The history of PROUD

When my daughter Hannah was born on July 5th 2002 we were told the dreaded words “Your daughter has got Down’s syndrome” and we were devestated. We felt our world had just ended and we desperately wanted to talk to someone and be offered support to help us with what we were going through. We had alot of letters and support from our local church which helped us alot but we still wanted to meet up with other parents who had got children with Down’s syndrome.

We didn’t know anyone who was going through what we were going through, and when our health visitor put us in touch with another family who had got a child with Down’s syndrome we were at last able to talk to someone who knew what we were going through. It was such a relief to be able to hear that all these feelings that were surrounding us were normal and it helped us to start moving forward.

Now 2 years later after meeting other parents with children with Down’s syndrome we want to offer that support to other people. We constantly need support and so after meeting up with Elliane’s Mom and Dad – Anna and John, we decided to move forward and set up our own support group to help other new parents. We not only wanted to help parents though but also grandparents and siblings, friends, and other relatives as sometimes they are forgotten about when they too go through a wave of emotional mixed feelings about dealing with the news of Down’s syndrome.

And so after launching a Down’s syndrome awareness coffee morning in June we set up P.R.O.U.D. (Parents, Relatives and Others Understanding Down’s) support group. Our first donation came from a parent, who I had met at my younger daughter’s antenatal class who happened to live just round the corner from me, who also had a little girl (Danya) with Down’s syndrome, who sadly passed away when she was 2 years old. This was Danya’s donation to help start our group going.

The Hothouse which is a purpose built children’s meeting place was put forward as an idea for a meeting place and after writing off to The Hothouse committee they were delighted to help us out with a venue for our group.

We had our first meeting on Saturday 7th August 2004 at 2pm at The Hothouse and so P.R.O.U.D. was born.