LOCAL mum Karen Curtis presented a cheque for £2,400 to a Westonzoyland-based charity Ups and Downs Southwest that helps parents of children with Down Syndrome.

This was on top of £420 Karen raised earlier in the year for the charity and was awarded the ‘fundraiser of the year’.

For this award Karen was presented with a framed photo of her little girl April.

Karen said: “I have really appreciated the support of the charity since my little girl was born with Down syndrome. The news came as a bit of a shock and Ups and Downs Southwest have been really supportive for me and my family.

“They were there for me right from the beginning and have also put me in touch with some other families locally.”

The charity was set up 17 years ago by Wendy O’Carroll when her son Oliver was born with Down syndrome.

Ups and Downs originally started in Wendy’s front room, but now employs 8 staff and has supported around 500 families across the Southwest.

Wendy said: “When my son was a baby, we were told that he would have difficulty walking and talking yet now he’s a great skate-boarder and gives interviews on the radio. He’s on a mainstream college course and is hoping to become a professional photographer.”