PSDS Champions Rise To The Challenge

An exciting new fundraising initiative has been launched at PSDS, to help fund vital services for children and young people who have Down syndrome.


As our membership has grown so has the age range of children accessing support from PSDS - from babies to teenagers - with a number soon to become young adults. As a direct response to the broadening age range and to meet increased demand for our services, PSDS recently launched some new offerings for young people who are at secondary school and our pre-school support service, DIGBIES, has expanded to 3 sessions each week.


Our new services include a youth communication group (5Club) which meets fortnightly and High5, a monthly social activity programme, a bit like a youth club, where young people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities. So far, the High5ers have enjoyed a diverse programme of activities including bowling, circus skills, pizza making,  photography, community golf and splatter painting. The group even formed a rock band for one of its monthly activities and has recently enjoyed a multi-sports session at the YMCA Redhill.


We are delighted that our new offerings for older children and teenagers have been really well received, but we have even bigger plans for the future. We are determined that PSDS will continue to grow and flourish just like the young people we have the pleasure of working with - which means a concerted effort to raise the funds necessary to continue with all our services.


The budget to provide our 2019 programme of support is £107,000 - an increase on last year of £21,000. We have recently launched a special campaign - the 21 Champions Challenge - which aims to bridge this funding gap. We are seeking 21 individuals, families, groups or businesses who will each pledge to raise or donate £1,000 during the year ahead.



Some PSDS members have already signed up to the Challenge, including Thea's family (pictured above) and friends who are taking on the 3 Peaks in the Summer. Local businesses are signing up to get involved too. A number of members of the Sutton BNI group have pledged to collectively raise £1,000 over the next few months, while Dorking-based community fund, The Stonegate Foundation, recently donated £1,000 as part of this special initiative.



“We are honoured to be able to support PSDS with this year’s 21 Champions Challenge,” comment Jerry Hinds and Stephen Curwen, Stonegate Foundation trustees, “PSDS is a fantastic charity which continues to go from strength to strength providing invaluable support to children, parents and families. As the demands on their services continue to grow we welcome the beginning of working together, both financially and strategically to help them achieve their aims.”


Strategic partnerships such as these will play a vital role in the future of PSDS and open up exciting opportunities for the charity to develop further.


We are already working on a plan which sets out our aims and objectives for the future. We are providing incredibly important services already, but there is so much more we would like to do - especially looking at how we can help young adults with Down syndrome play an active role in their local communities. Our longer term vision is to focus on developing life skills, social skills and training programmes which will help our young people build confidence, increase their independence and, hopefully open up more opportunities for paid employment.


We have set our sights on creating a facility of our own - a Centre of Excellence - where our current and new services will all be located under one roof, bringing together all aspects of our services for children, young people and their families and also bringing together our wider community too. More news about this exciting goal will be shared with PSDS members at our AGM in the Autumn.


In the meantime, we really appreciate the support shown so far to the PSDS 21 Champions Challenge and we look forward to welcoming new Champions over the months ahead as this fundraising initiative develops.




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