One of our key charitable aims is providing information about Down’s syndrome – we do this by providing information to families and by offering training and information to professionals coming into contact with people with DS.

Speech and language therapy group

A major step forward for us in 2016 has been the launch of our Star Speakers speech and language therapy group, enabling lots of our babies, children and young people to access additional speech and language therapy in small groups. This will make a significant difference to lots of our families and to the outcomes for our children.

Parent and professional training

We are very proud of our successful Informing, Empowering and Changing Lives conference for parents and professionals in the Wakefield district, which was funded by a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, along with our training day on reading and language intervention for Wakefield schools.

Some of our families have represented the group as part of the national Down’s Syndrome Association’s Tell It Right, Start It Right accredited midwifery training, and spoke to local midwives about their experiences at the birth of their child. Midwives gave this event very positive feedback, describing it as both informative and eye-opening, and all listed positive plans for action that they had taken from the key messages.

Gymnastics club

We are always finding new ways to make a difference for people with DS – in 2014 we won a public vote to receive a grant from the Lloyds Bank Community Fund for us to work with Normanton Sports Acro. So TriStars21 was born – a gymnastics class specifically for people with DS – and several of our children have achieved British Gymnastics badges whiles all have a great time at the sessions learning new skills and cementing friendships.

Work in the district

WDDSSG has built good relationships with Wakefield Council and Mid Yorkshire NHS trust, and many of our members are involved in various committees across the district to improve outcomes for our young people.