A big pile of colourful resource boxes piled up ready to be given away at NYMW in Birmingham this November

Have you ever been invited?

3rd Jan 2022

Have you ever been invited? How did it make you feel? We all like to be invited, to be included, to belong, but for one in five children and young people across the UK being invited is a feeling that they rarely experience.

Children and young people with additional needs are often excluded from a wide range of activities, and this can include children’s and youth groups. At Urban Saints we’ve responded to this challenge by teaming up with Youthscape to create an exciting, brand- new resource called ‘Invited to Belong’ that inspires, equips, and enables children’s and youth workers to reach out to, and invite to belong, children and young people with additional needs in their communities. We’ve been thrilled to launch ‘Invited to Belong’ together, at the National Youth Ministry Weekend (NYMW) in November, where we’ve been able to place this resource in the hands of 700 youth workers!

‘Invited to Belong’ is made up of six resources:

  1. Inspiration for Belonging: Stories about accessibility and inclusion done well.
  2. Stories of Belonging: What Jesus taught us about inclusion.
  3. Barriers to Belonging: Resources to learn more about additional needs and identify barriers.
  4. Enabling Belonging: Changes to put in place to transform young peoples’ experience of youth group and church.
  5. A Vision for Belonging: A checklist and resource to help create a vision for accessibility, inclusion and belonging.
  6. Invitation to Belong: Sample letters and invitation templates to use to invite young people with additional needs to children’s and youth work.

One youth worker at the NYMW event commented “Really inspirational, thank you for the incredible resource! Great job!”.

Another said, “Great to listen to Mark Arnold from Urban Saints talking about a new resource to equip churches to be more welcoming and inclusive to young people with additional needs. This is so important and central to the gospel.”

We hope that even more children’s and youth workers will find ‘Invited to Belong’ an inspiring, informing, challenging and fruitful resource that helps them to create a place in their youth work where everyone belongs.

To find out more about 'Invited to Belong' or to order a copy of the resource for £17 plus £3.60 p&p go to www.urbansaints.org/ invitedtobelong