A Gift For Wheels
On Monday 8th April, representatives from the Redeemed Church of God visited us at Through the Roof's office with a £10,000 cheque for the work of Wheels for the World. Pastor Andrew Adeleke of the House of Praise church presented CEO Jacky Oliver with the cheque, and made a speech saying the people of RCCG wanted to bless the people in Haiti.
We praise God that we have now received £17,000 for Wheels for Haiti, exceeding our original goal of £10,000 and bringing us close to our new goal of £25,000. The reports from Haiti show that the need is greater than we first envisaged, so we have set a new target to assist with volunteers, therapists, flights and to increase the size of the distribution.
Chris Grayling MP Gives a Helpful Push to Wheels for Haiti
Chris Grayling, MP and Shadow Home Secretary (at the time of writing), recently helped Christian disability charity Through the Roof launch an appeal for wheelchairs for Haiti. Speaking at an event supported by the Horton Golf Club in Epsom, Surrey on the 26th March, he encouraged attendees to support the work in Haiti. The charity is aiming to raise £25,000 to take chairs, physiotherapists and technicians to Haiti and meet desperate long-term needs.
The Haiti earthquake of 12th January shocked us all and captured headlines. Groups in the country say it will take years for life to return to normal, but as reconstruction begins and stories fade from the headlines, the need continues. Over 300,000 people were injured in the quake, and there is a huge requirement for wheelchairs and therapists. With over ten years of expertise, Through the Roof is well equipped to respond. They collect used wheelchairs, have them refurbished by UK prisoners to the high standard needed for rough terrain and distribute them in developing countries.
A wheelchair can change lives and bring independence to whole families. Wheelchairs are given according to need regardless of the recipient’s faith, and each recipient is offered a bible in their own language. Team members speak in churches and community halls, spreading the message of including disabled people.
Chris Grayling said, “Wheels for the World is hugely valued by many disabled people in countries that have so little”. The event raised £2000 towards work in Haiti – specific giving that will provide a specific resource for a specific need.
TTR Board & Council of Reference
- Bruce Fox - Chairman
- David Dawson - Deputy Chairman
- John Brown
- Simon Nicholson
- Dr Mike Townsend
- Rev John Naudé
Tim & Abigail 'Live@Nine' on Revelation TV
TTR development manager, Tim Wood, and young role model, Abigail Smith appeared on Revelation TV's 'Live@Nine' programme on the 15th April 2010. They spoke about autism, and about how churches can help those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The programme will be repeated in future -- please check www.revelationtv.com to find out more.
- Follow this link to find ten ways that churches can help those with autism
- Follow this link to download a social story about singing in church
Social Story -- Singing in Church
Social stories are short stories used to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to interpret challenging or confusing social situations. They describe situations, attempt to explain the perspectives of others and often suggest an appropriate response. Here's an example of a social story about why people sing in church, and what might be appropriate behaviour.
Ten Ways Churches Can Help Autistic People
Each autistic person is different, but here are ten general pointers that will assist many autistic people…
Knowing what to expect
- Knowing what to expect is really helpful for autistic people. Information on the church website, including photos or a video, can be particularly helpful for any autistic person to know what to expect when coming to your church
- An order of service, a visual timetable, or a clear explanation at the beginning of a service or meeting can help an autistic person to know what is going to happen and to be able to take part.
Sensory processing support
- Sensory overload can be distressing for autistic people. If bright or flashing lighting is going to be used, please ensure clear warning is given
- Loud noises can also cause sensory overload. If amplification is loud or noises are sudden this can cause difficulties. Those involved in worship and audio visuals should be made aware of this
- If possible, have an area identified as a space for ‘time out’ in the event that autistic people need to retreat for a while if they experience sensory overload
- Many autistic people dislike being touched. Handshaking, or hugging, as part of the welcome to church or as part of sharing the peace, can cause great discomfort. Make sure people are given the space they require
- If an autistic person experiences sensory overload, this may result in a ‘meltdown’ or ‘shutdown’. In children, this is often interpreted as a temper tantrum. It is important for everyone to realise that this something that is happening to the individual and is out of their control. It is helpful not to judge, but to give the opportunity of somewhere quiet to cool down
- Social situations can be exhausting for autistic people. Take time somewhere quiet to be able to sit and get to know each other, and to find out what gifts and talents the autistic person may like to share with others too.
Nominating a Roofbreaker champion
- Have a ‘Roofbreaker’ (disability champion) at your church. This gives a clear point of contact for anyone to be able to mention any challenges they may be experiencing relating to autism, or any disability. It also encourages everyone at the church to be more disability-aware
- Churches with a Roofbreaker will receive free resources and have access to free training from Through the Roof. Follow this up to ensure autistic people, and anyone experiencing disability, can feel truly welcomed and included in your church.
For more information, or to register as a Roofbreaker, follow this link: https://throughtheroof.org/forchurches/roofbreakers/