strictly Come Dancing this year, you can't help but to have been thrilled by the progress of Rose Ayling-Ellis a Deaf actress who plays ‘Frankie’ on Eastenders, and her professional dance partner Giovanni Pernice. Well last night was the Strictly Come Dancing final! [Spoiler alert: the result is mentioned and featured … Continue reading Rose And Giovanni: Inclusion Champions!

Our Family And Autism – Paddy and Christine McGuinness – Helpful? Or Harmful?

“Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine have three children, eight year-old twins Leo and Penelope, and five year-old Felicity. All three have been diagnosed with autism, a condition that means your brain works in a different way from other people, and can impact how you interact with the world.” This is the introduction to the … Continue reading Our Family And Autism – Paddy and Christine McGuinness – Helpful? Or Harmful?

Busting Ten Autism Myths

There are an awful lots of Autism myths out there; most are ridiculous, some would actually be quite funny if they weren’t so harmful, but they do seem to somehow persist in the national consciousness. So, here’s my guide to the top ten Autism myths and how we can bust them: “We’re all ‘on the … Continue reading Busting Ten Autism Myths

Make A Natural Autumn Fiddles/Fidget Box!

Autumn is a fabulous time of the year, so many changes in the natural world and so many treasures to look for and find! We’ve been making a natural fiddles/fidget box, maybe you would like to make one too?There are loads of wonderful, sensory things that you can add to a natural fiddles/fidget box. I’ll … Continue reading Make A Natural Autumn Fiddles/Fidget Box!

Invited To Belong

'Invited to Belong' - a new additional needs training resource developed by Urban Saints in partnership with Youthscape - launched at the National Youth Ministry Weekend in Birmingham, November 2021. Additional Needs Ministry Director, Mark Arnold, presented the resource, alongside Jemimah Allen from Youthscape and then free copies of 'Invited to Belong' were given to … Continue reading Invited To Belong

How The John Lewis Christmas 2021 Advert Showcases Inclusion (Again!)

They have done it again! Watching the John Lewis Christmas 2021 advert had me welling up in tears as I saw, once again, a story of inclusion unfolding before me. Like in 2019 with the story of Edgar the dragon and his friend Ava, the new advert showcases how to be inclusive of someone who … Continue reading How The John Lewis Christmas 2021 Advert Showcases Inclusion (Again!)