The region which has supported World Down's Syndrome Awareness week (19-25 March) to raise awareness and funds, in partnership with T:21 Dragons a local community support group for parents of children with Down Syndrome, has received dispensation from Pro14 tournament organisers to mix up their footwear for tomorrow night’s game as part of the global #LotsOfSocks campaign.
Around 200 people attended a coffee morning at Rodney Parade yesterday on World Down's Syndrome Awareness Day with a charity raffle and free entertainment for children, with a variety of schools visiting the home of the Dragons and raising over £1,300 which will help T:21 organise outings and events.
Set up by Frances Jenkins, T:21 Dragons started locally in Newport about 7 years ago, when her daughter was only 3, as a way of reaching out to others for shared experiences and support. Named T:21 Dragons as it’s the triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down's Syndrome, the group has grown in number and activities and is now seeking charity status as Fran explains:
“I started the group when my daughter was 3 as a facebook friendship group and it’s grown from there. In 2014 we started having support group meetings at Serennu and now all the paperwork is complete for us to be a charity, so we’ve submitted it and hope to soon become recognised.
"We have been supported by Newport Parent Network and Families First. The Dragons have been amazing in their support and on Friday for the first time they have permission to wear odd socks during their match.”
You can help support by donating at tomorrow night’s match, with the charity Sparkle collecting at the game or visit www.gofundme.com and search T:21 Dragons.