Prospects becomes part of Livability
The national Christian disability and community charities Livability and Prospects for people with learning disabilities have joined forces
Initially joining the Livability group structure, Prospects will be a fully integrated part of Livability within two years. A statement announcing the move said: ‘We can build capacity, enhance delivery for the people we support; grow disability awareness; mobilise a broader supporter base and maximise our effectiveness and sustainability. Working together creates a sharper and more effective Christian organisation fit for its mission in the 21st Century.’
Read the full story here.
Both charities are major providers of disability services and have mobilised the UK church to recognise the contributions and needs of disabled people, and build towards inclusive and accessible communities.
Livability created ‘Churches Inc’ a disability and accessibility Charter for churches. It delivers training on shaping Dementia Friendly churches. More recently, it has raised understanding for mental health issues within the church through partnerships with Mind and Soul and Greenbelt, the national arts and faith festival.
Prospects delivers training to equip churches to offer accessible worship and bible teaching and partners more than 400 churches to run 220 church-based ministry groups. Prospects has developed the ‘Ability Sunday’ campaign to help churches recognise the gifts people with learning disabilities bring to the church.
It has also partnered with Alpha to create an accessible version of the Alpha course for people with learning disabilities called ‘Access to Life in Jesus’. Jonathan Edwards, the former General Secretary of the Baptist Union, is an ambassador for Prospects.
Between them, the charities have a staff base of over 2000, over 1500 volunteers and 1000s of donors and partners all committed to helping improve the lives of disabled and disadvantaged people.
Prospects was founded by Baptist minister David Potter with wife Madeleine in 1976. David, a member at Thatcham Baptist Church, said:
From the very first ‘seed’ idea Madeleine and I could never have envisaged that through Prospects so many hundreds of people with learning disabilities would be supported, so many thousands would learn of God’s love, so many churches across the UK would welcome people so long overlooked. What God has done!
After 40 years, God is taking Prospects into a new era of partnership where its strengths can fortify a sister organisation and in turn receive strengthening for the ongoing well-being of people it supports. And now, as in 1976, we cannot know how great are the possibilities in God’s purposes.
Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury, is Livability’s President. He said:
I am delighted to see Prospects joining the Livability family to share their resources, experience and passion. Both charities do extraordinary work, empowering those with disabilities to play a full part in the body of Christ and to bless the church and wider community with their gifts. I look forward expectantly to see what new possibilities emerge from this exciting partnership. Please join me in prayerfully supporting this next chapter in the journey.