About Down's Syndrome : Who We Are and What We Do

Our mission

To create the conditions that all people with Down’s syndrome need to live full and rewarding lives.

Who we are

The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) is the only charity in the UK dealing with all aspects of Down’s syndrome. Its aim is to help people with Down’s syndrome live full and rewarding lives.

Since 1970, we have grown from being a local parent support group into a national charity with over 20,000 members, a national office in Teddington, Middlesex and an office in Northern Ireland. Despite this, the organisation is run by a total staff of just over 40 (many of them part time). We also work closely with local support groups throughout the UK.

What we do

Our organisation is divided into various teams, including:

  • Training & Information – delivers helpline support services; provide information about all aspects of living with Down’s syndrome including specialist advisers on benefits, education, health and social care; advise new parents or anyone with questions; promote and facilitate information exchange between members through various groups; provide support on our Facebook groups; develop and deliver training throughout the UK for members, professionals and carers.
    They also run our Having A Voice project, giving people with Down’s syndrome a platform to have their say and be heard.
  • WorkFit – Our employment programmme which brings together employers and jobseekers who have Down’s syndrome. It is a tailored service dedicated to training employers about the learning profile of people who have Down’s syndrome so that they can be supported in the workplace. We focus on finding the right employment opportunities for people who have Down’s syndrome and ensuring that they have the support they need to be successful in the workplace.
  • DSActive – Providing as many opportunities as possible for people with Down’s syndrome to lead active and healthy lives.
  • Membership – The more members we have, the stronger our voice when campaigning. Our Membership team is responsible for all administration surrounding new members, existing members and affiliated groups.
  • Fundraising – responsible for raising money for the association through events, sponsorship and trusts
  • Communications – give key messages to the media, public and professionals; influence policy making; responsible for external publications

The DSA is fortunate to work at the Langdon Down Centre, the former home of pioneering Victorian physician, Dr John Langdon Down, after whom Down’s syndrome was named. View the Langdon Down Museum for more information about the history of Dr Langdon Down, his work and our historic offices.

What's New

  • More than 500 downloads for DSActive Health Swap app

    A new app designed to help people with Down’s syndrome make healthier eating and exercise choices, has been downloaded more than 500 times in its first three weeks. Created by our <a href="http…

  • New NICE guidance on growing older

    Earlier this year, the DSA was pleased to be involved in shaping new guidance around growing older with a learning disability. We responded to a National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NIC…

  • We know the secret to a happy marriage

    Tommy and Maryanne Pilling say they know the secret to a happy marriage – “I love my Tommy, he is my husband. We do lots of things together and he is my best friend”. The couple have jus…