Disability and the Church ABC: Cardiff

Disability and the Church ABC: Cardiff

Disability and the Church ABC: Cardiff

Fe'ch gwahoddir i ddathliad!
You are invited to a celebration!

Mwynhewch addoliad hygyrch
• Enjoy accessible worship
Clywch straeon ffydd gan bobl leol
• Hear faith stories from local people
Casglwch adnoddau i’ch eglwys
• Gather resources for your church

Digwyddiad am ddim / Free event

Dyddiad/Date: Dydd Sadwrn 24 Mehefin 2023 / Sat 24th June 2023
Amser/Time: 10am (i ddechrau 10:30am) tan 3:30pm / 10am (10:30 start) to 3:30pm
Lleoliad/Venue: Highfields Church Monthermer Road Cathays Cardiff CF24 4QW

Dewch i gael eich ysbrydoli i alluogi mwy o bobl anabl i gael mynediad i, perthyn a chymryd rhan yng nghenhadaeth yr eglwys leol.

Come and be inspired and equipped as we continue the journey to enable more disabled people to access, belong and participate in the mission of the church in Cardiff.

Fe'ch gwahoddir i ddathliad! Mwynhewch addoliad hygyrch. Clywch straeon ffydd gan bobl leol. Casglwch adnoddau i’ch eglwys.

You are invited to a celebration! Enjoy some accessible worship, hear experiences from local people, share ideas and gather resources to use in your church and community.

Darperir te, coffi a lluniaeth ysgafn. Dewch â phecyn bwyd gyda chi.

Tea coffee and light refreshments will be provided. Please bring a packed lunch.

Mae'r digwyddiad am ddim, ond cofrestrwch fel y byddwn ni'n gwybod faint o bobl i’w disgwyl.

The event is free, but please register so we know how many people to expect.

Rhowch wybod os oes gennych unrhyw ofynion o ran mynediad.

Please let us know if you have any specific access requirements.

Os oes gennych unrhyw gwestiynau am y digwyddiad neu'r broses archebu, cysylltwch â katie@throughtheroof.org neu 07857 896592. Bydd dehongliad Iaith Arwyddion Prydain ar gael ar y diwrnod.

Contact Katie at Through the Roof katie@throughtheroof.org or 07857 896592. British Sign Language interpretation will be available on the day.

Cewch hyd i fapiau a chyfarwyddiadau i'r lleoliad drwy ddilyn y ddolen hon

Find maps and directions to the venue by following this link

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 5

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 5

We've got a fantastic Wheels for the World team in Yumbe, Uganda for the next ten days. The team are reporting back with regular blogs. Here's the third report. Please continue to pray for the team in their ongoing work. Thank you for your support.

Yumbe Blog 5 (Days eleven to thirteen) May 12–14th 2023


After meeting the HHA team for a brief debrief we loaded the minibus and headed for our R&R day at the Murchison Falls National Park.  We were excited when at last we left the bumpy unmade dusty road as we had bounced up and down in the back of the minibus whilst our amazing driver negotiated puddles, potholes, road works, broken tarmac with cars, lorries or heavily laden bicycles and motor bikes often approaching in narrow spaces or blind corners.

We stopped for lunch in Aura and sampled ‘real’ Ugandan food as opposed to the English food that every hotel offers. In the refugee camp we had offal and intestines with maize meal for lunch which some of us found quite challenging so the chance to try other dishes was appealing. The menu was varied and included fish dishes using talipia, (fried, dried, filleted, stewed), poshko, (maize meal), muchombo (grilled goat), matoke (mashed plantain), greens and chapati. Delicious until you realise you have another 3 hours siting in the minibus.

As we approached our destination – Red Chilli Rest Camp – at sunset, we were excited to see our first game animals which gave us a taste of what was to come.  Impala, water buck, giraffe in the distance, small monkeys, baboons, warthog and Cape buffalo welcomed us to our destination. Red Chilli Rest Camp lived up to its name as the team chilled after an exhausting but very rewarding week.  It is situated out in the bush above the Albert Nile, with hippo visiting at night by our rooms to feed before slipping back into the shallow river the snooze during the day.

