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12 March 2015

Is your church inclusive to those with additional needs?

Is your church inclusive to those with additional needs?

Photo credit: Club Capernaum

Are you fully inclusive of those with special or additional needs? This is the question that Alliance member organisation and Churches for All partner Urban Saints is asking of you and your church as part of their new project to inspire and equip churches to involve all children and young people, regardless of ability.

In recent years interest has grown from churches looking for advice and resources for children with special needs so they can support them in their children's programmes.

The issues are wide ranging and complicated. Some children need one-to-one support or a separate area.

All Inclusive: 2U is designed to enable churches and youth groups to ensure they are fully inclusive of children and young people with special and additional needs. Urban Saints are offering churches an experienced team member to join in with church activities and offer advice, strategies, resources and feedback to maximise inclusion and provide tailored support.

Mark Arnold, All Inclusive:2U team leader, said: "As many as one in five children and young people have an additional need of some kind. We owe it to them to make sure they can access all that we offer and be fully included.

"Over the last three years, Urban Saints have intentionally raised our game as we've looked to inspire, equip and enable children's and youth leaders to include everyone, whatever their ability, in all that they do."

Urban Saints have also set up an additional needs alliance –a group of people working to see attitudes changed and challenges overcome in the area of special and additional needs. This is a forum for discussion about ways to support children and their families and to raise awareness of the subject on the local and national church agenda;a place to seek advice and share details of events and training.

Urban Saints are working with churches and Christians across the UK, Ireland and overseas to show the relevance of Jesus Christ to young people and children, resourcing weekly church groups to reach more than 45,000 children and young people between the ages of four and 18 and organising holidays, missions and training.

Urban Saints: Energize have also produced
top tips for groups on this topic.