EasyJet visits the DSA

by Katie Stroud and Jillie Sommers, EasyJet Customer Champion Team for London Gatwick
EasyJet logo
A few months ago we came up with an idea to look at contacting various organisations to find out more about them and to look at ways in which we can assist passengers and their travelling companions, be that family or friends, when they travel with EasyJet.
On a recent wet and windy Monday morning, we had the pleasure of meeting Stuart Mills, Information Officer for the Down’s Syndrome Association, at their Head Office at the Langdon Down Centre. He began by showing us around, and we were fascinated by the beautiful structure of the building in particular the main hall and the artwork. There were some gorgeous pictures that we loved, and that we felt really captured the whole spirit of the organisation.
From our discussions with Stuart it became apparent that there is a wide spectrum of aspects to consider with passengers with Down’s syndrome, as everyone is so unique. People with Down’s syndrome are very routine orientated and with this in mind we discussed ways to look at minimizing stress that can be caused when flying. Some people may not have traveled a lot in comparison with others, so the whole flying experience can be quite daunting.
What can we as crew do?
In our meeting with Stuart there were a number of key points that came out that we could all easily incorporate into our flights. These were:
• Ask if passengers require assistance, and if they say no accept that
• Ask passengers if they would like a safety briefing, as for some people this experience takes them out of their usual comfort zone
• Be mindful that passengers with Down’s syndrome have problems with hearing, so when making our PAs, do them in a suitable tone and pitch
• Use short basic sentences, and where possible use visual aids
• Be patient – communicating might take a little longer due to speech related problems
• Be aware that any unusual noise may cause distress
• Address the customer with Down’s syndrome directly
Having returned back to base we are now looking at producing a work booklet to cover the journey through the airport, on board, and the arrival process, in order to alleviate some of the worries and stresses of a strange environment. We also want to make a leaflet rack so we can display information regarding a variety of leaflets that could be picked up and read or taken away. We felt this could also be a support mechanism for crew who might have any friends/families that need assistance in their own personal lives.
We really enjoyed the day, and found it really beneficial, both personally and from a crew point of view. Stuart is now going to speak to the ‘Down 2 Earth Group’ to look at any problems people have experienced when they have traveled, and how we can try to rectify these problems. We are really excited about working with the Down’s Syndrome Association and all the potential it can bring to us as crew and to make travelling as easy as possible for our passengers.
Posted in Travel

The Nutcracker

Originally posted on Down 2 Earth Magazine Editor's Blog:

The  Nutcracker – Music by Tchaikovsky

The nutcracker   Ballet  is  based  on  the story  of the nutcracker and  the King of Mice

The Show was in the Wimbledon theatre

I  went with my niece Amelia


It  is  very  enchanting  of  a  story  and was Christmassy  too

Loved the dances, acting  and the scenery.


It  was  a  feel  good  show the  whole  Show was beautiful and the

Bright colours  everywhere.  If  you  like Ballets  this  Show is

For  you it was  Outstanding.


I  will  give  this  Show  100  stars  make this Part of  your

Christmas  treat  its  worth  seeing


By  Kate Powell

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Posted in Uncategorized

my busy week

Originally posted on Down 2 Earth Magazine Editor's Blog:

My busy week

I have returned to my activities and enjoying them every moment. In the dance class we are creating new dance moves and I am doing a solo dance. In my musical theatre group called Chilli beans, we are working on a Comedy show that we all enjoy. Friday evening we had our Dolphin gala that everybody enjoys. I won two Gold medals in the two lengths front crawl and in one length back stroke how exciting!

x factor 4

On Saturday my friend Amanda invited me to lunch at Costa. It was lovely to get together.

On Sunday I had a Surprise birthday treat my brother and his girlfriend Sue took me to the X Factor in Wembley it was fantastic. It was an Amazing experience.

this is Lauren Cheryl  Finalist

this is Lauren Cheryl Finalist


these boys are from Stereo Kicks

these boys are from Stereo Kicks

x factor 10

I got to meet the Finalists. I had photos taken with them and…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Tea at the House of Lords

