Winner: Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, Derry~Londonderry

Foyle Down Syndrome Trust was founded in 1995 by local parents of Down Syndrome children because they believed that more could be done to develop their potential. Twenty one years on the Trust has grown from strength to strength. This is a user-led innovative and ground-breaking approach to the educational development and social inclusion of children and young people aged 0-30 years with Down Syndrome, who are disadvantaged by a learning disability and associated medical conditions. Priorities are to improve communication skills, develop literacy and numeracy skills, promote life and employability skills and develop inclusive social programmes. Parents are empowered and assisted in leading their children to independent living and best practice is disseminated to families and professionals. There is public support from the Mayor, politicians, schools, colleges, sports teams, local celebrities, country singers to name but a few, who all recognise the merit of the work.
Group Contact: Lorraine Gallen [email protected]

The judges were inspired and humbled by this winning entry to witness the level of maturity that shone through at this very well-run organization. This organization undertakes home visits, one to one development sessions and summer schemes for three different age ranges. In addition, a kitchen and a new sensory room have been installed. It was clear to the judges that the network for families provided within this group is invaluable and appreciated by all those served.
Runner up: Walk, Dublin City