ASNA was launched on the first of December 2001 at the Advent Centre, London. A concert of music and drama celebrated the 'birth' of an association 'whose time had come'. Participants included people with and without disabilities. ASNA concerts & events aim to provide an opportunity for people of all abilities to use their skills and talents in whichever way possible.
ASNA became a charity in November 2003 and worked towards the development of support networks and projects aimed at raising awareness and promoting inclusion and involvement of people with special needs.
We have organised eight annual respite and training weekends. All the weekends have taken place in the beautiful UK countryside. During the weekends families living with disability meet for mutual emotional and social support. There are theme-specific workshops for parents and carers. Children and adults with special needs also attend as an inclusive programme is provided, supported by trained and checked volunteer carers.
The development of ASNA was initiated by the birth of Matthew Nicholls born on the 21st May 1996 to Sophia and Nigel Nicholls.Matthew was born blind with severe learning and physical difficulties.Keen to raise the awareness of special needs to the national Adventist church community and the effects having a disability can have on the lives of those affected, Sophia and Nigel established the Adventist Special Needs Association.ASNA aims to raise awareness in churches and so enable church leaders and members to become more welcoming and understanding of the experience of their members with special needs. ASNA supports all churches requiring training and supports all people needing services including non Adventist. ASNA works to create places of belonging.
We have organised four volunteer training conferences, bringing leaders together to discuss ministry to the disabled.
Since December 2001, we have presented over 50 disability awareness training events and activities in the UK (including one in Ireland) to over 6,000 people. Activities have included workshops, seminars, conferences, training weekends, and training days. We have organised five annual family fun days to Thorpe Park, West Midlands Safari Park, Woburn Safari Park, Cotswold Safari Park, the seaside and a family picnic.
Our family fun days, respite weekends and resources have had extensive reach to many families and individuals. We hosted our first ASNA Carers weekend in Autumn 2005. The Carers weekend provided much needed respite, physical, emotional and social support for the many carers who care for loved ones with limited support of care for themselves. Workshops included topics such as:
Managing and preventing the detrimental effects of stress for carers, (link to carers document)
Managing your finances: dealing with debt
Building strong relationships.
Also available at the weekend - countryside walks, heated swimming pool, gym and spa.
Please contact us for more information about any of the above.