With interest in the area of working with additional needs and disabilities growing, Mark Arnold (Additional Needs Ministry Director) has been interviewed or asked to write articles or blogs by various organisations about his role and the work Urban Saints are doing.
Below are links to some of the articles, interviews and broadcasts.
The Additional Needs Blogfather
Mark writes the award winning blog, The Additional Needs Blogfather, to share experiences of parenting a young person with additional needs, tips and tricks to help children’s and youth workers who are working with children and young people with additional needs, and some insight into what the Bible has to say in this area.
Mark has written resources for our Energize website that unpack the themes and issues depicted in the films:
Last year Mark presented three short training sessions using Facebook Live (see here). In April 2018 Mark presented another Facebook Live session, with Claire Dexter from Hitchin Christian Centre, discussing the concept of running groups based around interest and not just age.
In June Mark wrote a article for Energize in the News in response to Lee Ridley who has Cerebal Palsy winning the TV show "Britain's Got Talent".
Energize in the News: 'Lost Voice Guy' wins Britain's Got Talent
In July Mark travelled to South Africa with members of his church on Urban Saints' ReBuild trip. Included in the group was an autistic young person for whom this was their first experience of being overseas away from their family. In a post on his blog after returning home Mark reflected back on this experience and some of the learnings from it.
In November Mark spoke on BBC Radio Solent about the importance of accessing the right help and information.
On September 13th, Mark co-hosted a special live-streamed conference exploring how churches can have a welcoming and accessible ministry with children and young people who have additional needs. The 'Belonging' Conference was a collaboration between the Methodist Church, Urban Saints, the Additional Needs Alliance and Count Everyone In. Read more>>
Watch Mark's Keynote Talk: ‘Belonging’ Conference
Following the Belonging Conference, Mark co-authored a resource PDF for Churches called 10 Ways to Belong.
In the January 2018 edition of Youth and Children's Work magazine Premier published an article from Mark entitled All inclusive: Getting started.
Mark is now writing monthly for Youth and Children's Work magazine. Further articles are available on their website or in the printed publication.
The Church of Scotland recently published the latest in their successful series of ‘Learn’ books, ‘Learn: Children and Young People’, focusing on the exciting and challenging journey of passing on faith to the next generation. Mark wrote a chapter for this book about additional support needs called ‘To Inclusion and Beyond’, outlining the journey through inclusion, belonging, and spiritual development for all children and young people.
In August 2017 Mark recorded a video based on the content he has contributed.
Video: To Inclusion and Beyond
Firefly are a UK based support community for caregivers or children with additional needs or disability, as well as a retailer. In 2017 Mark wrote a short series of blog posts for their site - see here.
In 2018 Firefly published further blogs from Mark:
Disability and Brexit (29th March is one year until ‘Brexit Day’)
Family Matters Institute is a national charity whose aim is to advance education for the benefit of the public in matters concerning marriage, family life and relationships. One of their projects is DAD.info, the UK's largest digital parenting club for fathers. Established in 2008, Dad.info is a new generation men’s lifestyle channel and the leading voice for dads, celebrating the changing role of dads with engaging, helpful, practical, entertaining resources and content for every stage of their journey.
Dad.info asked Mark to support them with some video’s for a new series called ‘Additional Needs Parenting’… here’s what we produced:
In August, Mark recorded started to record short vlogs for the Dad.info website:
In April they published an article from Mark on their website: Let ALL The Little Children Come To Me.
In May they published a follow up article about bullying in church of children with additional needs and their families: Tuts, Looks and Out Loud Comments
And regular monthly articles followed:
Be Devoted to One Another In Love (November)
Listen (number 66)
BRF/Parenting for Faith
Parenting for Faith exists to equip and encourage parents to raise God-connected children and teens.
In November Mark was a guest on the Parenting for Faith podcast, speaking about helping children on the autistic spectrum with God connection.
Listen to the podcast here (Mark comes in at about 6m 55sec)
Different Dream Living is a website set up to support those who care for someone with special needs and disabilities.
In November Mark wrote for the blog on their website.