Down's syndrome is a condition that's usually diagnosed shortly after birth, if not before. It's caused by the presence of an extra chromosome, which happens by chance, rather than being inherited. According to the NHS, around 750 babies are born with Down's syndrome in the UK each year, and there are approximately 40,000 people living with the condition in the UK today.
Why Volunteer With A Down's Syndrome Charity?
Receiving the news that your baby has been or will be born with Down's syndrome is a lot to take in. There are some wonderful charities there to help if this happens, all of which strive to provide ongoing support to people with the condition and their families.
Volunteering with a Down's syndrome charity can be a hugely rewarding thing to do. It's the perfect way to see how you can make a difference, helping those with the condition and their families to lead the happy, healthy and fulfilling lives they should.
How To help With Down's Syndrome Charities
BECOME A SUPPORT VOLUNTEER
If you want to work directly with people who have Down's syndrome, you could volunteer as a support worker. Direct care can be challenging, but you may find it extremely rewarding. It can also be a great way to kick-start a career in social care.
VOLUNTEER WITH A LOCAL SUPPORT GROUP
Leading Down's syndrome charities pride themselves on helping people with the condition live happy and rewarding lives. Support groups are a major part of this, creating a network of strength and encouragement that plays a huge role in the lives of people with the condition and their families. Whether it's organising events and meetings, or maintaining websites, there are lots of different roles you could help out with.
PASS ON YOUR SKILLS
Giving people with Down's syndrome the opportunity to learn new skills is crucial for helping them to thrive and flourish. If you can pass on your knowledge and skills through education and development, you'd be a valuable asset to a charity offering support to people with the condition.
HELP A CHILD PLAY SPORT
Charities such as Lord's Taverners help young people with disabilities get involved with sports like cricket. This can be a lot of fun both for people with Down's syndrome and their families - as well as for you.
SHARE ANOTHER HOBBY
Are you an experienced canoeist? Do you have horses or love to ride? Maybe you're a yoga instructor? Whatever your hobbies, interests or particular expertise, you may be able to play a part in helping people with Down's syndrome get active and involved. It doesn't have to be a strenuous activity though, as a Down syndrome charity could give you the platform to teach people about photography, or run an arts and crafts class, for example.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
If you're interested in a care position, you'll need plenty of training, as well as background checks if you're going to be working around children.
Some charities ask for a minimum time commitment when you volunteer, particularly if you require training to fulfil the role.
Most charities also have a minimum age requirement. This is likely to be 16, although it could be higher.
Where To Get Started
If you want to help fund organisations like Lord's Taverners - which People's Postcode Lottery players have raised £2.5 Million for so far, sign up to play People's Postcode Lottery. 32% of the ticket price goes to a wide range of amazing charities and good causes, which change lives every day.