Supporting churches to include people with Autism and Learning Disabilties

A trip to Keswick

photo from Keswick Convention website

photo from Keswick Convention website

It started out a few years ago when our group was much smaller.  Prospects (www.prospects.org.uk) run a week for people with learning disabilities at various conventions and Keswick  http://www.keswickministries.org/convention/special-celebrations  is our nearest one…although still a good hour and a half drive away.

So this year despite schools finishing too late for us to go on our usual day (Tuesday so we could join in the workshop too), we are taking nearly 40 people up to Keswick on the Friday to celebrate with our brothers and sisters from other parts of the country.

The Good News Group members are VERY excited.

I and the other leaders, on the other hand,  have needed to plan this carefully. You can’t just take 40 people, including 8 wheelchair users, a few more with limited mobility, autism and other needs on a trip without some careful thought towards their safeguarding and well-being.

So as, with a school trip we have written a risk assessment, had it ok’d by our PCC, sent out letters, collected money towards transport costs and will collect any medical and contact details for the day that we need. Some of our leaders are already in Keswick for the week and will have all the details too so they can support us if an accident happened on our travels (please, if you pray, pray for our safe travel!)

We have borrowed a minibus from another church which I can drive (having a minibus test certificate) and we have hired a community transport minibus which can take wheelchairs. Added to that will be 3-4 cars, some carrying people with wheelchairs too.

PHEW!

I will also prepare a visual sheet to explain where we are going and what we will be doing there, using pictures from previous years, for those who have not been before.

I am so grateful to all the Team members and carers who are helping to make this possible.

All I can say now is : “WATCH OUT PROSPECTS! THE GOOD NEWS GROUP FROM LEYLAND ARE COMING TO WORSHIP,  PRAISE AND FELLOWSHIP WITH YOU AND WE ARE VERY EXCITED!”

I hope to be able to post some pictures with permission, when we return.

If you have a group or support people with additional needs in church, please don’t be afraid of going out and about. A risk assessment and preparation is worth all the hard work – and for us meeting other groups like ours is so encouraging.

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