It was wonderful meeting so many of you at the Growing Hope stall and around the site at New Wine United this year. We loved hearing your stories of accessibility from around the UK as well as being able to talk to some of you about how to welcome more people into your churches and communities.
A story which we shared was about Ellie and her mother Lara, who had been struggling due to Ellie being rejected from her schools after school provision due to her needs.
Lara had become upset during a group session at one of the Growing Hope clinics, and through her chatting with one of the therapists, she was able to get support for Ellie after school and was invited to church that Sunday which was held in the same building. Lara not only came to church that Sunday but also came to the welcome meal afterwards and is keen to continue being part of community there. The partnership between the church and the clinic, not only giving practical support to both Ellie and Lara but also helping to share the hope we have in Jesus with those who hadn’t previously experienced it.
If your church would like to become a place which can reach those who have additional needs, enabling them to be seen, heard, able to belong and join in then we can help. We can run an accessibility award at your church where we can celebrate what you are already doing well whilst also offering any practical tools which could help more individuals to feel welcomed and part of the church family.
We also train facilitators to support your local community through our Siblings Group and When Dreams Change courses which is designed to help the siblings, parents, and carers of children with additional needs.