A mum has launched a support group for families with children with Down’s syndrome after a lack of help with her own son.
Lucienne Cooper, of Carshalton, started Get on Downs after receiving very little support when her son, Billy, now four, was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome weeks before she gave birth.
After being given little more than an old leaflet and a promise of an appointment with a paediatrician in six to eight weeks Ms Cooper wanted real support from people who understood.
Ms Cooper said: "I need practical experience, I didn’t want to read things."
"What motivated me was knowing how I felt when Billy was born, not knowing anything about disability let alone Down's syndrome and the feeling of relief I got when I met my friend's daughter who was four at the time."
Get on Downs will hold meetings on Thursdays from 9.30am to 11am at Cedar Lodge, Metcalfe Avenue, Carshalton, and aims to help families in the early stages of learning to cope with a disabled child.
The meetings are relaxed affairs with tea and cake offered.
Ms Cooper,46, said: "The point is to discuss common issues and support each other with anything.
"My son is four now and I know things that I didn’t before and I can pass that on."
The former laboratory manager initially set up with the help of Portage, a disability charity that aims to help preschool children with learning difficulties. The charity put Ms Cooper in touch with other families in the area who also had children with Down’s syndrome.
Several charity organisations will be visiting the group in the coming weeks, such as Portage and Parent Partnership, another charity specifically aimed helping children with learning difficulties.
The official launch on March 20, set to coincide with Down’s syndrome awareness week, will be marked by the group wearing odd socks to raise money for Providing Support for families with Down’s syndrome, a charity that organises therapy based playgroups in Surrey and West Sussex.
To get in touch email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Get on Downs on Twitter.