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Downright Excellent (DEx)

DEx improves the lives of children with Down syndrome by developing their skills from an early age, allowing them to exceed expectations and live happier and more fulfilled lives. For example, a mum said: “Since K learned the sign for ‘drink’ he can tell us when he is thirsty. We never realised before.” This opportunity is very rarely provided by the state and private tuition is prohibitively expensive for most families. Although DEx is a lean machine, it will cost around £230,000 a year by April 2020, and since 2007 DEx has raised all its own funding to provide a subsidised and customised learning pathway for children with DS in Greater London.

downrightexcellent.org/

Charity

Registered charity no. 1120863

Member since May 2019

About us

Downright Excellent (DEx) was started in 2005 by a few parents with very young children with Down syndrome (DS) and became a charity in 2007. Since then, DEx has grown to support 115 children from across Greater London. The charity fundraises to provide a range of essential interventions to help children with DS participate more effectively in society. DEx receives no mainstream funding and relies on constant fundraising to meet expenses. Downright Excellent’s Aim is to enable children with Down syndrome (DS) in London maximise their potential by developing communication, social and other life skills through activities such as educational and therapy programmes, quality play, support for parents and carers and education and support for siblings. DEx is educational and fun! and makes a huge impact on children’s ability to communicate, socialise and integrate. ➢ Children with DS face unique challenges that are specific to their condition; DS is like no other learning disability. ➢ DEx gives 115 children aged 0 – 15 subsidised specialised support they and their families desperately need. ➢ DEx provides customised services and methods that national research shows are essential to the children’s development but are not provided by the State. ➢ DEx improves the lives of children with Down syndrome by developing their skills from an early age, allowing them to exceed expectations and live happier and fulfilled lives. ➢ With tailored support, many children with DS can work towards some independence and a job. During school term time, DEx delivers small group sessions at The Sundial Centre, Shipton Street E2 7RU – near Hoxton Station. Pre-school children attend on Fridays and school-aged children on Saturdays. DEx provides: ➢ Communication and life skills involving the whole family in learning ➢ Learning to socialise for children with DS and their siblings ➢ Informal parents’ support opportunities ➢ Specialist training for parents/carers and professionals such as teachers ➢ Information through the DEx website, social media and handouts. What more do we hope to achieve this year? ➢ Find ways to increase the number of children and families that we reach. ➢ Continue to set up extra educational activities such as music, memory training, number concepts and Makaton signing for families ➢ Continue to work towards the Trusted Charity (formerly PQASSO) organisational quality mark ➢ Raise over £150,000 through fundraising activities ➢ Develop excellent working relationships with all stakeholders and sponsors. Thought for the year: ‘How might we help the DEx Team and families to organise DEx services better so that each child’s specific needs are met?’