PARENTS have launched a new charity for families with children who have Down's Syndrome.

Ups n Downs was started by a small group of parents and meets every Tuesday morning at the children’s centre near Manor School in Raunds.

The group has already put on music therapy and sing and sign sessions but it hopes to raise enough money to organise other activities.

Chairman Tom Rees, of Rushden, whose two-year-old son Freddie has Down’s Syndrome, said: “When we had Freddie the thing we found most reassuring was to talk to other families who had similar experiences.

“We started a year ago with only three famliies but now we have 11 and we hope now we have charity status more families will join us.

“We have run music therapy and sing and sign sessions but we would like to do more to help with their cognitive development.

“We also want to develop a parents’ pack and want to send out other packs to places like schools and GP surgeries about the condition.

“We want to encourage people to talk about people who have Down’s Syndrome rather than saying someone has Down’s Syndrome.”

A CHARITY night raising funds for a support group for parents who have children with Down's Syndrome is to be held at Higham Ferrers Working Men's Club tomorrow.

Parent support group Ups and Downs was formed six months ago with the aim of promoting inclusion for children with the syndrome as well as raising awareness.

The group is currently looking into gaining charity status, which would enable Ups and Downs to help more parents and children with Down’s Syndrome.

Group member Tom Rees, 29, said: “The biggest help for parents is to speak to other parents who have children with Down’s Syndrome.

“The event is already sold out and we expect about 200 on the night.”

The evening starts at 7.30pm and entertainment is provided by Beatles tribute band Not the Beatles and a raffle supported by local businesses.

There follows a news item from the Northants Telegraph from March 2007

A GROUP which was started to support parents who have children with Down's Syndrome is hoping to gain charity status so it can help more families in the future.

Ups and Downs was set up six months ago.

Group member Karen Smith, 38, of Stanwick, said: “It is a lifeline. We are there to share experiences, support each other and let people know they are not alone.”

Mrs Smith said one of the most annoying things for families is the language some people use in relation to children with Down’s Syndrome.

She said: “It is not a disease or an illness, it is something children are born with.

“They are first and foremost children who happen to have Down’s Syndrome and should definitely not be referred to as Down’s kids.”

Tom Rees, 29, is also a member of the group and said it had been of tremendous help to him.

He said: “The best support is from people who feel the same things.

“When our son Freddy was born the best support was speaking with other parents who have children with Down’s Syndrome.

“It is a great help and encouragement to see other children who are slightly older than Freddy doing so well.

“It is very reassuring and encouraging.”