Our latest donation to help ‘Downright Special’ children

The latest good cause to benefit from our Charity of the Month initiative is Downright Special.

Louise Smith, Community Fundraising Champion for the organisation, was delighted to collect their cheque for £250, which will fund the cost of running the charity’s weekly fun and education sessions.

She said: “We are so happy to be nominated as Charity of the month. The sessions which the Beverley Building Society donation will help to fund offer early intervention tailored to the specific learning needs of children by providing fun and education as well as play to support children and families.

“The morning sessions are for children from birth to five years old and the children are split into small groups according to their development stage and take part in structured activities focussed on improving speech and language skills.

“For very young babies we concentrate on sensory activities and introducing parents to using Makaton sign language to help them communicate with their child and help the child develop the ability to communicate as soon as possible.”

Downright Special was chosen by Beverley Building Society members to win its May award. It is based in Hull and supports children with Down syndrome across East Yorkshire and its team provide help for families and professionals in all aspects of the care and education of children with the condition.

Downright Special was originally set up in 2007 by a group of parents who wanted to provide support to each other and other parents who had children with Down syndrome, and quickly developed into an organised group giving emotional, practical and educational support to families.  Downright Special has been a registered charity since 2009 and is run by a small team of professionally trained volunteers and staff.

Our Chief Executive Karl Elliott added: “We’re always hugely inspired by the organisations which win our Charity of the Month donation, as they show us the amazing good work being done by committed individuals, to help make our community better.

“Downright Special is a perfect example of how ordinary people are working hard to make a difference to life in East Yorkshire and are a very worthy winner indeed.”

The services Downright Special offers for children from birth onwards include:

• Visits to new parents or parents with an antenatal diagnosis
• A weekly fun and education session (Downright Special Fridays), providing education, fun and play as well as support to parents and carers
• A sensory and signing group for babies
• Social events for the whole family
• Lending useful resources to parents
• Sharing best practice teaching techniques with teaching assistants
• Specialist resource packs for children starting school
• Conferences and training for parents and professionals
• Working closely with local health and education services to improve the care pathway and educational outcomes for our children
• Promoting awareness of Down syndrome and encouraging successful inclusion.

Everything they do is based on years of research by experts, as well as the of parents whose children have Down syndrome. Their aim is 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.

Anyone who would like to nominate a charity close to their heart as a Beverley Building Society Charity of the Month can do so by handing details to a member of our team at 57 Market Place, Beverley, HU17 8AA; or by emailing info@beverleybs.co.uk.

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