Two members of the team work on the van, crawling under the back, while another team member watches As our minibus had a flat battery we walked to the river jetty and boarded our small boat for a 3-hour safari up the River Nile to Murchison Falls and back with very informative Rangers.  John, our photographer, was in his element as we saw an array of wildlife which included plentiful hippo, crocodiles – one of whom slithered into the water with a big splash – colobus monkeys, antelopes, water buck, warthog and a wide variety of birds.  Since his camera has mega telephoto lens the smallest details were captured as lasting memories.

After a refreshing drink we proceeded to the top of Murchison Falls but were held up at the check point as we had to pay extra fees to get to the Falls.  We are not sure why it took 45 minutes in 32C     for such a transaction! However, it was worth the wait as suddenly we saw spectacular views of water, from the world’s longest river, pounding through a 7-metre gap sending a cooling spay over everyone whilst dropping 43 metres at 300 cubic metres per second. For once we were all quiet as we were mesmerised by the sheer scale and grandeur of the world’s most powerful waterfall.

A view over the top of Murchison FallsLiving life to the full before spending 6 hours in our minibus going back to the airport, we rose at 0530 to join a convoy of tourists watching the sun rise over the African bush.  Our driver told us that we were extremely blessed to see so many animals as sometimes he has driven people for two days without seeing such variety.  We saw a herd of giraffes cross the road in front of us, a family of elephants – mum leading her two babies and dad following behind, lions resting in the trees and Cape buffalo snoozing in a mud pool.  After such a challenging but fruitful time at  BidiBidi it was a wonderful end to our adventure.  In our final devotions we reflected on the many challenges the people we have been serving face daily and how their Christian faith is vibrant and real.

Enos will be spending the next four days travelling back to Zanzibar whilst we will all be back in the U.K. in 12 hours.  It has been a wonderful gift to all of us to serve and be served by His people in this place. “He raises the poor from the dust and the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour”. 1 Samuel 2.8.

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 4

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 4

We've got a fantastic Wheels for the World team in Yumbe, Uganda for the next ten days. The team are reporting back with regular blogs. Here's the third report. Please continue to pray for the team in their ongoing work. Thank you for your support.

Yumbe Blog 4 (Days nine to ten) May 10–11th 2023

Can you believe that the container was released yesterday and will be at the HHA Compound tomorrow whilst the team is driving to Murchison Falls! Very frustrating and disappointing as we all know that a ‘proper distribution’ is so different. We wanted to come and personally distribute all the equipment in the container, but instead are leaving the HHA team with a lot of extra work to fit into their already crowded programme.

However, we have been able to spend quality time with 41 beneficiaries reviewing equipment previously given and fitting a small number of wheelchairs, mostly to children with complex needs. This provided invaluable opportunities for HHA wheelchair technicians to have in-depth teaching and mentoring about different specialist wheelchairs when seating more complex clients. God’s ways are not always our ways, so we are learning to go with the flow! If the container had arrived, we would not have reviewed 11 clients each of whom had a story to share.

Today we visited Palorinya refugee camp, Moyo, travelling two hours to get there. We passed the border controls into South Sudan where a crowd of people could be seen; some were there to enforce illegal crossings whilst others were trying to enter Uganda. This was a reminder that still today there are horrible events happening causing people to leave their home, land and belongings in the hope that they can at least hold onto their lives. Scovia, who has worked with us each day, told us her story of leaving South Sudan as a refugee in 2017. She left everything behind except some clothing and walked 30km to the border carrying her 3-month-old baby which she said was very frightening. Her husband, a pharmacist, stayed in South Sudan so that he could earn, but in remaining risked his own life. Scovia told us that on arriving at the camp she was given a water can, some soap, beans, rice, salt, a blanket, a mat and a piece of tarpaulin and shown a small area of land to make a home. Scovia still fears returning to South Sudan and Agnes, the lead Community Based Rehabilitation Worker, identified ‘mental torture’ as the greatest challenge which needs addressing to restore hope.

A member of the wheels team helps Peter, a five year old boy, to stand up in his new special boots. He's smiling at the camera, while his mother looks and smiles at him from behind.On the camp we saw mainly disabled children and were able to give out some chairs. Two women had left at 0600 with their disabled child and some sibling to walk 5 km in the hope of receiving a wheelchair. This shows how desperate people are for help in caring for their disabled children. Another child Peter, (5 yrs old) could stand but wobbled badly. When fitted with a pair of special Pedro boots which improved his ankle stability, he was able to walk to the delight of his mother. He was given a wheelchair so will now be able to go to school and will be supplied with a walking frame when the container is unloaded.

