Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability

Improving the quality of life of children with disabilities across the West Bank

Nur Shams Refugee Camp

The children clearly enjoy their treatments – to watch a child of four who has never walked take his first steps, initially aided by the parallel bars and then to launch off unaided is truly wonderful

Nur Shams Refugee Camp

The children clearly enjoy their treatments – to watch a child of four who has never walked take his first steps, initially aided by the parallel bars and then to launch off unaided is truly wonderful

Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation

Some children will be admitted to the BASR for initial diagnosis and treatment. They will then be set on a rehabilitation programme before they return home.

Jalazone Refugee Camp

​​Life for refugee children in this camp is particularly harsh. Unemployment stands at 60%, there are high levels of disability, with limited services in place to address this. The supply of water to the camp is often rationed, and extreme poverty and overcrowding prevail.

The Sheepfold

Despite the upsurge of violence across the region, The Sheepfold continues to help children and young people with a wide range of special needs, especially those with no other place to go with severe disabilities.

Music Therapy

Music Therapy is a powerful medium which helps children who may struggle to express themselves. This project was initiated in 2015 by ABCD Trustee and Music Therapist, Canon Claire Tillotson, in conjunction with Paediatric Psychiatrist Dr Souha Shehadeh, who leads the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR) Mental Health Team.

Music Therapy

Music Therapy is a powerful medium which helps children who may struggle to express themselves. This project was initiated in 2015 by ABCD Trustee and Music Therapist, Canon Claire Tillotson, in conjunction with Paediatric Psychiatrist Dr Souha Shehadeh, who leads the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR) Mental Health Team.

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ABCD's Trustees

Val Jourdan MBE - Chair and Founder Trustee

Val trained as a paediatric physiotherapist. In 1983 she spent a year with The Leonard Cheshire Foundation as a foreign volunteer paediatric physiotherapist working with The Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation then situated in Bethlehem itself. When she returned to the UK she founded ABCD with Georgina Mortimer.

Alastair Harris - Chair of Finance

Alastair Harris is a risk manager and accountant working in the City of London. He and his wife Deborah live in south west London and have three grown-up children. Alastair first visited Bethlehem on a pilgrimage in 2001 in connection with ABCD and was delighted to become a trustee in 2016.

Anthony Glaister - Chair of Fundraising

Anthony is a mediator and lawyer by background, with a long interest in inter-fath dialogue and in Palestine and Israel.  He is also currently working with the governement as a mentor to radicalised ex offenders.  

Anthony is a practising Catholic and lives in North Yorkshire with his wife Lucy, who is a Quaker, where he manages a small farm.

Bassam Aburdene

Born in Bethlehem, Bassam Aburdene is Chairman and co-founder of the Capital Trust Group. In addition to being a trustee of Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability (ABCD), he is a member of the Board of Trustees of Bethlehem University and is active in supporting many Palestinian and other international charities.

Carol Godsmark

Carol Godsmark, a journalist-PR, originally from Canada via other countries, has written about the Middle East for the media and has been a past and recent visitor to the camps and other ABCD work venues on behalf of the charity. She writes the newsletter and other ABCD publications.

Canon Claire Tillotson G.L.C.M. (Hons) MA

Claire Tillotson is a state registered Music Therapist and is also a lay Canon at Rochester Cathedral. She is in charge of ABCD's music therapy projects.
Claire is married to James and has 2 children: Rachel and David and they live in Bromley in Kent. At present Claire is a freelance music therapist and also Director of Music at St Mary’s Shortlands.

Reverend Daniel Burton

Daniel Burton is an Anglican Team Rector in Salford, Greater Manchester. In the mid ‘80s he worked for two years in a Palestinian Children’s Home in Ramallah. For 20 years he was a trustee of the charity “Embrace the Middle East” – formerly known as BibleLands. He has led many pilgrimages and visits to the Middle East.

Firas Sarhan - Project Manager

Firas Sarhan is the Director and lead academic for the Centre of Excellence for Telehealth and Assisted Living. He was previously Senior Lecturer in the School Advanced & Continuing Practice at Buckinghamshire New University. He has more than 20 years experience in acute, rehabilitation and continuing care of people with spinal cord injury.

Jane Lavers

Jane trained as a physiotherapist at the Middlesex Hospital, London. She continued her career working for several years in a busy central London hospital (now the Chelsea and Westminster). Jane has been a Trustee of ABCD for two years and has made regular field visits to the projects on the West Bank.

Lara Madge

Lara, who has been a part of the ABCD family for a long time, has visited the projects on many occasions and engages enthusiastically in all our fundraising activities. Lara was honoured to become one of the Trustees in 2018.

Alison Driscoll

Alison was ABCD's administrator for over ten years. Her name is now synonymous with ABCD, having fostered relations with so many church communities and taken part in many pilgrimages. She is also an accredited Methodist preacher and administrator to the charity Living Stones.

Some of the friends of ABCD

Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability | Charity No:  1097623

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