Articles, Interviews & Broadcasts

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.

2017 Articles, Interviews & 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.

The Additional Needs Blogfather blog

Urban Saints

Mark has written resources for our Energize website that unpack the themes and issues depicted in the films:

Energize at the Movies: Life, Animated

Energize at the Movies: Wonder

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. 

All Inclusive? Live -  children’s peer groups: same age or shared interest?

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.

Can you take young people with additional needs on overseas mission?

In November Mark spoke on BBC Radio Solent about the importance of accessing the right help and information.

Care for Carers: Making Connections

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.

In January 2018 Premier Christian Radio aired an interview with Mark about supporting children and young people with additional needs.

Listen here

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.

Find out more

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:

Disabled Access Day

Epilepsy Awareness Day ‘Purple Day’

Disability and Brexit (29th March is one year until ‘Brexit Day’)

National Sibling Day

Stress Awareness and Support for Special Needs Families

Swept Away, But Saved!

Teacher’s Day – Being An Additional Needs Teacher AND Parent

The Human Swiss Army Knife

International Day of Families - Who is in Your Family?

Men’s Health Week - Special Needs Dads Need Support

Autistic Pride Day - Because He’s Worth It!

‘Lost Voice Guy’ wins Britain’s Got Talent

Additional Needs Parenting: Unpredictable, Impactful, Inspirational

Can You Take Young People With Additional Needs On Overseas Mission?

Posh Brands, Designer Clothing and Additional Needs Parenting

Surviving the Diagnosis

Answering Children's Questions About Additional Needs and How Winnie The Pooh Helps

Halloween and Children With Additional Needs

Autism, Epilepsy and the One-in-three Chance of Both

Tuts, Looks and Loud Comments

A Letter to Our "Other" Child

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, the UK's largest digital parenting club for fathers. Established in 2008, 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. asked Mark to support them with some video’s for a new series called ‘Additional Needs Parenting’… here’s what we produced:

Dad’s Edition – Overview 


‘A day in the life’ of a parent and child with additional needs  

Six FAQ’s about parenting a child with additional needs 

In August, Mark recorded started to record short vlogs for the website:

Summer Time, Quality Time

Back to School Tips

Additional Needs Parenting and Halloween

Key Ministry promotes meaningful connection between churches and families of kids with disabilities for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ.

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:

The Lord's Prayer and Special-Needs Parenting (June)

Parents Out Of Fuel - Being Specific in Our Prayers (July)

Posh Brands, Designer Labels and Additional / Special Needs Parenting (August)

Accessible Jesus: Encounters With People With Special Needs (September)

Are Parents to Blame for Their Child's Disability? (October)

Be Devoted to One Another In Love (November)

In August Mark joined our friends from Youthscape on their regular podcast to discuss how to plan and lead youth work that supports young people with additional needs.

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.

A Dad's Perspective