Inspired to raise Down’s awareness

With a smaller version of the canvas donated are, from left, Jacob Davies from Lytec and Andrew Thompson of Caistor Lakes, with Isabella Clarkson, dad Colin Clarkson and mum Charlotte Clarkson. Picture taken by Bob Riach, organised the canvas and day out at Caistor Lakes.
With a smaller version of the canvas donated are, from left, Jacob Davies from Lytec and Andrew Thompson of Caistor Lakes, with Isabella Clarkson, dad Colin Clarkson and mum Charlotte Clarkson. Picture taken by Bob Riach, organised the canvas and day out at Caistor Lakes.

An amateur photographer has given a young girl with Down Syndrome and her family a special gift and a day to remember after he was inspired by their actions to raise awareness of the condition.

Bob Riach, who works full-time as a mortgage advisor but also takes pictures for businesses, was visiting Boston for a client when he spotted St Botolph’s Church lit up – not realising it was for World Down Syndrome Day.

After his picture appeared on The Standard’s Facebook page and local television, Charlotte Clarkson, who had helped organise the light up and is the mother of Isabella who has the condition, got in touch with him to ask for a copy of the picture.

Instead, Mr Riach – inspired by the family’s actions – not only sent a copy of the picture, but also got a huge 180x80 canvas sponsored and sent to them as well as organising a day out at the newly-opened Caistor Lakes.

Mr Riach said: “I felt they were doing a lot to raise awareness for Down Syndrome and I thought I’d do something special for the family and to help raise further awareness.”

The canvas includes the logo for Lytec, who put in the lights on St Botolph’s Bridge, and sponsored the canvas.

As well as lighting the church up, the Amber Hill family also donated a number of books about the condition, called My Friend Has Down Syndrome, to Isabella’s school, Boston West Academy.

Mum Charlotte said: “We have been really touched by Bob’s kindness towards Isabella.”

She added: “It is such a lovely gesture. He presented the canvas to Isabella at Caistor Lakes where he arranged for Isabella to have lunch and the tour with the owners.

“Isabella enjoyed all the attention and had the opportunity to see the baby fish being grown for the lakes. It was really nice that Bob wanted to help us raise more positive awareness of Down Syndrome and it was lovely to meet the man behind the picture.”