On Friday 5th December, Liverpool & South Sefton Christian Disability Network hosted a Christmas craft event at Rowan Park special needs school in Litherland.
The aim of the event was to be as inclusive as possible for those of all ages with a variety of additional needs, special needs or disabilities, together with their families and carers.
The inspiration came from a series of meetings between members of St. Oswald’s Netherton parish and The Salvation Army who have a real heart for reaching out and seeking to help, support, and show God’s love to all with additional needs and their families and carers, in particular, those for whom regular church and church events can be a bit of a struggle. For some of the group, this is very personal as they are supporting members of their own families with additional needs.
Rev Simon Elliott, Team Vicar of Netherton Team Ministry said: 'The event was lovely. There was a really good atmosphere in a very safe and welcoming environment. We all enjoyed wrapping jelly baby Jesus in his swaddling clothes of rollout icing and laying him in his chocolate crispie cake manger, making animals for the stable, making and decorating our wise men gift bags and kingly crowns, and making shaker instruments to join in with the “heavenly” music of the angels!’
‘We had a range of fun sensory toys available in a quiet room, in case the main hall got too loud for anyone. We sang, shook our shakers and banged our tambourines along to Christmas carols and songs. And we enjoyed lovely mince pies, cupcakes and drinks.
‘We were very grateful to all who helped with it, to Rowan Park school for allowing us to use their lovely premises, to Sid who came to play the piano, and especially to those who came along and made the whole event as special as it was.’
The local Christian Disability Network includes Rev Simon Elliott, Rev Debbie Statter, Lilly Nelson and Jenny Skidmorefrom St. Oswald’s Netherton, Rachel Boyes, Salvation Army Strategic Development Officer, Lieutenant Sam Hamilton and Captain Jonathan Hamilton from Salvation Army Bootle.
St. Oswald’s Netherton also hosts the ‘grub at the hub’ café for all carers and those they care for in a fully accessible, welcoming, safe environment – great savoury and sweet food at extremely reasonable prices - on the last Saturday of each month (except December) between 12 and 3pm.
If you would like to know about future meetings and events Rev Simon Elliott would love to hear from you: 0151 520 3141 firstname.lastname@example.org.