Down’s Syndrome support group for East Lincolnshire re-launches as charity

Re-launched as a charity and under a new name, the East Lincolnshire Down's Syndrome Family Support Group.
Re-launched as a charity and under a new name, the East Lincolnshire Down's Syndrome Family Support Group.

A Down’s Syndrome support group for people in East Lincolnshire, set up just over two years ago, has re-launched as an independent charity – and under a new name.

The Boston Down’s Syndrome Family Support Group is now the East Lincolnshire Down’s Syndrome Family Support Group.

A scene from the re-launch event.

A scene from the re-launch event.

The change in name is designed to reflect the fact its membership extends far beyond its base in Boston, with families travelling from Skegness, Friskney, Holbeach, Spalding, and Horncastle for its fortnightly sessions.

Looking back on the history of the group, secretary Louise Miller, of Skegness, said: “We started in January 2017 as the Boston Down’s Syndrome Family Support Group. Initially, the Lincolnshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group took us under their wing and helped us financially.

“As the group has developed over the last couple of years, they suggested that we were in a good position to establish ourselves independently and would support us in doing so if we do wished.

“We are a group currently consisting of 12 families, and eight of us got together and decided that if we didn’t try we would never know, so at the end of last year decided to form a committee in order to become an independent charity.”

Charlotte Clarkson receiving her award from judge Steve Gelder.

Charlotte Clarkson receiving her award from judge Steve Gelder.

The new charity status means the group is able to apply for grants.

Louise said: “We have received a grant from Boston Big Local for our 2019 basic running costs; One Stop Carriers for Causes have also given us a grant to establish cooking sessions within our meetings. The Medlock Trust have also kindly donated us some money. This gives us confidence that others can see what we are trying to achieve for our children.”

The group next meet on Saturday, April 6, at 10am, at St Christopher’s Church, in Fenside Road. For more on the group, find them on Facebook.

* The founder of the Boston Down’s Syndrome Family Support Group has been honoured at the inaugural BBC Radio Lincolnshire Make A Difference Awards 2019.

Charlotte Clarkson, from Boston, received the Yellowbelly of the Year award at the event for her work in running the group.

Charlotte – the group’s president – also collected the award for Carer of the Year at the ceremony, held at Bishop Grosseteste University, in Lincoln, on Wednesday.