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Letter from the CEO

Well it’s starting again to feel like Christmas and I can’t believe another year is passing us by!

A lot coming up in the Centre with Children’s Christmas parties and Santa’s arrival as well as new programmes, therapy sessions and activities being introduced ,which reading on you will hear about in more detail.

Last Sunday saw the commencement of Ballet classes in the DSC. 40 enthusiastic children donning Tutu’s had great fun with Ballet instructor Rebecca throughout 4 individual classes for children ranging in age from 3 – 12 yrs. A wonderful display of future ‘Billy Elliott’s & Darcy Bussell’s’

We are delighted to welcome our new Speech & Language therapists Grainne Murphy and Sarah McCormack onto the team, as well as Aoife Ryan who has joined the Occupational Therapy dept and know they will be great additions to our Centre,  already they are working on new and exciting programmes to start rolling out in the next few weeks, so do keep posted to our Facebook page and website for further information.

Sarah is unfortunately only here for a short period and will be replaced in the New year as will Ellie our current OT who is heading off on maternity leave (don’t panic she will be back!!) and we wish her all the very best.

Fundraising has been wonderful in 2018 and I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting or taking part in the various events we ran over the year, we really appreciate your support as without you we wouldn’t be able to continue to offer the services that so many have come to rely on.

Just for your records please note dates of closure in the office:
Closing Friday 21st December – Re-Opening Monday 7th January 2019

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.


New - 'Family Support Group'

This is a new and ideal opportunity for a group of 8 – 10 parents to come together and have the chance to discuss and share common worries and anxieties, associated with raising a child with Down syndrome in a relaxed, confidential and ‘holding’ environment.

Suitable for: Parents of children with Down syndrome in the 0 -  24 month age group.

Facilitator: Jackie Ryan a qualified psychotherapist and mother of an 8 yr old boy with Ds, who has a strong understanding of the emotions and issues parents can cross in the early years of their child’s development.

Dates & times:  The course will run for 6 weeks on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 – 9.00 pm, commencing on Wednesday January 16th.

Venue:   Family room in the Down Syndrome Centre, Shrewsbury House, Cabinteely, Dublin 18.

To book:  This is a free service but limited to 10 parents who are prapared to comimt, to reserve your place please contact reception on 01 6618000.

Handwriting group

We will be offering handwriting group therapy sessions starting in January 2019. The group is aimed at primary school age children and will run for 6 sessions.

Please express an interest to aoife@downsyndromecentre.ie by December 12th 2018.

Dates and times for these sessions will be confirmed depending on the up-take and ages of the group.

We will be working on letter formation, pencil grip, hand strength, fine motor skills and correct posture and have some fun along the way!

Group Therapy

We are delighted to be able to offer group therapy sessions run jointly by our SLT and OT team starting in January 2019. The group program will initially run for 6 sessions. 

Group therapy is an excellent opportunity for children to be able to develop their skills in a less pressurised environment than individual therapy. There are many benefits to attending group therapy, such as the opportunity for your child to;

• Teach and learn from other children
• Practise skills in a more natural learning environment
• Build their confidence in using their communication skills with friends
• Children will learn co-operation and negotiation skills
• Have fun and make some new friends!

Teenage Age Group (12-16): This group will support the development of social skills in a fun and motivating way, and life skills such as conversational skills, money skills, organisation and planning of the day. 

Preteen Group (9-12): This group will incorporate social skills into peer group fun activities such as narrative (storytelling), identifying emotions, how to initiate conversations with peers in a natural environment.

Please contact our Reception Team (01 6618000) or info@downsyndromecentre.ie to register your interest by Wednesday 12th December 2018. Exact dates and times for these sessions will be confirmed depending on the up-take.

Family Christmas Party

Our annual Family Christmas Party is on Monday 17th December from 2-4pm. All welcome, and there will be special guests Giggles the Clown and Santa Claus.

Please RSVP to info@downsyndromecentre.ie

We HO HO Hope to see you there!


Sibshops provide an opportunity for brothers and sisters of children with Down syndrome to obtain peer support and education within a highly recreational context. These workshops take a wellness approach that is fun and engaging for the siblings who attend. It will address siblings' needs in a way which everyone can enjoy and learn from.

Our therapy team will run a Sibshop over the midterm break on Thursday 22nd February 2019 from 10:00am to 2pm. The workshop is recommended for children aged 8-12, and their sibling should be at least 3 years old. Siblings who attended before are welcome to come again. The total cost for day is €25.