The are many things we take for granted in the developed western world, so several incidences reminded us of the daily struggles here. We had a power surge that ‘fried’ chargers for laptops and phones hindering John who takes our photos and all of us relying on a charged phone and Dave’s hotspot. During our distribution under a spreading tree to use some shade as the temperature was a mere 32C, a very poisonous Green Tree Snake fell down directly beside therapists working with the child. The father grabbed the child as Moses, our partner techie, killed it with a strong stick so we could resume work.

On our return journey the road conditions had changed as it had rained, so the hard dusty road quickly turned into mud and massive puddles. When we went down a ravine and tried to go up the other side there was a spectacular thump, so the driver stopped at the top to see his spare tyre at the bottom of a soggy flooded road. David, our pastor, joined Ema our driver, lying under the back of the vehicle trying to clip it back into position. Probably a regular occurrence but challenging none the less!

Free event: Sensory Processing and Church Accessibility

Free event: Sensory Processing and Church Accessibility

You’re invited to join us on Saturday 20th May from 10.30am to noon for a free Through the Roof online event on ‘Sensory Processing and Church Accessibility’.

We’re excited to welcome Naomi Graham as our speaker. Naomi runs ‘Growing Hope’, a charity providing free therapy for children and young people with additional needs in partnership with local churches across the UK.

Naomi is a children’s occupational therapist by training and will discuss how we process the world around us, how God speaks to us through our senses and how we can apply that practically to our church ministries.

The event is open to all, so please join us, and pass on the information to anyone you think may be interested!

The event will be on Zoom, on Saturday 20th May 10.30am – 12.00 noon.

The event is free, but you’ll need to follow this link to register before attending. To find out more, contact the TTR office info@throughtheroof.org or ring 01372 749955.

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 3

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 3

We've got a fantastic Wheels for the World team in Yumbe, Uganda for the next ten days. The team are reporting back with regular blogs. Here's the third report. Please continue to pray for the team in their ongoing work. Thank you for your support.

Yumbe Blog 3 (Days seven to eight) May 8–9th 2023

It has been a difficult two days as the wheelchairs still have not arrived and our original plans had to change, but the team pulled together and drew on each other’s strengths to make these days positive. The team visited two different areas of Bidi Bidi camp.  Yesterday we travelled two hours each way to Zone 4, and then today three hours to Zone 5 when we had to turn back and find another route as the steep river crossing was obstructed by work on a new bridge.  Travelling provided lots of photo opportunities of day-to-day living – repairing leaking hut roofs with thatch, working in the fields tending crops, fetching water from village pumps and selling fruit beside the road. 

We met one child aged 9, at his home where he lived with his aunty and mother.  His mother told us that when he was born his father left as soon as he found out his child had a disability. This is a common story here in Africa where fathers leave because they believe that disability is caused by a curse which they fear.  Our aim is to show disabled people respect and love in the hope that we are modelling positive attitudes and in a small way maybe influencing change.

In each of the Zones we met beneficiaries who mainly had complex needs. The therapists gave advice on postural support including sleep positioning to protect body shape in people with complex disabilities, as well as fitting recipients to wheelchairs that would best support their needs. The HHA team here reported back that they have learnt a lot from working alongside the therapists. They particularly valued learning more about how to manage clients with complex disabilities inducing how to improve good head positions for feeding and swallowing properly.

A group of people from the area batting some balloons to each otherWherever we go we seem to attract a crowd of people and these two days on the camp was no exception. Shortly after we arrived a trickle of onlookers turned into a flood. Children came from nowhere and soon Lynne had them involved in ripping foam to fill cushion covers used for postural support. Towards the end of day puppets were given out with much amusement and later balloons and bubbles provided entertainment with fun and laughter.

Today a crowd of children gathered around a family as our pastor David was sharing the Gospel and praying. His message was that the recipient was not just accepted but was also special to God. As David talked, more adults and children pressed forward to watch and listen, some inside the church climbed the wall to reach the small upper windows behind him, holding onto the bars to lift themselves up to see. It reminded us of the story in the Bible where the man was lowered from the roof because the crowds were gathered too tightly to see and hear Jesus. We felt that this was a scene that perfectly represented the ethos Through the Roof.

