What a difference a year has made! Last November, in partnership with our friends at Youthscape, we launched a ground-breaking, innovative new resource to help children’s and youth leaders explore and understand additional needs better; equipping them to ensure that all children and young people with additional needs are ‘Invited to Belong’. It’s been a huge success, with nearly 1,000 copies of this resource now in the hands of children’s and youth teams across the country.
A recent comment about ‘Invited to Belong’ sent to us f rom a youth leader shows the impact it is having...
“I just wanted to let you know how useful we’re finding the ‘Invited to Belong’ resource. We used some of it at our youth group team meeting this week, along with some of our young leaders, and it produced some really helpful conversation. We’ve come up with a good list of ways we can make our group better and more inclusive! We will continue to use it at future meetings. The individual fact sheets are a great source of information. Thanks for all the resources you put together. They are really invaluable.” - Youth Leader from Thrive, Leeds
We’re keen to build on this success by offering a new way to engage with the ‘Invited to Belong’ resource. Again, in collaboration with Youthscape, we will be launching a new training programme to support the resource at the Youthscape National Youth Ministry Weekend (NYMW) in November. This training programme, the sixth in the Urban Saints series of ‘All Inclusive?’ additional needs training programmes, will be used to guide children’s and youth leaders step-by-step through the six stages of the ‘Invited to Belong’ resource: ‘Inspiration’, ‘Stories of Belonging’, ‘Barriers to Belonging’, ‘Enabling Belonging’, ‘A Vision for Belonging’, and ‘Invited to Belong’.
We’ll bring them inspiring stories of inclusion done well, immerse them in the encounters that Jesus had with people with additional needs, help them to identify barriers to belonging in their own context, and equip them with the skills and knowledge to break these barriers down. We’ll work with them to craft what their own vision for belonging will say and inspire them to reach out to children and young people with additional needs to invite them to belong to all that they are doing. Every participant will receive a full-colour A4 training workbook, packed with resources, valuable factsheets, and all the training materials used. We will also create a playlist of informative videos to support the training content.
We’re so excited about this new development for ‘Invited to Belong’ and look forward to sharing more news about the training programme at its launch at NYMW in November!
Mark Arnold - Additional Needs Ministry Director