Note: limited places available, please contact the Ellie as soon as possible to register your child. Tel: 01 661 8000 or email ellie@downsyndromecentre.ie

‘I Could Be…’ Campaign for World Down Syndrome Day

We are looking for 18 children (aged between 6-16) to feature in a brand new awareness campaign for World Down Syndrome Day 2019 (21st March).

The campaign is called ‘I Could Be..’ and aims to promote the message that while children with Down syndrome have lots of potential they need the right supports, services and opportunities to enable them to unlock that potential.

‘I Could Be’ is about recognising the valuable contribution people with Down syndrome can make to society and in particular, about recognising and valuing the skills, talents and unique perspectives that people with Down syndrome can bring to a profession.

Our plan is to create life sized images of the children and display them around Dublin city centre on WDSD. The images will capture the child’s name, age and an ‘I Could Be…’ message e.g. ‘I could be an Actor / Graduate / Fireman / Artist / Teacher etc

For more information about the campaign please click here or contact Lorraine on 01 661 8000 or by email at lorraine@downsyndromecentre.ie

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 19th December 2018

Challenge 21

We had an amazing turnout at our 2nd annual Challenge 21 this past September! Our bespoke event has continued to grow, with over 160 participants in 2018. Whether it was walking or running, we had so much support from friends and families in the centre, and Challenge 21 proved to be a great day out for families as well as our dedicated runners and walkers! We finished the day with a well deserved after party in Howth at the Bloody Stream complete with food, drinks, and live music.

The atmosphere was electric thanks to the staff and musicians at the Bloody Stream, and our amazing participants! We cannot thank everyone involved enough for helping us raise €60,000! What an amazing accomplishment for only the second year of Challenge 21. A huge thank you to the staff at the Bloody Stream, and to the Wright Brothers of Howth for all they did to accommodate our group. We are already looking forward to next year’s Challenge 21, mark your calendars for September 2019!

Leinster Rugby Charity Partnership

We are delighted that the Down Syndrome Centre has been selected as one of the Leinster Rugby Charity Partners for the next two seasons. As part of that partnership the Down Syndrome Centre is taking over the RDS on December 22nd for the Leinster v Connaught match. We are seeking volunteers to help us on the evening with fundraising and activities. Each volunteer will be provided with refreshments and a match ticket. If you are interested in volunteering on the evening please contact emma@downsyndromecentre.ie

Show us your Blue Steel for Leinster and the Down Syndrome Centre!

The Down Syndrome Centre is taking over the RDS for Leinster v Connaught on December 22nd. We have a fantastic opportunity for one of the amazing children that attend our services in the Down Syndrome Centre as we will be selecting one child to be the Leinster Rugby mascot for the game. The winner will lead the team out on the night of the match!  We are looking for a Leinster Superfan so to enter please send us a photo or a video showing us your own little superfan.

Terms and Conditions

Competition Closes on Friday 7th December 2018 at 5pm. For an entry to be considered it must be submitted by email to emma@downsyndromecentre.ie
Winner must be available to attend Leinster Rugby v Connaught Rugby at the RDS on Saturday 22nd December 2018 (Kick off – 19.45) Winning/ nominated child must be 8-12 years of age Match tickets will be provided for the child plus a maximum of two guardians.

Leinster Rugby kit will be provided to the winning mascot
The Down Syndrome Centre reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions and to transfer the prize if the above criteria are not met. Entries may be used on the Leinster Rugby and Down Syndrome Centre Social Media platforms.

Calendars & Candles for Sale

Looking for the perfect gift for your child’s teacher or SNA? Have a Secret Santa coming up for work or with family? Look no further than our online shop! We are selling beautiful bespoke Brooke & Shoals candles both in large and travel size, and in October, we launched our 2019 I’m Able2 Calendar! Always a favourite among family and friends.

Our candles come in two amazing scents, Neroli & Lavender and Grapefruit & Lemongrass. Our Large candles retail at €15 each, and our travel size €7.50 each, or 3 for €20! They can be purchased at our centre, and at our various Christmas stalls before Christmas. If you would like to order, please contact us at 01-661-8000, or via email at info@downsyndromecentre.ie

Our 2019 I’m Able2 Calendar features some of the amazing children we serve here at our centre, and around the country. The calendar retails at €5, and can be bought in person at our centre and online at downsyndromecentre.ie

Be One of 21 Companies to Help Us Raise €100K in 2019

Do you know of any businesses that would like to partner with the Down Syndrome Centre in 2019?  In 2019 we are seeking 21 companies to work with us to raise €100K for services in the Down Syndrome Centre through donations, events and staff led fundraising.

If you know of any company that might want to be involved with us in a charity partnership in 2019 please contact Emma at 016618000 or emma@downsyndromecentre.ie