Ups and Downs South West   

Down Syndrome Support Organisation

   “Supporting the Present to change the Future”

Patrons: Dr Anna Baverstock MB, ChB, MRCP(UK), MRCPCH , Ms Sally Lindsay


The Old School, School Road, Westonzoyland, Somerset                                                 Tel 01278 691100


                              Edition 28/11/2016


In July, we said goodbye to our Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Wendy O’Carroll.  Wendy started Ups & Downs South West, inspired by her own experiences with her son Oliver and wanted to create a more positive world for other families bringing up children with Down Syndrome.  Her footprint of positivity has left a mark for so many   families, professionals in health care and education across the south west. We wouldn’t know where to start with how much she has achieved over the last 18 years!!  Wendy has touched so many people’s lives, too numerous to mention and we wish her well on her next journey.

We welcome Jo Dean, our new Operations Business, and Development Manager.  She has a wealth of experience in Somerset running Homestart Bridgwater, supporting families who are finding life a struggle and needing some reassurance, so has a great deal of empathy for families at Ups & Downs South West.  I’m sure you will all give her a warm welcome to the team.



Oliver Hellowell had great success raising the profile for teenagers with Down Syndrome, staging an exhibition in Somerset of his amazing wildlife photography at Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, near Taunton and at the Old School, Westonzoyland.  A fabulous role model showing you can achieve your dreams!!

Team INFINITY & BEYOND competed in the Dragon Boat Races at Sherborne Country Fair, raising a total of £3,035.98 for Ups and Downs! We are extremely grateful for all the hard work they put in, the team consisted of parents of our wonderful children and also friends and family members so HUGE WELL DONE !  Thanks to everyone who donated!!!

A spectacular Ball held on 15th October 2016 at the Bristol Marriott City Centre this year raised over £3000 on the night!

The Bridgwater Harley Davidson Owners Group have once again supported us, by raising an amazing £2300, and still counting, along with volunteering at our events and even having links with Father Christmas and his Elves! Thank you x

In celebration of World Down Syndrome Awareness Week, on Saturday 23rd March 2016, a successful Flash Mob dance was held in Taunton at Orchard Shopping Centre, with staff, volunteers and families from Ups & Downs taking part in a rehearsed (thanks to YouTube!) dance routine to the song Uptown Funk.  And as if that wasn’t getting enough attention ITV news filmed it and interviewed children and parents, and Wendy of course, to find out all about this event!  Huge well done to all who danced and those like me who tried to!!

The next World Down Syndrome Awareness Day is on Tuesday 21st March 2017. Ideas are welcomed on how we can make a real impact next year and raise the roof on awareness.

We saw the return of Nerys Hughes and her ‘Nerys Neuro Science’ as she calls it in March 2016.  She first recommended a book by Dr Lucy Miller, Sensational Kids: Hope & Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder, which has many five star recommendations on Amazon so worth reading. She started by saying we need to think of Sensory Processing as a system, linked to every part of our bodies both physically and mentally, and thus has a knock-on effect when it doesn’t function well. This was a very interesting workshop and one that we hope to repeat in 2017.

Last Sunday, 4th December 2016, we held our annual Christmas party for the under 10’s, at Robert Blake & Elmwood Leisure, in Bridgwater. Over 35 children (and their families) came to see Santa in Grotto and receive a gift, we hope you all enjoyed it!

Find future training courses on Facebook, Twitter or our website.




TAKE ACTION Sign up for our Abseil in May 2017


BEFRIENDING SCHEME Currently a 10 week (1 day per week) training course is being held for parents and carers who would like to volunteer to support new and existing families with their baby or child with Down Syndrome.  Future training courses may come up next year if you wish to be a befriending volunteer.  Also, if you would like some support from one of our newly trained volunteers, who have a child with Down Syndrome, please get in touch.

DONATE -  Not sending Christmas cards this year? You can donate the money you would have spent on cards and stamps to us and help be part of a brighter future for our children.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY Wearing that Christmas jumper? Send us a picture and donate £5 and you can see yourself on our Facebook page.  Text UDCH21 £5 to 70070 to donate to Ups and Downs SW and make a difference today (#JustTextGiving by #Vodafone charges may apply).

FEELING CHATTY? We are always looking for volunteers to help at our events so please contact Michelle on 01278 691100 if you can spare some time.

To all the people that have held jumble sales, coffee mornings, school fundraisers, volunteered and beyond we can’t continue to do our important work unless we are supported by you wonderful people, sometimes it is impossible to name you all in these newsletters but we do appreciate all the hard work that you, your families and friends do and thank you for taking up your time to support us.

May we take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year


Parents and Professionals - Share your WOW moments from our amazing children…..!

E-mail to


Becky Hughes, Ups & Downs South West Ambassador.

Our mailing address is:

Ups and Downs Southwest
The Old School House
School Road



Somerset Parent Carer Forum CIC Ltd (not for profit) company no. 10227489

powered by intouch with communities
© 2012 - Intouch with Communities. Registered Office: Laurel House, Station Road, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS22 6AR