The Right Worshipful
Councillor Abid Hussain

The Lord Mayor of Bradford
Municipal Year 2017-18

My charity appeal for the 2017/2018 Civic Year is to be split between the Down Syndrome Training and Support Services and the Wishing Well Appeal.

The Down Syndrome Training and Support Services is a unique charity based at the Pamela Sunter Centre, Whitley Street, Bingley. Their work is designed to support children and young people with Down syndrome and their families and also the professionals who work with them.

Some families travel for over two hours to access their services and the staff based at the centre travel all over England – and even beyond – to provide training in the inclusion, education and development of children with Down syndrome.

The service was developed in 2000 for four families, all of whom had a child with Down syndrome and the charity is still run to this day by parents. All of the directors are parents and two of the staff are young adults with Down syndrome. The ethos of the charity is that they believe that all children with Down syndrome deserve the same opportunities as other children. The centre provides training, early intervention, speech and language sessions. They run a weekly youth club and give vital support via telephone, email, social media, home visits and counselling. They also arrange external social activities for example, swimming, street dance and summer trips.

The reason for my choosing the Down Syndrome Training and Support Services is the charity is now facing a funding crisis and without additional funding they will have to halve their services from this year. They are very keen to make businesses – both locally and beyond – aware of the crisis in the hope that you can help.  All of the services are in very high demand and many days are stretched to capacity. They never like to say no to any family or school who is in need of help and support. To have the Lord Mayor’s Appeal as this charity would make a huge difference to this very deserving charity.

The Wishing Well Appeal is the other half of the charity which will provide small grants for organisations and smaller groups across the Bradford District. There are some fantastic things going on throughout the area organised by the community and voluntary sector and it can often be difficult for groups and organisations to find funding for their projects, events and activities. The Appeal would like to be able to offer these smaller pots of funding to enable these groups to fulfil their dreams and enhance their projects further without having to spend extra time raising money. The “Wishing Well” Appeal will be beneficial to many groups across the Bradford District, rather than just supporting one or two particular charities.