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 2

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 2

We've got a fantastic Wheels for the World team in Yumbe, Uganda for the next ten days. Jill, one of the team members, is reporting back with regular blogs. Here's the second report. Please continue to pray for and support the team, as they wait for the wheelchair container to arrive, and do all the work they can to prepare.

Yumbe Blog 2 (Days four to six) May 5–7th 2023

We were delighted to reach the HHA Rehabilitation Centre at last and had the fabulous opportunity to rekindle relationships with the HHA staff some of us had previously worked with in 2019. We had the joy of seeing how far they have developed and the new skills they had learnt. Being conscious of empowering the staff with their evolving skills, we worked together but encouraged the HHA Wheelchair Technicians to take the lead and show us how they assess and provide wheelchairs to the beneficiaries. We collaborated, problem-solving how we best meet their needs and reflecting on how we all as therapists never get the chair set up ‘right’ first time and tweaking is required. The HHA staff were visibly encouraged hearing this and this further served to strengthen our relationships with us serving alongside them.

We met Micheal, the Commandant of the Bidi Bidi camp, who is a very Government official for a office of the Prime Minister. David, our Pastor,  gave him a Bible from a member of his congregation which he gratefully and slightly emotionally received.

The newly built HHA Rehab Centre here is very well equipped and they were rightly proud of all that has been achieved to set up this place. The technician in the orthotic and prosthetic making department showed us each stage of the manufacturing process and the shoemaker explained the process of making special shoes. We were told that the timescale from measuring a person to them receiving their prosthetic leg was two days! Many of the people who come have lost a leg due to a bullet wound or an accident inflicted during the conflicts in South Sudan. It is a sobering thought to think that the people here on this peaceful camp have fled from a very different environment to seek refuge here. 

HHA provided delicious lunch of local food before we headed back to the centre to meet 4 beneficiaries who were waiting to meet the team. One of the children who was a young girl of 6 years old who came with her mother for a wheelchair and actually left with a walking frame as we found she was able to walk. The therapy assessment raised hopes that this young girl with the right corrective footwear and a walking frame to support her in standing was what she needed. It was a blessing that among the equipment that we brought in our case there was a pair of Pedro boots (special support boots) that had been donated that fitted her well.  Some of our technicians together with the HHA team were very creative in modifying an adult walking frame to so that she could use it for support.   What a delight to see this girl walking and even trying to kick a ball. 

David, a member of the Wheels for the World team, preaches while holding his notes. A colleague from Uganda stands next to him, helping and translating.On Sunday the team attended the Amazing Grace Baptist Church where we were given a very warm welcome. Our pastor David was asked to give the sermon today to the church. He gave a very powerful and heartfelt word that touched many hearts.  There was vibrant worship with the children singling and dancing all doing  ‘the right sort of moves’, accompanied by the energetic  worship in the church.  

After church we again met with a girl called Winnie, who had actually visited us yesterday but unfortunately we were unable to provide her with a chair as we had none that would fit her.  Having her return today we had the pleasure of seating her, advising on postural support and then gave her a Bible and the whole team prayed together with her and her mother surrounded by children with knitted puppets. This was a special time as her mother prayed too and spoke of how her heart was overjoyed with the gifts her daughter had received today. Winnie soon demonstrated her ability to self propel the chair and her joy in this freedom was written all over her smiling face. 

Follow this link to read the first blog post from the trip

Follow this link to read the next blog post from the trip.

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 1

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 1

We've got a fantastic Wheels for the World team in Yumbe, Uganda for the next ten days. Jill, one of the team members, is reporting back with regular blogs. Here's the first report, looking at the trip and the days of set up. Please continue to pray for and support the team, as they wait for the wheelchair container to arrive, and begin their preparations.

Yumbe Blog 1 (Days one to three) May 2–4th 2023

The long 3 day journey is finally over and our team is complete with Enos joining us from Zanzibar. Our hotel in Yumbe was a welcome destination after two days travelling from Entebbe in a minibus, initially over fast tarmac but latterly experiencing the bumps and potholes of unmade roads. As the scenery changed from city to smaller towns and eventually mud hut villages scattered amongst vast landscapes of open country, we were being immersed in the sounds and sights of Ugandan life. So many contrasts from life at home; women carrying huge bowls of fruit on their heads, young children pumping water into large plastic bottles, boys cycling with piles of sticks on the back of their bikes and men chatting in groups under trees. David, our pastor, has met people who told him “we love the whites that you come here to help us”, and another said that attitudes towards disability are shifting by the work that is being done. Praise God, but there is still much to do and we are a small link into a very long chain.

