240. Rachael Ross
239. Lucy Field
Two mothers from Portsmouth in recognition of their work supporting local families who have children with Down syndrome.
Lucy Field and Rachael Ross are the founders of the Portsmouth Down syndrome Association, also known as ‘Footprints’.
Lucy and Rachael set up the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association in 2009 to provide friendship and advice as well as a wide range of specialist services for families of children with Down syndrome. The charity offers training to schools and teachers on interpreting the curriculum and provides tailored education to support children with Down syndrome.
Over 800 professionals have attended training sessions and more than 150 families have been helped in total by the Association. Lucy and Rachael are both parents of children with Down syndrome and run the charity alongside their own careers and family commitments.
The group is staffed entirely by six volunteers and is supported by large numbers of local volunteer fundraisers. Over 120 runners each year have taken part in the Great South Run and 40 volunteers have rowed in the Dragon Boat race to raise funds for the charity.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Rachael and Lucy have used their experience as parents of children with Downs Syndrome to create an organisation that provides the friendship, advice and support families need. Together they have shown that, when given the opportunity and with the right support, children with Down syndrome can succeed. I am pleased to make them the UK’s 239th and 240th Points of Light.”
Rachael and Lucy said:
“We are both thrilled to have been awarded a Point of Light Award for doing something that we love. It’s hard work, but hugely rewarding, and we never fail to be amazed by all the children can achieve. This award is a tribute to the dedication of our very small but brilliant team of trustees, our wonderful families, and the local community whose collective efforts and support have helped to make a real and positive difference to the lives of children with Down syndrome.”
Lucy’s local MP, Mike Hancock, said:
“The work that Lucy has done and that of the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association can’t be overstated. They have given hope to parents and families that there is a group who can offer them support and who will work with them and for them.”