World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day, designed to raise awareness of what Down’s syndrome is, what it means to have Down’s syndrome, and how people with Down’s syndrome play a vital role in their communities.

And that means another busy time for the excellent Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group, who have been supported by the Steve Morgan Foundation with funding to support their first Education Advocate, Sandy Hayes.

Over the last 12 months that role has included setting visits and observations to support children with Down’s Syndrome in Cheshire and providing advice to school practitioners both individually and through group sessions.

The role has also included providing support at events such as bowling, Urban Air rebound therapy, soft play, cinema and play sessions.

It has certainly been another busy year for CDSSG, which has included securing additional funding for an Empowered Communications project, Peer Support project and new Forest School project.

They have also formed a partnership with Northwich Business Improvement District (BID) to make Northwich more Makaton friendly, a language programme designed to help people with learning or communication difficulties.

The work of CDSSG has also received recognition at the North West Charity Awards, for their gingerbread sock biscuit campaign and a Rising Star accolade in the Small Charity, Big Impact category.

As a charity which is now over ten years old, CDSSG has grown from an around-the-table kitchen organisation supporting ten families across Cheshire to now providing that support to well over 150 families.

This support is wide ranging, from having conversations with parents who may have received a pre-natal diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome to going into schools to talk to pupils and parents’ social evenings.

World Down Syndrome Day will be marked in various ways this week, with awareness assemblies for around 10,000 children across Cheshire, and selling a record-breaking 52,000 gingerbread sock biscuits to local schools and businesses.

Today, on the day itself, the annual charity dog walk takes place at Marbury Park in Northwich, a moochathon 21.3mile challenge starting and ending in Hartford, or a Mini Mooch 2.3km route for families.

Tomorrow a charity golf day to raise funds will be staged at the Vale Royal Abbey course in Northwich.

CDSSG Chief Executive Julie Duff says:  “The last 12 months have been busier than ever for our charity and we have continued to grow with two new staff, three charity awards and the launch of exciting new projects. 

“Our Education Advocate Sandy has made a real difference to many children with Down’s syndrome and has positively supported parents and schools. 

“This World Down Syndrome Day we reflect on what’s been a very busy year but we also start making plans for the days and months ahead when we will continue to do our utmost to make sure that people with Down’s syndrome fulfil their potential and are recognised as valuable, respected champions of our community.” 

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