By Stuart Mills, Information Officer, Down’s Syndrome Association

Janet%20Carr  WP_20141031_16_16_27_Pro
I was fortunate to be invited by Professor The Baroness Hollins to a celebration tea on the terrace at the House of Lords in honour of DSA’s longstanding Behaviour Adviser, Dr Janet Carr. It has been my privilege to know Dr Carr for the 15 years of my working life at the DSA. I have long held her in high esteem for her passion and dedication to helping and supporting people with Down’s syndrome and their families.
The celebration tea was held to mark Dr Carr’s unique and ground breaking 50 year follow-up study of children with Down’s syndrome.  In 1963 Dr Carr was asked to take part in a longitudinal study of a group of babies with Down’s syndrome, all those born in one year in one part of SE England. Dr Carr’s role was to track their development, using psychological tests.
Soon after the study began Dr Carr made two changes to the outlined plan: she decided to continue with the psychological part of the study for longer than the 10 months planned by her colleagues; and, as well as studying the children’s development, to try to see what effect they had on their families. To this end Dr Carr recruited similar families with a baby without disabilities, each matched with one of the babies with Down’s syndrome.
And that was the beginning of what has become Dr Carr’s life’s work; a 50 year study that has generated a wealth of valuable findings of benefit to families, people with Down’s syndrome, social care services and the scientific community.
There was a great turnout of Dr Carr’s ex-colleagues, friends, family and most importantly some very sprightly looking people with Down’s syndrome who have been part of her study since 1963/64. It was clear to me by observing the obvious warmth and respect between Janet and the people with Down’s syndrome and their families that they had ceased long ago, if they ever were seen as such, to be ‘participants’ in a study and had become much loved friends. I have heard that Dr Carr has been sending birthday and Christmas cards to the people in her study every year since its inception!  It was a real feel good event with much laughter and uplifting speeches from Professor The Baroness Hollins, Dr Carr’s daughter and Dr Carr. The cakes and sandwiches were lovely too!
Posted in General

DS Active tennis Event

Originally posted on Down 2 Earth Magazine Editor's Blog:

DS Active Tennis Event

Last Saturday. I participated in the DS Active tennis event. I was showing off my tennis skills. I thought I was playing at Wimbledon and luckily I didn’t knock anyone out!


There were families with young children and it was lovely seeing them joining in and having fun. There were also teenagers taking part. The best part for me was watching the children having fun that made me smile.

Matt, Alexa, Scott and Hannah did a fabulous job organising the event. Scott took lots of photos of us all having a good time.

Signed Kate Powell

Kate P 2

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Posted in Uncategorized

Musical Review

Originally posted on Down 2 Earth Magazine Editor's Blog:

Musical  Review



Barnum was a fanatic Show it was amazing. It was

Wonderful to seeing the Energy in the acting, Song and Dance.

Was very colourful. If you like  Circuses  this  show is for you.

It was a film originally. It is based on a real Person.

In the show Barnum wanted jenny Lind to be with him and his circus he liked her Voice. It was the sound of a bird.



This  will  give  your  excitement  buzzing. I will  give this

Show  100 stars.

By Kate Powell

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Posted in Uncategorized

Current Research Projects: Invitations to Participate

University of Liverpool

Self-Understanding in Adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Condition, Down’s Syndrome and Williams Syndrome

You are invited to take part in a research study. This research will look at how young people with autism, Down’s syndrome and Williams syndrome understand themselves.
The way young people understand themselves is very important and plays a big part in how they feel and think about themselves as they get older.
We do not know very much about this area and hope that understanding this better will help young people with these conditions, their parents, carers, teachers and others.
Find out more on www.livresearch.wordpress.com
To take part please contact Helena.tucker@liv.ac.uk or call 07894 535100.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill logo    University College Cork (UCC) logo

Adaption and Resiliency

We are inviting you to take part in a research project that we are conducting with parents of individuals with Down syndrome. The purpose of the study is to learn about factors that influence how families respond following the birth of a child with Down syndrome. This study is part of a larger cross-cultural study we will be conducting in at least 8 different countries (Brazil, Japan, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Thailand and the United States).
Who can participate?
If you are the parent of a child with Down syndrome, you are invited to participate. If you have a spouse or partner, he or she is also eligible to participate.
What will we ask you to do?
We will ask you to complete a series of questionnaires (this should take approximately 20-30 minutes) and if you would like, we will interview you. Generally the interview will be a telephone interview. The interview will take approximately 60-90 minutes. After you talk with us and complete the online survey we may contact you a second time if we need to clarify any information with you.
The project has been approved the Cork Research Ethics Committee and by the institutional review board for human subjects research at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If you agree to take part, all information you give will be confidential. No one except our research team will have access to your information.
If you wish to be involved in this research, please email or telephone:
Dr Marcia Van Riper | vanriper@email.unc.edu | (919) 966-4284
Ms Maria Caples | m.caples@ucc.ie | (021) 4901515
You also have the option of using one of the links below to access the survey directly (there is one link for mothers and one link for fathers – the surveys are exactly the same but if two people use the same computer to complete the survey, they need to use different links). If you agree to be interviewed, we will arrange to do the interview at a time that is convenient for you.
Link for mothers living in the UK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GZG7KW6
Link for fathers living in the UK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WBJL9ZF
Link for mothers living in Ireland: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DDZYHP6
Link for fathers living in Ireland: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DY87C55
Posted in Research