The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) is incredibly thankful to the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust for their very generous funding award. The DSA applied to their Charity Survival Fund over the summer following the COVID-19 pandemic and is one of more than 300 charities who will receive funding.
The DSA will use the funding to continue supporting our community, including:
- Responding quickly to the ever-changing need for accessible information for people who have Down’s syndrome. This includes new resources on novel information about new concepts such as social-distancing, hand hygiene, the wearing of facemasks etc.
- Developing resources in other formats to support people who have Down’s syndrome e.g. Easy Read information and audio and film resources to support mental well-being
- Facilitating weekly ‘Our Voice’ sessions, where we connect individuals who have Down’s syndrome together in a group to provide peer-to-peer support and provide a platform for us to engage with the people who use our services. Online Zoom meetings mean that we can connect with greater numbers of people, regardless of their location. The role of presenting is being given to a different adult with Down’s syndrome each time, enabling them to share their lived-experience and building their confidence;
- Taking the key messages that evolve from our direct work with people who have Down’s syndrome to feed-into our responses to important consultations from relevant Government departments and public bodies. This has been vital during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many policies have neglected to take into account the needs of people with a learning disability and following lobbying by the DSA have been refined to reflect our advice.
In the period since March 2020, the 40,000 people who have Down’s syndrome that the DSA support across the UK have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen a 40% increase in demand for our services.
The DSA is one of more than 300 UK charities who will receive funding totalling £18 million from the Julia and Hans Rausing Tust.
Julia and Hans Rausing commented: ‘We were overwhelmed by both the quality and quantity of applications we received for the Charity Survival Fund. It highlighted to us the perilous state that so many amazing charities have found themselves in due to the loss of day to day income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It is because of this need that we increased the funding available through the Charity Survival Fund to £18 million, and we are pleased that this funding will enable so many extraordinary charities to continue their excellent work and support their local communities at this difficult time. We would like to thank every organisation that applied, and we hope the Charity Survival Fund will encourage others to support charities in need.’
You can read more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people who have Down’s syndrome, as well as find a variety of resources and Easy Read information on our dedicated Coronavirus page.