Monday marks the beginning of Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week. The week aims to raise awareness and to challenge our society’s misconceptions about Down’s syndrome.

The Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group, a local support group, have been working hard leading up to the week and are joining the Down’s Syndrome International’s Lots of Socks campaign to get everyone to wear special, limited edition #LotsofSocks on World Down’s Syndrome Day on 21 March.

This date, the twenty-first day of the third month – represents the three copies of chromosome 21, which is unique to people with Down’s syndrome.

Group members will be wearing their socks at all their regular activities during the week and encouraging their families and friends to join them.

The Group hope to raise over £5,000 from the sale of #LotsofSocks. They’ve had tremendous support from local business who’ve been instrumental in selling the socks. Wiltshire Police, Marlborough College, Mercedes Benz Swindon and The Crown Inn at Stratton St. Margaret are just some of those supporting the Group.

We have been grateful to Nationwide Building Society for allowing us to sell #LotsOfSocks at their Head Office in Piper’s Way recently. We have been invited back on Thursday to celebrate WDSD and check that employees are wearing their odd socks.

Since 2016, the Group have been working on a service called ‘WorkFit’ with the Down’s Syndrome Association. The service provides support to young people into the world of work. Whether that’s paid employment, work experience or training to help them progress into employment. WorkFit also provides valuable training and resources to employers helping them facilitate this.

Cailey Whitcher, one of the Group’s Trustees said, “We want everyone to celebrate this year’s World Down’s Syndrome Day with us and to join us in wearing #LotsofSocks. The money we raise from the sale of the socks will go towards funding our very own WorkFit Liaison Officer. We are here to help people with Down’s syndrome to have the same opportunities as everyone else and WorkFit is just one of the ways in which we strive to achieve this.”

The Group will be hosting a Business Breakfast at Swindon Town Football Club from 7.30am on Thursday 6 June to allow local businesses to come along and find out more about WorkFit in Swindon.

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