Skip to content

Share this page

Share this article on Facebook Tweet this article on Twitter Share this article on Linkedin


World Down Syndrome Day 2021

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), 21 March, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Click here to read more about World Down Syndrome Day

Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association - Down Syndrome Awareness Week 2021

Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association –  Down Syndrome Awareness Week (15th – 21st March)

Down Syndrome Awareness Week is the most important day in our calendar each year culminating in World Down Syndrome Day on 21st March. It provides an exciting opportunity for us to raise awareness about Down syndrome and our charity, reinforce positive terminology and also celebrate the achievements of our young people. This year all our celebrations will be held remotely, so it is very apt the week’s theme is #CONNECT!  We will be aiming to actively reconnect with our community through a variety of awareness activities which we hope everyone will support.

  • Social Media Awareness Campaign: Warner Goodman Solicitors will be generously sponsoring our celebrations for the 8th year running. For every new like and page follow we receive on our social media pages between 15th – 21st March, Warner Goodman will donate £1 to our charity so please support us! The support from WG really helps us to reach a much wider audience over the week.


Facebook   Twitter    Instagram   LinkedIn


  • Rock Your Socks Initiative: We will be inviting individuals, schools and organisations to wear colourful socks on one day during the week to help us celebrate our differences, and to take a photo and post on social media, tagging us in @PortsmouthDSA #PortsmouthDSA #RockYourSocks #CONNECT . Last year thousands of individuals from different organisations took part, and we hope everyone will support us again this year too.


  • My Feral Heart film screening: We were thrilled when we heard that the BBC will be screening our multi-award-winning film ‘My Feral Heart’ starring the talented Steven Brandon as part of the national DS Week celebrations. BBC4 (Thursday 19th March 9pm) and then on BBC iPlayer.


We are posting a daily fact about Down syndrome and the charity from 1st March – 21st to help raise awareness and encourage people to get in touch if they would like to know more about the charity or have any questions. This will be accompanied by our Mega Draw with prizes every day for 21 days including a Range Rover weekend and a Porsche experience at Silverstone donated by our fantastic local community.  We end the week with a quiz night for our families on 19th and it will be great to ‘see’ everyone!  We are certainly going to be very busy, but it’s always such a wonderful week!

Information about Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome  is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. In the majority of cases, Down syndrome is not an inherited condition. Down syndrome usually occurs because of a chance happening at the time of conception

Some interesting facts about Down Syndrome ( thanks to the Down’s Syndrome Association)

  • Around one in every 1000 babies born in the UK will have Down’s syndrome.
  • There are approximately 40,000 people in the UK with the condition.
  • Although the chance of a baby having Down’s syndrome is higher for older mothers, more babies with Down’s syndrome are born to younger women.
  • Down’s syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. In the majority of cases, Down’s syndrome is not an inherited condition. Down’s syndrome usually occurs because of a chance happening at the time of conception.
  • Down’s syndrome is not a disease. People with Down’s syndrome are not ill and do not “suffer” from the condition.
  • People with the syndrome will have a learning disability. The learning disability affects a person’s ability to learn, it does not mean they cannot learn.
  • Today the average life expectancy for a person with Down’s syndrome is between 50 and 60 with a small number of people living into their seventies

Watch the video below to find out more about Down Syndrome .

Links to Services and Support for those with Down Syndrome

Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association

Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association

Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association is committed to improving the lives of children with Down syndrome across Portsmouth, Hampshire and beyond.  The charity understands that children with Down syndrome can succeed when given the opportunity, and with the right support.

Portsmouth DSA provides a range of some of the best specialist services in the UK supporting development and education. They offer training to assist families and professionals in providing effective support from the point of diagnosis, helping to teach children the skills they need to reach their developmental milestones, succeed at school, and become valued and productive members of their communities because children with Down syndrome are given opportunities to participate and be fully included, the whole of society benefits.

