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19 May 2022

Funding allows local Down's Syndrome Group to purchase vital educational packs

Power NI have provided £1,000 in funding.

Funding allows local Down's Syndrome Group to purchase vital educational packs

Power NI's Aoife Magennis alongside South Derry Down's Syndrome group, with the educational packs purchased through the Brighter Communities award.

South Derry Down’s Syndrome Group has purchased educational packs for members thanks to £1,000 funding from Power NI’s Brighter Communities. 

The packs will provide extra speech therapy support to children and young people with Down’s Syndrome. 

South Derry Down’s Syndrome Group was established in 1982 and provides support, friendship and advice to parents as well as enhancing the lives of children and young people with Down’s Syndrome by providing speech and music therapy, and drama and sports clubs. 

The group of 50 families meet on a monthly basis so parents can get support and advice and share their experiences with others. 

Arlene McEldowney, secretary of the South Derry Down’s Syndrome Group, says the funding will make a big difference to their children and young people. 

“The extra support makes a big difference to both parents and children. We are delighted to be awarded this funding which gives us the opportunity to provide packs to give our children and young people with Down’s Syndrome,” she said.

“Speech therapy is so important for young people with Down’s Syndrome and it’s a real focus for us. We want to enable the members of our group as best we can and these packs will provide extra support for families and children on top of speech therapy sessions.” 

The Brighter Communities initiative was set up by Power NI in 2018 and since its establishment it has supported a huge range of bespoke groups and clubs from wheelchair basketball, beekeepers, vintage cyclists and young cheerleaders to street soccer, dragon racers, early years, environmental and stroke recovery groups.   

In December 2021, Power NI ran the ‘Festive Fund’ and awarded five organisations with £1,000 to put towards a number of projects making a difference in communities across Northern Ireland. 

Ashleigh O’Neill from Power NI congratulated South Derry Down’s Syndrome Group on their award.

“We’re delighted that through the Festive Fund we can give grants to groups like South Derry Down’s Syndrome Group that will make a real difference to their members and their families. South Derry Down’s Syndrome Group’s work makes a massive difference to the community and Power NI are proud to play a part,” she added.

FEATURE: Raising local awareness ahead of World Down's Syndrome Day

As South Derry Down's Syndrome Group enter their 40th year, Liam Tunney spoke to Chairperson Donna Murphy about marking World Down's Syndrome Day, the available support for parents and how her daughter Katie is thriving at a local primary school.

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