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Hello, I'm Kate.
Like 40,000 other people in the UK, I have Down's Syndrome.
People with Down's Syndrome have one extra chromosome.
This means we need some extra help.
And this is the home of a charity who understand
how to help people with Down's Syndrome.
They're called the Down's Syndrome Association
or the DSA.
I've worked here for years,
raising awareness about the condition.
I love working here. I write a blog and edit the magazine.
We have readers from across the world.
Thanks to the DSA, attitudes to people with Down's Syndrome,
have really changed, and the DSA's dedicated
information officers can change lives, too.
Good afternoon, Down's Syndrome Association.
The DSA offers specialised support
to help people live the lives they choose.
Oh, happy! Can you crack an egg? Eh? Can you crack an egg...?
Roger is nearly 60 and lives alone, with help from carers, like Sarah.
Now, just break them up...
When he was young, people with Down's Syndrome weren't always
given the same chances as I've had to live with some independence.
Roger used to live in a residential care home.
It can work for some people, but Roger found it difficult.
What day shall we go?
What about Thursday?
No, not Thursday.
Roger has faced challenges, but now he and his carers have
the support of the DSA, to help him live more independently.
Do you want to get the train or the bus? Bus. Bus.
I am sad to hear that people with Down's Syndrome had difficult lives,
but now the Down's Syndrome Association can help them
to achieve their dreams.
Roger's carers often turn to the DSA for advice.
They've helped Roger build a wide network of support
in his local neighbourhood.
'What I think is really important is that Roger
'has a natural support network, cos if you rely totally on staff,
'they are ultimately paid
'to be in Roger's life.'
Thank you, Roger, have a nice day. Thank you.
Just by going to the cafes, local shops, they all know him.
He's really a part of the local community.
Life for Roger is now very different from his time
in residential care.
Geometry and fractions and all sorts of things.
And many of those are visual, which our learners are.
The DSA helps people through all stages in their lives.
They have a helpline and also run training sessions,
like this one, for teachers and parents
of children with Down's Syndrome starting primary school.
Marie-Claire has used the DSA's services
since her daughter Lia was born.
Marie-Claire now comes to the DSA to talk about
what has worked for her family.
I think knowing that there is an association or a group that is
fighting on your behalf
for the rights of your child,
that is researching and collating
information on your behalf,
is so important.
I think there's always an assumption
that if you have a child with a disability,
there are going to be too many problems.
Different doesn't have to be something you fear.
Actually, different can be great
and we feel very lucky to have her in our family.
And I mean that.
The DSA helps people to have a voice...
..but it takes time.
And it's fantastic when people do listen to you.
This is Lucy. Say nut cake.
She lives in a house with three friends.
I like it here.
I have my friends around me, and Claire.
She is kind to me.
So, shall we have a look at planning for the week?
With help from Claire, her care worker, Lucy makes
the choices she wants.
I like shopping.
I've got my bank card. I remember
my PIN number in my head...
to get my money out.
Because my money is important.
I do my own washing.
I do my own cleaning in my bedroom.
Lucy's mum has come to visit.
Their family has always relied on the DSA.
When she was born, we were given
really very little information.
We took her in a carry-cot to Birmingham,
to the Down's Syndrome Association,
and that first help that they gave us was vital.
It changed our whole picture of the future.
You have the dilemma of wanting, or I did, of wanting Lucy
to go out there and have as much independence
as she could, which she's achieving.
But, also, just as a mum, still feeling protective of her,
The DSA helped Lucy's family believe
she would have choices in life.
They backed them up
when Lucy went to mainstream school.
She now has a part-time job.
I work on reception,
doing the post for other people.
If someone comes in...
..and someone is signed in
and signs the book.
I like the people there.
They like me there.
These days, she really does believe she is listened to,
and what she has to say has value.
With support from the DSA,
Lucy has made a lot of positive changes.
She has started using technology, to make her life easier.
The Down's Syndrome Association has helped us right through Lucy's life
and, at times, we've had to fight for the opportunities that she has.
It's wonderful to see Lucy more independent.
It's what we always hoped for her.
I know I will have to face
big decisions as I get older,
but I know I'll have the DSA's support,
as they have always been there for me.
The Down's Syndrome Association has already transformed
thousands of lives, but all of their services cost money and the DSA
can only carry on with your support.
Please, give what you can,
and help people with Down's Syndrome
to achieve their dreams.
please go to the website,
To give by phone,
call 0800 011 011.
Calls are free
from mobiles and landlines.
You can also donate ?10
by texting SUPPORT to 70121.
Texts cost ?10, plus your
standard network message charge,
and the whole ?10 goes to the DSA.
Full terms and conditions
can be found at bbc.co.uk/lifeline
Or if you'd like to post a donation,
please make your cheque payable to
The Down's Syndrome Association
and send it to FREEPOST
BBC LIFELINE APPEAL, writing
"Down's Syndrome Association"
on the back of the envelope.
And if you want the charity to claim
Gift Aid on your donation,
please include an e-mail or postal address,
so that they can send you a Gift Aid form.