Today we were delayed at the ferry crossing for two hours so we soaked up the atmosphere of the local community and ‘got into the zone’! The riverside scenery was stunning, with great clumps of reeds and rushes being swept along the river showing that the current was quite strong, whilst cows, goats and the occasional baboon crossed our path. Ladies are frying fish over an open fire and cooking mandizi (deep fried scone) so we decided to have some for lunch. As the sun was hot we found shade under a tree where children were playing. Almost immediately a young girl of 8 came out from nowhere with some plastic chairs – a totally spontaneous ‘from the heart’ gesture – which we acknowledged by giving them some puppets. Soon fingers were placed in the arms and suddenly these knitted items came with life with smiles all round as Lucie and David encouraged play activities and story telling. 

Soon we were back into the minibus with the most challenging road conditions ahead of us. Thankfully it did not rain, unlike yesterday when the storm was so severe the windscreen wipers were blown off, so the luggage on the roof was dry and the road was hard but very dusty. We are meeting our Hope Health Action Partners tomorrow to make alternative plans as our container has not arrived at the Bidibidi Refugee Camp yet. Please continue to pray that God will help us to enrich the lives of those clients awaiting a mobility aid.

Follow this link to the second blog post

News Release: Finding funding for an accessible church

News Release: Finding funding for an accessible church

4th May 2023

Disability charity Through the Roof has created a webpage to show churches and ministries where to find funding for building work to improve disabled access. It’s available now on their website and at this link: https://bit.ly/ObtainFunding

Katie Mobbs from Through the Roof shares: “I’m a Christian, and a wheelchair user. It can be challenging to access some church buildings in my wheelchair, as many have steps, heavy doors and fixed pews that limit access. Many churches want to open up their buildings more for disabled people but are not sure where to start. That’s why I’m excited about our webpage about funding for access improvements! I’d love all churches to know there are funding bodies that want to help – so please do visit the webpage and tell others about it.”

“My own church is really positive about disability inclusion and it is wonderful that they want to make sure everyone is able to have full accessibility and a chance to belong in church. We know that finances are tight for churches currently – so it is more important than ever to know how to get funds.”

Making your church more accessible is a journey – you don’t have to get everything right straight away. Just get started and remember that small things can make a big difference.

Here are some key tips from the webpage about finding funding:

  1. There are many different funding organisations for churches such as the National Churches Trust or the Benefact Trust – many offer advice as well as sources of funding.
  2. If your church building is used for community activities, ensure you flag that to funders – many more funds are available for community-used buildings than for church-use alone.
  3. Building work to provide access for disabled people is zero-rated for VAT – make sure you get an appropriate certificate to give to your builder so you don’t pay VAT.

Through the Roof helps churches and Christian ministries become accessible, providing ...

  • a FREE 2 hour Zoom Disability Awareness workshop for churches who appoint a disability champion or ‘Roofbreaker’
  • access to our free downloadable ‘Church Toolkit’ and 'Removing Barriers' church accessibility audit, available to all Roofbreaker disability champions
  • ongoing support, monthly emails, events, Facebook and Roofbreaker Networks.

Find out how your church can be blessed by the full involvement of disabled people at: https://throughtheroof.org/forchurches/

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About Through the Roof

Through the Roof is a Christian disability inclusion charity whose name is inspired by the Bible account in Luke 5. Our mission is to transform lives through Jesus with disabled people. We do this through three distinct but interlinked elements:

  • Enabling Faith: Equipping churches and Roofbreakers (local disability champions) to enable disabled people to participate and belong in Christian life.
  • Bringing Freedom: The ‘Wheels for the World’ project provides disabled people in developing countries with wheelchairs and Bibles.
  • Sharing Fellowship: Our Christian-focused accessible holidays, retreats and groups bring fun and friendships for all.

Visit www.throughtheroof.org or @TTRChangesLives on social media.

For more information please contact:
Janet Eardley (janet@throughtheroof.org) or
Annette Stuart (annette@throughtheroof.org)
Through the Roof
Alpha House, Alpha Place,
Garth Road,
Morden, Surrey, SM4 4TQ
Tel: 01372 749955 www.throughtheroof.org