On World Down’s Syndrome Day, colleagues at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust will be rocking their odd socks as they call upon every person with Down’s syndrome to tell the world ‘we decide.’
Wearing miss-matched socks is a usually a sign someone has got dressed in the dark, but colleagues from the Trust’s Maternity Services teams also hope their funky footwear will help to raise awareness about Down’s syndrome.
The teams are inviting patients, their families and colleagues to donate £1 to show off their super socks on Friday 20 March – a day before the official World Down’s Syndrome Day on 21 March.
All the funds raised will be split equally between the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity and the Down’s Syndrome Association.
Jackie Durban, one of the Trust’s lead midwives for Antenatal and Newborn Screening, said: “This year’s theme for World Down’s Syndrome Day is ‘we decide,’ which aims to empower people with Down’s syndrome to get involved in making decisions about things which affect their lives. This could include anything from the healthcare they receive, their education, relationships or work.
“Wearing odd, colourful socks will hopefully be a great ice breaker to get everyone talking about how we can support people of all ages with Down’s syndrome to advocate for change.
“Our role in the Antenatal and Newborn Screening Unit is also to support families through the screening process and to help them make informed decisions about their future if they are given unexpected results. Just like any diagnosis, learning about Down’s syndrome can be an unsettling and anxious time for parents.
“We hope our event will help to raise awareness about the wealth of medical and non-medical support there is in Rotherham and nationally to support parents in their decision making and planning for the future.”
World Down’s Syndrome Day is typically held on March 21 to signify the extra 21st chromosome detected in a baby’s cells which leads to a Down’s syndrome diagnosis.
Charity collection tins will be located on Wharncliffe Ward, Labour Ward, Children’s Ward, Clinical Coding and at Greenoakes at Rotherham Hospital. Alternatively, donations can be made directly to the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, based on D Level in the Corporate Secretariat at Rotherham Hospital.
Mike Smith, Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee, said: “Wearing your odd socks and donating £1 is such a simple fundraising idea but one we can all get behind. I will certainly be wearing mine. We hope Trust colleagues, patients and their families have a fun day wearing their funky footwear while supporting two great causes.
“There’s also a serious call to action I hope we can endorse about empowering people with Down’s syndrome to speak up and to be heard so they can make decisions about their own lives.”
Photo caption: Colleagues from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust get set for World Down’s Syndrome Day – Sarah Neal (Midwife), Jackie Durban (Lead Midwife for Antenatal and Newborn Screening), Emily Burgh (Midwife), Jo Lacey (Nursery Nurse) and Rukhsana Shah (Junior Midwife).