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Bridgwater charity says £284k lottery grant is a "lifeline"
A CHARITY based near Bridgwater which supports children with Down Syndrome and their families is overjoyed after winning nearly £300,000 of lottery money.
Ups and Downs South West, based in Westonzoyland, says the grant of £284,621 from the Big Lottery's Reaching Communities Fund will provide a massive boost towards its drive for “self-sustainability”.
The charity provides information, advice and support to parents, carers, families, friends and professionals involved in the care, support and education of children who have Down Syndrome, throughout the South-West.
This funding will enable the organisation to make positive steps towards its financial sustainability and also continue its provision of activities and services.
These include: face-to-face meetings with parents after diagnosis, home visits, coffee and play mornings and family fun day events, support at meetings with schools and/or agencies and service providers, and appropriate empathic support, advice and information.
Wendy O'Carroll, founder and chief executive officer, said: “We cannot thank the Big Lottery Fund enough for this lifeline which will enable us to work towards self sustainability during the next two years.
“We have been fortunate enough to have been supported by the Lottery for several years and without this support we simply wouldn't be here.
“Literally hundreds of children and young people with Down Syndrome and their families will benefit from this grant.
“If people who buy their lottery tickets could see the smiles on our children's faces I'm sure they'd buy more!”
Other services provided by Ups and Downs South-West include training events for parents and professionals, a Specialist Advisory Teacher Service, to support schools and advise on educational placements, training for hospital staff, and youth clubs, activities and friendship groups for teenagers with Down Syndrome.
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