Hi! I am Christian Smith, Charity Manager for the wonderful charity that is UpsnDowns. I am one of the founders of the charity along with my wife Karen (Secretary) and it seems like only yesterday that Dylan blessed us with his appearance, and we got to know so many great people via UpsnDowns. Nearly 18 years on and my passion and dedication for the charity now combines with my experience in senior management roles to ensure we maintain the excellent work of our trustees over the years.
I have significant experience of safeguarding, governance and diversity and inclusion having previously been employed as CEO by the County Football Association. I also have plenty of knowledge and a successful track record of fundraising for UpsnDowns and numerous other charities and not-for-profit organisations. My aspiration is to see UpsnDowns develop and flourish, providing opportunities for families and members from birth to senior years!
Hello, my name is Karen and I live in Barton Seagrave with my husband Christian, daughter Maddie and son Dylan. Dylan was born with Down’s syndrome, and it was through his arrival that my journey began with UpsnDowns. I am one of the original founders of the charity, which was formed in 2006, the year Dylan was born. I feel privileged to have been a part of UpsnDowns since it began and to see how it has flourished over the last 18 years.
I work full time as a Team Leader and Paediatric Sleep Practitioner of the Sleep Right service in Northamptonshire who support children with a broad range of disabilities with severe sleep problems.
I am a proud mum of two amazing boys, Hudson and my youngest Eliott, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) in January 2021. A year later, I became involved with UpsnDowns, offering my support to the charity's marketing efforts.
As a Design Lead for a national Down syndrome charity, I am deeply committed to advocating for inclusivity and support for individuals with Down syndrome. It's a privilege to advocate for Eliott and others like him, ensuring they are celebrated, valued, and fully embraced by society.
I live in the village of Gretton (near Corby) with my husband Paul, 3 children (and 3 chickens!). I joined UpsnDowns in 2012, when my youngest child Rory (who has Down’s syndrome) was 18 months old.
I have been a charity trustee and vice-chair for several years and was recently elected Chair of UpsnDowns. I feel both delighted and privileged to take on this responsibility representing our wonderful families.
I teach geography in a local secondary school and have a keen interest in education, specifically what we can learn from cognitive research about how children learn more effectively. I am passionate about working towards genuine inclusion, equal opportunities and high expectations for all children with Down’s syndrome in all educational settings.
I’m Freddie’s mum and was part of the small group who founded ups n downs back in 2006. I am a teacher and SENCo by trade, but mainly look after our home and children now. I’m married to Tom and we live in Earls Barton. We also have two other children, Stanley and Ellen. Freddie is now 18 and the oldest member, so I feel it’s important to be part of the charity as we grow and develop to cater for each and every member and their families. UpsnDowns has been an integral part of our family and we all feel very proud and protective of the charity.
Hello, I am Lucinda, the most recent member and newly elected trustee of UpsnDowns, also proud mother of Cassius. I was delighted to discover this lively and active group a couple of years ago when I was feeling slightly anxious and desperate to find like-minded friends, not just for Cassius, but for our whole family. I live in Uppingham with my husband, two older sons, 15 year old Cass and two aging spaniels. After 35 years running my golf events business I made the decision to study art full time, and currently attend De Montfort University which I absolutely love. I enjoy painting and art history along with music, socialising, walking the dogs and playing golf.
Hello, my name is Tracey, I am a parent trustee for UpsnDowns. I live in Kettering with my husband Steve, son Owen and daughter Tayla. We joined UpsnDowns when Tayla was 14 months old and really enjoyed being part of a great charity, who not only support the children but the whole family too.
As a trustee and the training coordinator, my job is to organise the training for schools, ensuring that all the education settings our children attend can access professional training funded by the charity, and to generally help in any way I can.
I work two days per week at a Mental Health Charity and have worked there for 16 years. I am also Treasurer for the PTA at the school my daughter attends.
Hi, my name is Lindsey and I joined UpsnDowns in February 2022. My husband is called Lee, and we have two sons, Charlie who is 2 years old and has Down's syndrome and we have a 9 year old called Joshua who is an amazing big brother to Charlie.
I learnt Charlie had Down’s syndrome during pregnancy and joined UpsnDowns in February 2022. I became a trustee as I wanted to try help where I could, and I signed up to the charity to help gain support for my son.
The charity is amazing, and the team of trustees are so lovely, hardworking, and dedicated and we all pull together to achieve what we can to try to pull in vital funding for the charity to support the needs of our members with Down’s syndrome and their families, I am so proud of the team!
My name is Nicole. I am Mum to Abbie and Ollie, and I have been involved in the charity for over 13 years now. I first reached out to UpsnDowns after Ollie's arrival, when he was around 8 months old. The charity was at the time was very small, so, it has been an honour and a pleasure to have watched to charity grow over the years. I am passionate about advocating, supporting, and providing safe and comfortable environments to all the children, young people, and their families in our community.
I have recently left my teaching post a local special school, and now work for another local charity who support children and young people, with a range of services. I still have a keen interest in education and am a parent governor of the specialist provision Ollie attends.
I am Diane, I became a parent trustee for UpsnDowns in November 2023. I am mum to Alice who is 25 and Charlie who is 14. Charlie has Down syndrome and ASD and we have been members of UpsnDowns for around 8 years.
I live in Northamptonshire, close to my family home which includes my younger brother, Charlie. Charlie has Down’s Syndrome which lead me to be involved. I became a trustee in 2023 to be able to be more involved with the direction of the charity. I work as a qualified accountant in Milton Keynes.
Lindsey Hipkiss – Vice Chair
Lisa Jones – Parent Trustee
Annette Murkitt – Parent Trustee
Philippa Tate - Trustee