Down Syndrome Ireland is dedicated to being the primary source of information and support to people with Down syndrome, their families and the professional community, working towards an improved quality of life for our members along with a respect and acceptance of people with Down syndrome as valued members of Irish society.
Welcome to the website of Down Syndrome Ireland, Waterford Branch.
DSI Waterford Branch is a support group for families of and people with Down Syndrome in Waterford and South Kilkenny, Ireland. We work to help people with Down Syndrome reach their full potential by providing information and support to them, their families, carers and professionals.
To achieve our aim, we have a three-pronged approach – Activities for members with DS, Family Support Network, and raising awareness of Down Syndrome among professionals and the public
DSI Waterford Branch – Members Activities
The branch strives to facilitate and support a variety of social, educational, and life enhancing activities for our members with Down Syndrome. These include;
- Swimming Lessons – currently our swimmers range in age from 4 to yung adults
- Music Therapy – we have two groups – babies through to 4 yrs, and 5 yrs and over
- Keep Fit Classes with Niall Devereux Fitness
- Cookery classes – for teenagers and adults
- Computer classes – for teenagers an adults
- Adult Literacy classes – for members who have finished school
- Social occasions – for all members grouped according to age.
- Traces Dance Ensemble who took part in You(th) Share 2011 Dance Festival
- Junior Traces Dance Group for members 7 – 14 yrs
- Summer Days Out
- Christmas Parties
- Chillax – social gatherings for teenagers and adults
- Personal Development Course for those aged 15 and over.
- Our members are actively involved in the development and maintenance of our website. This includes a social networking area with exclusive access to the members themselves
Although these activities are organised through the branch, our members take part in a wide range of activities, which are extremely beneficial to them e.g. private speech therapy, horse riding, yoga, soccer, dancing, drama, arts and crafts classes. In this case we have set up a scheme where families can get some financial support from the branch. This scheme is reviewed annually. The branch also co-operates with and supports local Arch Clubs where possible.
DSI Waterford Branch – Family Support Network
The Branch provides support for parents and siblings of members with Down syndrome, in a variety of ways;
- Parentlink – Hospital visit for new families by a parent trained in support.
- Parent support – many of our children with DS have health, behavioural, development, feeding issues. We put parents in touch with each other for chat, advice and support. Parents also meet regularly at our activities and fundraising events.
- We provide information about health, education, independence, and advocacy issues to families and to professionals
- We hold Regular branch meetings with Guest Speakers on relevant topics
- The branch is developing a growing library of books, DVDs, and computer software about Down Syndrome, Education, Health and Advocacy available for our use by the members. A catalogue of this collection will be made available to all the members of the branch, and members can request to have specific resources added. The national office also houses a substantial library of resources in Dublin.
- We recognise that siblings play an important part in the growth and development of our DS members. Equally we strive to support siblings as and when required. We therefore encourage siblings take part in as many of our activities as possible. These include music therapy, family days out, and the Christmas party.
DSI Waterford Branch – Awareness Raising
Awareness raising is extremely important to maintain a high profile for the organisation for the purposes of fundraising, but also to foster positive attitudes amongst the general public and professionals towards people with Down Syndrome. Some of our awareness raising activities includes;
- Maintaining this website, and a presence on Facebook
- Arranging photo opportunities in the local media to raise awareness of the Branch
- Collating and sending on of photographs and members news for the DSI National Magazine
- Liaising with HSE, TDs etc. on relevant issues – In the past year we successfully had SLT reinstated to the two special schools in Waterford city.
- We send delegates to National Executive Council meetings, which means that Waterford is represented nationally