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Supporting People Living With Special Needs and Disabilities ~ Connecting people, Changing lives…

‘Boosted for a year’: 10th Annual ASNA Carers weekend 2015

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'Boosted for Another Year'

This phrase reflected the thoughts and comments of the delegates who attended the 10th annual ASNA Carers weekend 2015 which took place at the Hellindon Lake Golf and Spa hotel during the weekend of the 30th October till the 1st November. Set in the glorious Northants country side, delegates enjoyed inspirational praise and worship led by Chris Rogers, professional spirit of God filled musician, who based his ministry on the theme - ' Trust God's Heart'. Chris also blessed the delegates with his wonderful and skilful violin playing for the worship and Carers Banquet.

Pastor Maureen Rock and Pastor Maslin Holness encouraged the Carers with their presentations. We were reminded of the promises and words of hope given in the bible by Pastors Maslin Holness (SEC Womens' Ministries Director and pastor the Palmers Green and Holcome road church). Using examples of bible characters, Pastor Rock illuminated the essence of God's will in our lives ; that we trust Him no matter what challenges or unexpected circumstances may come our way. Pastor Holness reminded us of the story of Nicodemus and how Jesus saw his heart -felt need, encouraged him to stop running from his challenging situation and follow Him and to fully believe in the message and promise he had for Him.

Morning devotional led by Lydia Ackah was said to be' life changing' Her encouraging words and admonition to think positively and 'leave your burdens at the foot of the cross' left delegates in thoughtful prayer. Carers were heard saying that the words 'impacted my thoughts and has made me want to change my way of thinking'.

Delegates who attend the weekend express how relaxing, inspiring and educational they found it. First time guest Heather who travelled all the way from Ireland had travel on every means of transport possible to be at the weekend. She had seen the advert in the messenger and was keen to attend. She expressed how much she felt that 'I am not alone. There are others who are facing the same things and that there are people in the church who are actively bringing about change to help us'. She also expressed how she felt 'encouraged and included'
being the first time.

The Sunday morning 'Looking after your health ' session led by Joni Blackwood provided excellent insight and practical ideas for making intentional changes towards a stress free life. Her practical interactive demonstrations brought on keen interest and fun while ensuring the key message of health changes were brought through.

One member expressed how she' enjoyed the fellowship' and the 'social banquet was absolutely amazing'. The Carers Gala banquet was made extra special this year being the 10th anniversary. The event, ably compared by Jacqui Bingham brought out the actors, poets and singers laying dormant in the Carers and supporters. It was also encouraging to hear delegate say that they were looking forward to next year and that they would tell their friends to attend to receive the blessing and boost for their lives. Sis Price from a South London SDA church and longstanding ASNA supporter expressed her passion for the ministry as well as how the weekend had given her a boost for not just one year but 'two years'!

We would like to thank all the team for the support and contributions into making the weekend a spirit filled, enjoyable and supportive one. Having launched the charity in 2001 and becoming a charity in 2003, ASNA launched the ASNA Carers weekend in 2005. Well over 500 places have been taken by Carers from local churches and the community. We would like to express thanks to all the ASNA volunteer Carers who have worked tirelessly to make ASNA the charity it is today.

Over the 10 years, ASNA has provided an annual residential respite weekend for Carers, produced Carers resources and launched the Living to Care project in 2013. This project supported by ADRA UK producing a training DVD and Carers manual as well as over 100 educational workshops designed to support and educate Carers in challenging circumstances.

We thank God for his continued mercies and showers of Blessing on the Carers support project and we look forward to the next Carers and families support event 'ASNA respite and training Weekend taking place at the Sunningdale Hotel near Virginia Waters on the 8 - 11th April 2016.

Sophia Nicholls
ASNA Trustee / SEC Disability and Diversity Director


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