Meet the Committee
Chairman / Trustee
I am married with three children, Daniel, Nicole and Francesca with DS.
I am so proud of how far Upwards with Downs has come in such a short time and look forward to a positive future. My role is to ensure we have activities that will enhance the lives of people with Down Syndrome and their family. Anyone that knows me will know how passionate I am about Upwards with Downs and how excited I am about helping it's members.
Secretary / Trustee
I live in Grays and have 4 children. When my son Rowan was born, the way we were treated and told Rowan had Down Syndrome was neither professional or very understanding. I am hoping Upwards with Downs can change the outdated approach in the way the news is given to new parents and help them come to terms with the fact their child has Down Syndrome. The main aim of the charity is to be there for support, advice and friendship, someone is always just a phone or text away when needed.
I have 3 children Billie, Tyler and Jasmin. I found out while I was pregnant with Jasmin that she had down syndrome and a few heart defects one being rare in DS. This was very hard & challenging but we have come out the other side. I first heard of upwards with downs when I was 25 weeks pregnant and decided to go along to one of there support groups run from our local children centre. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. they have shown me that life is not over just because I have a child with DS fact it is just beginning. This is one of the reason I wanted to become a committee member to give back advice and support to new other new parents. I also help run the local support group
I am a full time Mum to Aidan, born in 2005, who has Down Syndrome. He is both a joy and a challenge but the former far outweighs the latter!
I am married to James who is a parish priest here in Harlow. We came to Harlow when Aidan was 8 and it was great to be able to come to Upwards with Downs and meet other parents and their children. As a committee member I aim to support and enhance the work of Upwards with Downs in order to secure a brighter present future for our children.
I started volunteering for Upwards with Downs a few year ago through a joint work project and quickly feel in love with the ethos of the charity. Upwards with Downs is a positive influence in a world, where so much negativity surrounds DS and hearing how often parents are told their children can't do things or won't be able to achieve, really saddened me. The 'Can Do' approach of UWD inspired me to join the committee and get more involved. I love how the UWD members are like a big family sharing experiences, giving each other hope and always encouraging each other. As the only member without a direct connection to DS, I feel I bring an independent view point to the committee and have a variety of expertise including extensive volunteering & fundraising experience and a financial background.
I look forward to helping UWD's continue to be a positive voice for DS!
My younger sister Megan has Down Syndrome. We are very close and love our girlie days out. Aside from upwards with downs I work full time in marketing and volunteer at a social club for adults with learning difficulties. When Megan was born and whilst growing up there was limited support for the families of those with DS. I feel privileged to now be part of a charity which provides so much for people with DS and their families. I hope that the experiences I have shared with Megan throughout her life will help others.
As a Family Support Worker at The Tree House Children’s Centre I was involved in building the group from the start in 2011. Since then I have moved on to other employment and am now an adult tutor, a learning support assistant in a primary school and a speech and language assistant for Upwards With Downs. I continue to enjoy supporting the group and have learnt so much from the families and other professionals during this time. I am so inspired by the parent’s hard work and enthusiasm in supporting each other, their warmth and understanding towards new families and their commitment to do the very best for the children and young people with DS.
I'm married to Jason and I'm mum to Hannah, Hayley, Connor, Darcey and Millie. Millie has DS and we found out pre-natally early on in the pregnancy, I was astounded by the lack of positivity surrounding such a diagnosis and I'm hoping that my involvement with Upwards with Downs will enable us as a charity to reach out to parents in those early days and help them to understandand come to terms with having a child with Down Syndrome, as well as supporting new and old members to live their lives to their full potential
I'm married to Lisa, step-dad to Hannah, Hayley and Connor and Dad to Darcey and Millie who has DS. I was shocked by how much negativity we were shown during Lisa's pregnancy by doctors etc.
I hope by becoming a committee member I can help others see the positive side to DS and see the joy i get from Millie everyday.
I am married to Cristina and dad to Daniel, Nicole and francesca. Being part of Upwards with Downs is a great honour and a great responsibility.