Kay Morgan-Gurr (Additional Needs Alliance)
Offering training, with sessions written specifically for your situation. Plus, more in depth sessions such as ‘Outreach to Children with Additional Needs’, and ‘Spirituality, Faith and Children with Additional Needs’. Taking you beyond the basics of inclusion, to finding ways to help children and their families belong. I work alongside most of the others on the list (including the ‘All Inclusive:2U’ team, see below)!
Nicola Watson (Care for the Family)
Care for the Family is a national organisation dedicated to strengthening family life. We provide a telephone befriending service which offers understanding and a listening ear to parents of children who have additional needs. Our trained befrienders have personal experience of parenting additional needs children. They can provide that extra line of support to complement what the local church is doing. We also produce a regular newsletter and have a dedicated Facebook page.
We train people to run our Positive Parenting courses in their local community. The courses include a generic course for parents of children with additional needs, and two specific courses on ASD and ADHD. Running a Positive Parenting course is a great way for churches to reach out into their community.
Naomi Graham (New Wine)
New Wine is all about local churches changing nations. As New Wine we value: ministry in the power of the Spirit; being lights in the world as part of God’s Kingdom; and living lives together as family both nationally and locally. We want to enable people with additional needs to participate as much as possible within their local church and at each New Wine event. We want individuals and families to feel welcome and have the opportunity to grow in the gifts that God has given them.
Additional needs are wide ranging and can include any difficulty – physical, cognitive or mental health – that impacts an individual’s ability to participate in everyday activities. Individuals may need minor adaptations such as reserved seating or high levels of support such as 1:1 help to be able to access church. With oversight from Naomi Graham (Head of Inclusion Ministry), we support and share resources between those leading accessible ministry, or wanting to grow in the way they welcome those with additional needs in their local church.
During our United gatherings we offer support for children, young people and adults in order to enable everyone to access what is going on. In the year we run an annual training day and more local training events to equip churches in their additional needs provision.
The Enabling Church Course (Churches for All)
A new resource to help you share the inclusion message with your church or Diocese. Produced collaboratively by the Churches for All network of national Christian disability-focussed organisations, the Enabling Church Course is a flexible eight-session course exploring how to enrich church life through sharing mission and ministry together with disabled people.
It offers a theological understanding of disability, awareness of available resources, and the development of a local disability-inclusive initiative. We provide: a leader’s guide, course handbooks, DVD, plus posters and postcards to promote your course.
Lynn McCann (includedbygrace), an autism specialist teacher, trainer and author
My blog site seeks to share my thoughts, tips and ideas about including children, young people and adults with additional needs in our churches. My ministry is about equipping others to reach out and disciple people with additional needs.
I’m particularly interested in communication for people with learning disabilities, opening up the Bible with them in creative ways from using sensory experiences, puppets, sign language and drama. I am able to provide training, resources and sometimes just a chat to help you and your church feel more confident and able to do this. (‘All Inclusive:2U’ team)
Trish Hahn (Messy Church SEND)
The aim of Messy Church SEND is to provide an unique fun bible based experience for those families who have a child or teen or adult relative with Additional Needs and Disabilities. Using themed activities, crafts and sensory bible stories we look to share the gospel with these families in a worship time constructed entirely to meet their needs.
Pete & Christine Winmill
Pete and Christine work in a relational way to encourage and equip churches to be welcoming, accessible and relevant in reaching and discipling adults with learning disabilities with the love of Jesus. Drawing on more than 15 years of experience they offer advice and training in this largely unreached area. You will find them at Christian festivals across the UK where they provide parallel streams alongside the main programme so that everyone can access the events. Bible teaching is easy to understand and joyful worship is sensitively led. Use is made of drama, dance, art and craft in simple but not childish ways. Contact them for advice or to discuss your training needs.
