Trust ready to kick on after £600k lifeline
Young people with Down's syndrome will be helped to live a more active life with a £600,000 funding boost from the Big Lottery Fund.
The money awarded to Foyle Down Syndrome Trust will be used for a gardening scheme, outdoor pursuits, mentoring and more.
Adam Morrison (10) is one of the eight to 25-year-olds set to benefit. Thanks to the cash, the Healthy Hearts and Minds project, of which he is part, is safe for five years.
His father Kevin said: "It used to be Adam couldn't handle social groupings, but with the Foyle Down Syndrome Trust he is like a different person. I spent many years standing in corridors in hospitals, but now I'm on the sidelines of his football games or watching him swimming.
"He still surprises me. We went to a football match his friend was playing in. There were crowds and I thought, 'He's going to hate this and cry'. But he had the confidence to go to the changing rooms and high-five the players and even got his picture taken for the paper."
Lorraine Gallen, manager of Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, thanked the Big Lottery Fund. "Being able to offer this project for five years is critical to its success," she said.
"This is what families have been asking for. Young people have been involved in the planning, and once the project begins we will continue to listen to and involve them."