Specialist services include parental support from the point of diagnosis, Baby Support Groups, Early Intervention Groups, Communication Therapy and a Schools Advisory Service currently supporting the successful inclusion of children with Down syndrome in 100 mainstream schools across the area. Portsmouth DSA offers training for thousands of school staff and NHS health professionals, as well as organising social opportunities and seasonal parties where families can make friends and share experiences. They are one of the founding members of the national Down Syndrome Policy Group and the All-Parliamentary Group on Down Syndrome, and actively lobby for better rights and provision for individuals with a learning disability.

Portsmouth DSA is completely self-funding and managed by volunteers, so all donations are very gratefully received, and will go directly to provide vital services for children and their families which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.  To find out more, please visit .

Solent NHS Trust - 0-18 Healthier Together

Solent NHS Trust offer a variety of services to support children and young people with Down Syndrome.

This includes screening facilities, support during pregnancy, specialist nursing team, specialist health visitors, therapies and paediatricians.

The Team can also refer on to other support services within Portsmouth City who can help with your child’s development and learning – including Portage and Portage plus.

You can visit their website by clicking here.

Down Syndrome Association

Down's Syndrome Association

Their mission

To create the conditions that all people who have Down’s syndrome need to live full and rewarding lives.

Who they are

The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) is the only charity in the UK dealing with all aspects of Down’s syndrome. Its aim is to help people who have Down’s syndrome live full and rewarding lives.

Since 1970, we have grown from being a local parent support group into a national charity with over 20,000 members, a national office in Teddington, Middlesex and an office in Northern Ireland. Despite this, the organisation is run by a total staff of just over 40 (many of them part time). We also work closely with local support groups throughout the UK.

What they do

Our organisation is divided into various teams, including:

  • Training & Information – delivers helpline support services; provide information about all aspects of living with Down’s syndrome including specialist advisers on benefits, education, health and social care; advise new parents or anyone with questions; promote and facilitate information exchange between members through various groups; provide support on our Facebook groups; develop and deliver training throughout the UK for members, professionals and carers.
    They also run our Having A Voice project, giving people who have Down’s syndrome a platform to have their say and be heard.
  • WorkFit – Our employment programmme which brings together employers and jobseekers who have Down’s syndrome. It is a tailored service dedicated to training employers about the learning profile of people who have Down’s syndrome so that they can be supported in the workplace. We focus on finding the right employment opportunities for people who have Down’s syndrome and ensuring that they have the support they need to be successful in the workplace.
  • DSActive – Providing as many opportunities as possible for people who have Down’s syndrome to lead active and healthy lives.
  • Membership – The more members we have, the stronger our voice when campaigning. Our Membership team is responsible for all administration surrounding new members, existing members and affiliated groups.
  • Fundraising – responsible for raising money for the association through events, sponsorship and trusts
  • Communications – give key messages to the media, public and professionals; influence policy making; responsible for external publications

The DSA is fortunate to work at the Langdon Down Centre, the former home of pioneering Victorian physician, Dr John Langdon Down, after whom Down’s syndrome was named. View the Langdon Down Museum for more information about the history of Dr Langdon Down, his work and our historic offices.

Mencap - Down Syndrome information and Easy Read Documents

Mencap Advice and Support

Mencap turns to hackathon for help with new 'positive behavior' appPeople with Down’s syndrome will live with the condition for their whole life, but there are ways to help children develop into healthy adults who are able to live the lives they choose. This includes:

  • access to good healthcare
  • early intervention programmes to provide support for children and parents
  • good relationships and family life
  • education and support groups.

For more information and advice about Down’s syndrome, contact our helpline.


Portsmouth Portage and Portage Plus

Portsmouth Portage Team provides an educational service (Portage or Portage Plus) for pre-school children from a very early age up until they are ready to start school. Children and families are supported at home and nursery. Early years settings can also benefit from Portage or Portage Plus intervention. Portage is a small steps approach, working in partnership with parents and/or carers to support the child’s learning at home and for Portage Plus in an early years setting.

Click here to visit the Portage page and find out how to access the service

Resources for those working with Children and Young People in an education setting

This section is currently being updated. Please come back soon!

Get in touch - tell us what you think

Contact the Portsmouth Send Local Offer to gain help, get more information or to leave feedback about the website.

Get in touch