Celebrating World Down’s Syndrome Day
Tuesday 21st March saw the global celebration of World Down’s Syndrome Day, as a way of raising awareness of Downs Syndrome and empowering the millions of people around the world affected by it.
Around a third of the people we support have Down’s Syndrome, so this is always an important day for Lisieux Trust.
2021 and 2022 saw big leaps in the representation of people with Down’s Syndrome in the public eye. George Webster started presenting on Cbeebies, Ellie Goldstein became the face of Gucci and Adidas and high-street brands in the fashion industry started using models with Down’s Syndrome in their advertising.
We loved seeing this happen and we hope it helps other people with Down’s Syndrome to feel that they are important and valuable members of society.
Every year there is a different theme to the awareness day, with the 2023 theme – ‘With Us Not For Us’ focusing on how people with Down’s Syndrome have the right to make their own decisions about their own lives; rather than other people telling them how they should and shouldn’t live.
We are incredibly passionate about this at Lisieux Trust. We know all too well just how often adults with Down’s Syndrome and other learning disabilities, or autism are told what they should and shouldn’t do by others.
We believe in supporting each adult to understand what their options are and to make choices that they feel comfortable and confident about.
People with Down’s Syndrome and other learning disabilities and autism are often expected to live ‘perfect’ lives where they make no mistakes.
However, adults without disabilities make mistakes or make choices that other people would consider ‘unwise’ everyday; they might shout, swear, sit and eat a whole pack of biscuits in one go, they might go out and have too much to drink, they might date the wrong person, they might take a job that isn’t right for them.
These are the kind of ‘mistakes’ or ‘poor choices’ that teach us about ourselves and life; they can be an invaluable part of learning what is important to us and feeling more confident about how to achieve it.
Yet adults with learning disabilities are often expected to avoid these scenarios because they are considered too ‘risky’.
At Lisieux Trust, we believe everyone we support has the right to make informed choices; our job is to ensure our residents and tenants have as much information as possible about each option open to them and to support them to make their own decisions.
If they turn out to have made a mistake or a poor choice for them; we’re there to help them understand and learn from it. And if they need to be angry, have a cry or need a hug, we’re there for that too! We believe this is what real adult life looks like, and everyone has the right to it.
Residential care and supported living at Lisieux Trust
With 11 homes situated across Northeast Birmingham – including Sutton Coldfield, we provide a place for adults with a learning disability or autism to live together, learn together and laugh together.
Find out more about the support we provide here – https://www.lisieuxtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/