14 March 2022

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Ahead of Down Syndrome Awareness Week, dad Chris talks about how Downright Special’s Friday group has helped his family.

Many of us look forward to that Friday feeling at the end of the week, and for some families that starts at the beginning of the day when they join the Downright Special Friday group.

Downright Special is a thriving local charity, providing support to children and young people with Down syndrome, their families and the professionals who work with them, across Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The charity aims to build a brighter future for children with Down syndrome, supporting them to achieve their full potential and promoting successful inclusion in all aspects of life.

Meeting each week, Downright Special Fridays offers parents and carers the opportunity to chat over coffee and share their experiences while the children play in a safe environment. Babies, toddlers, and pre-school children are put in small groups to work on their speech, language and communication skills, tailored to the specific learning profile of children with Down syndrome in a relaxed and fun environment.

Bringing together a diverse range of ages and culture in the group, mums and dads regular attend to benefit from the peer-to-peer support and a friendly chat.

Chris, who attends with his four-year-old daughter Millie and wife Emma said: "Following the diagnosis, we were contacted by Downright Special and given helpful information on what to expect. Since then, we have stayed in touch and have been a real lifeline for the whole family.
"At the Friday group, my daughter takes part in lots of different activities, while we catch up with other parents who share the same challenges as us and understand what we’re going through. It’s an amazing community and I’ve made some true friends there."

Downright Special is looking forward to Down Syndrome Awareness week, taking place on 21st-27th March 2022 and has a host of activities planned to celebrate this event including a Swim and Splash, Yogathon, and a café event run by young people with Down Syndrome for other Downright Special families.

Over £12,000 was awarded to Downright Special, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.