Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group has been nominated as Charity of Year by Swindon’s Brunel Shopping Centre.
Every year staff at the centre select one charity to focus their fundraising efforts on and this financial year the local Down’s syndrome group was chosen. The team at The Brunel had heard about the excellent work that the charity do for local children and their families from former Brunel employee Kerry Fry. Kerry’s son Oscar, who is now five, has Down’s syndrome and Kerry and her family have been supported by the group.
Cailey Whitcher, trustee and secretary of the charity, is delighted with the news. Cailey said: “This was such a lovely surprise. We are very grateful to the staff at The Brunel for voting for us as their Charity of the Year and feel very privileged that they chose us.
“Being a nominated charity will help us to increase awareness of the work we do and money raised will be invaluable in helping us continue projects such as our speech and language therapy, our Salamander Fire Course and the Workfit programme. Recently we’ve been working to support new parents who’ve found out their new baby has Down’s syndrome. We’ve been working with local midwives, helping them understand the best way to support new mums and dads and understand what it’s truly like for parents when they first have a child with Down’s syndrome. This is something that Kerry Fry’s been helping with and she made an excellent video for us”.
Kerry said: “Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group support around 100 families in the Swindon and surrounding areas and are a great resource for those who have Down’s syndrome and their families. Oscar is benefitting tremendously from the speech and language and I go along to the coffee mornings which gives me an opportunity to talk to other parents who are in the same situation. It’s comforting to know that as Oscar gets older the group will be able to support him as his needs change. We have made some great friends through the group, who do a fantastic job at raising positive awareness about Down’s syndrome in Swindon."
Jane Stewart is Manager at The Brunel. Jane said: “Oscar was born just as I started at the centre and it’s been wonderful to follow his progress over the years. When we heard about the midwife video that Kerry had helped with it was an easy decision to choose Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group as our charity of the year.
“We have lots of fundraising activities planned, such as a craft fair in December and getting involved with the Charity’s awareness campaign #LotsofSocks for World Down’s Syndrome Day in March. There will be regular team lunch cooking challenges, we’ll be learning sign language and we’re even going to learn to sing so we can put on a carols performance in the centre at Christmas!”
To find out more about Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group see: http://www.swindondownsgroup.org.uk/