Down’s Syndrome Association editor and Islwyn MP raise awareness
2:10pm Monday 18th March 2013 in News
DOWN’S Syndrome Awareness Week starts today. Islwyn MP Chris Evans decided to ask an aspiring journalist he met in the House of Commons a few weeks ago to write a piece for the Argus.
He said: “I first met Kate Powell when she visited Parliament to tell MPs about the work she had been doing alongside the Down’s Syndrome Association to promote their new WorkFit programme, which helps those with Down’s syndrome find jobs.
“The campaign is all about raising awareness of the issues surrounding Down’s syndrome in order to help ensure that those living with the condition are able to maximise their full potential.
“This week the association is celebrating Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week. For more information on how you can get involved visit: www.downssyndrome.org.uk/campaigns.”
Here Kate Powell, editor of Down2Earth magazine talks about her work with the Down’s Syndrome Association.
HELLO to the readers of South Wales Argus, I was lucky enough to meet your regular columnist, Chris Evans, MP, at the House of Commons in December 2012 while I was presenting details of the Down’s Syndrome Association’s WorkFit programme to a group of interested MPs.
The DS WorkFit programme is specially designed to connect employers and employees with Down’s syndrome.Work is very important; it creates a sense of achievement and allows people to feel they are making a difference while being part of the team.
I have been working at the Down’s Syndrome Association for over 15 years.I am the editor of the Down2Earth magazine.
We make two magazines a year, which are sent to almost all of our 20,000 members. The Down2Earth magazine is written for and by people with Down’s syndrome, including me.I also help with franking the post, preparing mailings and campaign materials.I work every Wednesday 10 to 4. I am a paid member of staff.
I would ask any employers to visit our specially created website www.dsworkfit.org.uk to find out about employing a person with Down’s syndrome.
At the moment I am helping my colleagues at the DSA prepare for our annual awareness week, which runs from March 18-24.This year we are focusing on the fact that ALL people with Down’s syndrome have poor visual acuity.People like me see the world with less sharpness and contrast.
Visual acuity in people with Down’s syndrome is not fixed by wearing glasses.We have been working with Dr Maggie Woodhouse, from School of Optometry at Cardiff University.
We want people to Think BIG, Think BOLD.We have posters and information sheets that can be downloaded or ordered from our website – www.downssyndrome.org.uk
Since I met Chris at the House of Commons I have been rather busy. I reached the semi-finals of Sky1’s Got to Dance competition with my dance group Dance for Joy. We all had the time of our lives. I visited the House of Lords for a reception as a Special Olympics Athlete.
My next big adventure is to travel to New York and present details of our WorkFit project to the United Nations.
I am very grateful to Chris for giving me the opportunity to be a columnist as it is one of my dreams to be an author. I really love writing poetry.
I hope you will visit our website www.downssyndrome.org.uk and find out how much people with Down’s syndrome can achieve with the right help and support.