Beth Mellor (Take 5 and chat)
We help set up and/or run Café Drop-in sessions, in accessible community buildings, for the sole purpose of providing support and encouragement to those parenting/caring for children with additional needs. “This is the best support ever” – parent from Whitley Bay.
Being a host organisation for a Take 5 and chat Café Drop-in enables a church to provide a safe place for families in the community. Following our model should make this a little easier! Making a room in our church available to, or setting up something in a local school for, families with additional needs says that we are here for them, we get it. Building these links may mean that we need to alter our children’s programmes and family activities! (‘All Inclusive:2U’ team)
Tim Wood and Ros Bayes (Through the Roof)
Our mission is to Transform lives through Jesus with disabled people. We provide life-changing opportunities for disabled people, and equip the Christian community to ensure disabled people can belong and contribute to God’s Kingdom. We can…
- Offer training, resources and written publications e.g. ‘A Welcoming Place: Autistic young people in church’, or ‘Parachute Bible Stories’.
- Support you to champion the needs of disabled children and adults in your church by becoming a ‘Roofbreaker’.
- Provide opportunities to serve disabled children and adults on mission trips and holidays.
John Williams (Enable Team Leader)
We serve to enable disabled people to connect with God at their level of understanding, making it clear that their lives were created intentionally, intricately and for a purpose. That God, their family and their church community love them for who they are not what they are. To help release their gifting, potential and the purpose God has for them, in the work place, home, community and in serving the church family.
High School Engagement
John shares his story with young people in schools – challenging perceptions of disability and encouraging pupils to identify areas where personal circumstances have falsely defined them. Lessons and assemblies are undertaken from a Christian perspective, providing insight into how his faith in Jesus Christ has helped John to find his true identity – not as a disabled man but as a child of God.
Enable also works with local churches, helping them to serve people with seen or unseen disabilities. This might include developing a sign language team to make sermons more accessible, the provision of braille and large-text Bibles or exploring building accessibility. Enable offers training and support for staff and volunteers, helping them to be more aware of disability needs and how to make our churches accessible, discipleship-focused communities.
Lydia Gibson (Support Development Officer)
The Lodge Trust is a Christian organisation that provides support to adults with learning disabilities, including a variety of accommodation from small group homes to independent living flats (depending on individual needs and wishes) at our site in Rutland. Fully trained Christian staff are available 24/7 to support residents. Monday to Friday we have an on-site work and education service for all residents and for anyone else in the local community who wishes to access it. Opportunities include woodwork, craft, catering and horticulture as well as a variety of short and long courses accredited through ASDAN.
Other services include our family support group, meeting monthly and over Facebook, and support for churches to become more accessible. We also offer monthly on-site accessible worship services for all and a special track at the Word Alive conference in conjunction with ‘Count Everyone In’.
In addition to this, we offer camping and caravan sites and disability-accessible holiday cabins.
Mark Arnold (Urban Saints)
‘All Inclusive?’ Most children’s and youth workers want to include children of all abilities and
needs in what they do, but many struggle to make this a reality. There are many different areas of additional need or disability, and helping each child to belong can present a range of challenges and opportunities!
Through our ‘All Inclusive?’ training seminars and workshops, we can help you to:
- Explode some of the myths surrounding working with children and young people with additional needs and disabilities.
- Look at some of the key strategies that you can use to make what you offer more inclusive, helping to create places of belonging.
- Identify some of the amazing benefits that inclusion can bring to your whole group.
- We’ll also highlight some further ideas and follow up resources that you can use as you work though this with your teams.
Claire Dexter (Urban Saints) All Inclusive:2U
‘All Inclusive:2U’ is an exciting opportunity, offering a bespoke consultancy service to all churches. A member of the team can visit your church and join in with your church service, or young people’s/children’s session. We will offer advice, strategies, resources and feedback tailored to the needs of individuals with additional needs, to maximise inclusion, accessibility and belonging at your church.
‘All Inclusive:2U’ team members have a wealth of experience of working with children, young people and adults with additional needs in a range of settings.