Wirral based charity SUNDOWNS recently received a donation of £3,000 from Essar at Stanlow, in recognition of the refinery reaching one million hours without a recordable injury. The donation was made through Essar’s Let’s Give programme, which links safety milestones to charitable giving. Employees nominate the charities they would like to benefit when a notable safety target is reached.
SUNDOWNS stands for supporting and understanding the needs of Down’s syndrome. The charity is based on the Wirral, and supports individuals with Down’s syndrome, their parents and carers. They provide support and a range of activities and social opportunities to improve confidence, build relationships and enhance skills.
Electrical Engineer Stephen Marsden explained why he had nominated the SUNDOWNS charity: “Seven years ago, we welcomed our son Oscar into our lives. Minutes after he was born, we discovered that Oscar had Down’s syndrome. Having little knowledge or experience of the condition, we were extremely grateful for the support that SUNDOWNS gave our family. Through the charity, we have met other families in the area who have children with Down’s syndrome, which is great not only as a support network, but we also have plenty of fun when all the families get together.”
Kim Page, Trustee of SUNDOWNS, commented: “As well as providing a support service to those living with Down’s syndrome, we focus on raising awareness of how parents can be supported from the moment of diagnosis. Often, the news that a child has Down’s syndrome is delivered as an apology, which can make an already emotional time distressful. We are working with professionals, to help them with a positive, informative and supportive approach to the diagnosis.
“Another key area of our work is the transition between education and employment. This can be a tricky time for people with Down’s syndrome, as they move towards independence. By working with companies in the area, we are establishing links for work experience placements, which can be rewarding for both employer and employee.
“We are very grateful to Essar for their donation. It will go towards one of our most popular activities; Forest Schools. We have plenty of activities for the children directly affected by their condition, whereas our Forest Schools bring whole families together, providing an opportunity for everyone to get involved in learning new skills and making memories.”