Our charity aims to provide education, support and training to children and young people with Down syndrome, their families and the support and education staff who work with them. Our membership currently stands at over 400 families all who care for a child with Down syndrome, and over 270 professionals mainly from education and health settings. There is a shortage of provision for children and young people with Down syndrome so many families come from all over the Yorkshire region and beyond to access our services.
We provide the following activities:
• monthly Saturday sessions for families which include support, training and networking opportunities for families
• early development groups for up to 50 children with Down syndrome aged 10 months to 5 years, empowering parents and developing speech, language, communication, eating, gross and fine motor skills, giving the children the best possible start in life
• monthly speech and language groups for children aged 5 and over, working on speech, language and communication skills which help to improve social skills, self-esteem and independence
• training courses in the specific learning needs of children with Down syndrome for parents and teaching staff, for example signing, toileting and sexual development
• two weekly dance lessons one for children aged 5 to 11 and the other for children aged 11+
• a library of books and resources for children, parents and school staff to borrow.
• a lively, weekly youth club for young people aged 11 years and older to provide an opportunity for young people to form friendships, develop appropriate social and self-help skills in a safe environment.
• A new work project, helping young adults gain employment in local businesses.