“Hi, I’m Margaret! Mum of three and grandma of two. Shauna my youngest daughter, now 30 has Down Syndrome. I became a member of the Liverpool branch of the DSA shortly after Shauna was born. I realised when Shauna was born that support of other people in the same situation was important. I love being part of DSL and so happy to see how it has grown and we are able to support so many families. I am keen to raise awareness and show that having a child with DS is not the end of the world. I love to share Shauna's achievements and those like her. Hopefully this encourages parents to see a positive future and educate professionals and the public showing that people with DS can and do contribute to the society in which they live.”
“Hi, I’m Ana! became a Trustee when my son, Declan, was 6 years old. In the blink of an eye he is now 18, so that makes it 12 years by my maths! I had gained so much from being a member of DSL that I just wanted to give a little bit back and support other families with little ones new to the group. It has been an absolute joy to watch the “little ones” turn into fine young people with different interests, hobbies and how much they thrive…given a chance.
I think my favourite thing about being a Trustee is watching our young people at our events having a ball knowing that every second of the preparation was a labour of love from all the Trustees.”
“Hi, I’m Anne! I am married to Joe, and we have three children, James, Molly, and Sam. We became members of DSL when Molly was a baby. I co-founded DSL when we became independent from the main DSA branch back in 2003 and have been honoured to continue on the committee ever since. My Molly is a real source of inspiration to me. Her determination is constant, and she has a real stubborn streak, which helps her to realise her goals. The one thing I have learnt during my time with DSL is never to underestimate our children. They are so different and so unique and given the right encouragement or a push in the right direction; they can achieve so much and have a real contribution to make in our society.
“Hi, I’m Melanie! Wife to Ed and mummy to my two gorgeous boys, Bobby & Eddy. When Bobby was born 5 years ago, he was certainly a surprise, and I was tossed into a world I knew nothing about. Over a short period of time I learned a lot, and soon became extremely passionate about making positive change in any way I could. I've been a Trustee for DSL for 4 years, and have enjoyed every single minute of it. I have predominantly been responsible for the new and expectant parent sector of the charity, which involves communicating with and meeting new and expecting families weekly, arranging our monthly parent and toddler group and basically being the first point of call for anyone new joining the charity.
After a year of having Bobby, I soon realised the sheer importance of that first year, in terms of the value of building the necessary foundations, that tight support network with other individuals and families who were just like me, and who understood.
This is by far my favourite part of being both a Trustee and member of DSL, my life long extended friends and family.”
“Hi, I’m Rena! have been a Trustee of DSL for the last 19 years. I joined the association when my daughter Katie, who has Down Syndrome was just 12 months old. Primarily, I wanted to meet other parents and get some support all them years ago, but once part of the DSL family I soon learnt this association was much more that just a support network. For me personally it is about having an extended family out there who is always ready to listen, share their personal experiences and show me that no matter what comes along ‘we can all do this together’ as one big family striving to improve the lives of our children and the lives of all young people with Down Syndrome.”
“Hi, I’m Maria! have been a trustee for four years but was a Co-Opted Trustee before that. I have a nephew with Down Syndrome, who benefits from this wonderful charity. This is how I became a Trustee, I wanted to give back and support the charity that has done so much to support my nephew and his mum.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the smiles on the faces of the many families who attend the events that we arrange for our members and their families. I think there is a huge feeling of community and togetherness with one common bond. DSL is not just a charity, it is an extended family and I am privileged to be a small part of it.”