Since 2006, UpsnDowns have been helping children affected by Down's syndrome in Northamptonshire flourish and meet their full potential in life.
What We Do
UpsnDowns are there for families whether they have just received a diagnosis, already given birth to their baby or if they have a child with Down's syndrome.
Run on a completely voluntary basis by a board of willing trustees, our charity’s income is wholly dependent on fundraising.
Individuals, companies and our own special events have all contributed to continued growth, enabling us to offer a wide range of services and activities such as;
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Sing and Sign
- Swimming Lessons
- Riding for the Disabled
- Drama Workshops
- Family Fun Days
- Sibling Support
- Occupational Therapy
- Covid19 Weekly Fresh Produce Boxes (new service due to Covid-19)
[UpsnDowns Covid19 Lockdown Fully Funded Veg Food Boxes]
In addition, we fund training for teachers and support staff in Northamptonshire to ensure schools are fully inclusive and the specific learning profiles of our children are fully understood. This enables both mainstream and special school staff to provide exactly the right environment to encourage development and maximise learning potential.
It is these experiences that have formed the basis of our organisation where our children have flourished with consistent support, advice and guidance.
[UpsnDowns Fully Funded 1:1 swimming lessons]
"UpsnDowns is far more than a group just for our children; it is a network which provides support and friendship for mums, dads, brothers, sisters and extended families."
Whether you need someone to share a developmental milestone with, someone to talk to about a problem or just a shoulder to cry on, there is always someone here for you.
With the guidance of our dedicated trustees and the continued fundraising support we receive from so many, UpsnDowns is ready to meet the challenges ahead…and enjoy the ride along the way.
[UpsnDowns Christmas Party 2019]
The impact of Covid-19 on our UpsnDowns Families
In March 2020, when Boris Johnson announced an immediate ‘lockdown’ in an unprecedented step to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), he said that we would only be able to leave our homes for the following reasons:
• Shopping for basic necessities
• One form of exercise a day - either alone or with members of your household
• Medical need or to provide care help vulnerable person
• Travel to work - but only if necessary and you cannot work from home
In addition to this, many of our members fall into a ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category. Some have pre-existing respiratory conditions, heart defects, immunodeficiency, and other complex conditions, and therefore had received government letters asking them to ‘shield’ at home, until the end of July. It has been, without a doubt, an incredibly tough and challenging time for everyone, but especially our members who are medically most vulnerable. It has been a tough and uncertain time, for many of our families.
During this time, we have been keeping in regular contact with all our UpsnDowns families. In this time of additional financial and emotional strain, we have been supporting each other through a rota of weekly well-being phone calls. As a charity, we have provided funding for each family to purchase £100 worth of educational resources from DSE (Down’s Syndrome Education International) or alternatively other sensory tools, games and learning kits. We have been funding the delivery of weekly fresh produce boxes to our Northamptonshire families, from a local supplier. The feedback from our families has been wonderful.
During Lockdown, our new SALT (Speech and Language Therapy) programme was delayed, so we ran several online sessions for families to meet our new SALT therapists.
We have loved seeing all the wonderful photos and videos from our families, sharing what they have been getting up to, at home, in the garden and out on their daily exercise. The support for each other has been amazing.
[UpsnDowns Lockdown Life 2020]
"Whatever the ‘new normal’ is that we face once lockdown is lifted, we will be able to face it together. Together, we are stronger."
Key Fundraisers CANCELLED Due to Covid during 2020
All but one of our key fundraisers were cancelled this year, so it is vital for us to find ways to continue to provide our fully funded services to all the UpsnDowns families.
The Aviva Community Fund can enable us to do just that!
To give you an idea -
£1,225 will help buy 36 of our shielding families fresh produce and food boxes for a week during any potential local lockdown in the Northamptonshire area.
£8,970 will help purchase specialist individual speech and language introductory assessment for the whole charity, which is at a cost of £195 per member.
£3,000 will help buy every member 1:1 ongoing new speech and language therapy for one month, at a cost of £65 per session.
£4,000 will help buy 1:1 swimming lessons for the whole charity for the year