£1,000 Funding Boost for Down Syndrome Kerry

Down Syndrome Kerry (DSI Kerry), an organisation providing support, education and friendship for people with Down Syndrome, has been awarded £1,000 by the Pavers Foundation. Denise Smyth, Store Manager of Pavers in Killarney, applied through our grant application initiative to support DSI Kerry, a charity very close to her heart.

DSI Kerry is a parent led organisation that helps families to deal with the diagnosis of their child having Down Syndrome. The organisation is passionate about ensuring that children with special education needs have access to an inclusive learning environment. 

DSI Kerry provides a wide range of support, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy services for younger persons and employment and education opportunities. DSI Kerry also offers recreational services to their members, such as swimming lessons, Zumba, basketball, cookery, cycling lessons and horse riding.

The organisation, which has over 200 members, receives no state funding and all activities and services are reliant on the contributions of members and the generosity of the public. In 2015 DSI Kerry opened up a charity shop as a way of raising funds, awareness and to offer employment opportunities for their young adults. 

Denise Smyth, Store Manager at Pavers in Killarney said: 

“Down Syndrome is very close to my heart being in my own family and seeing the daily challenges that families face and that have not been funded by the government, I wanted to try to help in any way possible.

While I was pregnant with my own little boy a friend of mine was also pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful little girl Emilie who was born with Down Syndrome. Seeing first-hand the challenges that Simone faces with her little girl, I wanted to reach out to the Pavers Foundation and see if they would help with these challenges, such as occupational therapy and Speech Therapy along with social and educational activities. I know that the £1,000 will be put to great use.” 

Shirley Morris, Admin Secretary at Down Syndrome Kerry said: 

“Our goal is to help people with Down Syndrome make their own futures as bright and as independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way. Thank you to the Pavers Foundation.” 

To find out more information about Down Syndrome Kerry, please visit www.downsyndromekerry.ie.