UpsideDowns
Helping kids with Down syndrome find their voice.
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UpsideDowns News

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2019 UpsideDowns Calendars now on sale!

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? We have the answer right here! For only $15 you can buy a beautiful UpsideDowns desk calendar. Each month features a different child who receives speech language therapy through the Trust. Thanks to the generous support of Hamlin Law, all proceeds go directly towards supporting our work. To purchase your calendar, click here or email info@upsidedowns.co.nz with the number you’d like and the delivery address. You can also avoid the $5 delivery fee by picking up in Mt Albert if you live in the Auckland area.

UpsideDowns Education Trust
Government announces more support for children with special needs

On 4 November 2018, the Coalition Government announced that approximately 600 additional Learning Support Coordinators will be employed by 2020. In her statement, the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, highlighted a struggle that is all too familiar for UpsideDowns member families:

“One in five New Zealand children has a disability or other learning and behavioural needs and it’s been too hard, for too long, for them to get the support at the right time.”

It is our hope at UpsideDowns that this initiative will lead to an increase in referrals to us from schools. At present, we receive very few of these referrals, but those we do are typically for low-income or recent immigrant whanau. Therefore, we are optimistic that these changes may lead to the greater diversity among our membership which our Outreach Programme is currently being directed at.

The Education Minister, Hon Tracey Martin, stated:

“The Government is progressing its plan to ensure every child with barriers to learning has access to the tools and professionals they need.”

At UpsideDowns, we believe that every child with Down syndrome has the right to access the education they require, and that accordingly they should be given the speech language therapy that has been proven to unlock their potential and give them the tools to communicate. Therefore, we are excited about this announcement, and hope that it is an indication of further changes to come for children with Down syndrome across Aotearoa.

UpsideDowns Education Trust
Who won the raffle?

Thank you to all the wonderful people who bought a raffle ticket at the Auckland Better Home & Living Show over the weekend! You helped us raise over $2,000 for kids with Down syndrome - wow!! That means a whole year of speech therapy for a child which is just incredible.

To find out if you are the lucky winner of the grand prize, watch the draw below!

UpsideDowns Education Trust
Announcing our new 100% subsidy option for families in need

Thanks to support from the Hugo Charitable Trust and all our regular donors, UpsideDowns is thrilled to announce the introduction of our third subsidy option - 100% of speech language therapy costs covered to an annual cap of $1,300!

Although we fund up to 80% of therapy costs, that extra 20% plus the cost of transport and materials can be beyond the reach of many Kiwi families facing financial hardship. We know that speech language therapy gives a child with Downs their best chance for an independent life. There's no way that a child should miss out on that opportunity, least of all because they belong to one of our most vulnerable families.

 

Any family receiving Jobseeker support, Sole Parent Support, Young Parent Payment or similar is eligible, and the Board accepts any other applications for consideration.

We’re currently approaching a number of other organisations and agencies to try and make sure this option is embraced by our least privileged families. It’s part of our mission to make sure every child with Down syndrome in New Zealand has a voice.

Welcome to our new members

Thanks to the hard work and generosity of our supporters, we have once again been able to clear our waitlist in record time. The Board moved on 7 July to clear the entire waitlist of 16 - a huge achievement! Welcome to Nikau, Fletch, Isabel, Samuel, Olivia, Julian, Jessica, Hayley, Sophia, Conner, Ruby, Kelsey, Eli, Nathanael, Ryan, and the little baby who hasn't even been born yet - a first ever for UpsideDowns! We're so excited to be part of your communication journey. Pictured here with the Governor General is Fletch, one of our new members who won an award for Special Olympics at the Francis Clarke Memorial Awards in 2017. Keep an eye out for a future Kiwi Olympian star!

 

Success at Quiz Night 2018

We welcomed around 200 people to the UpsideDowns in late May, with our Stranger Things/1980s-themed Auckland Quiz Fundraiser. Lots of teams got right into the spirit! The Best Dressed Team went to the Elvensies for their dedication to accuracy and consistency, even having a team song and name on theme. The Winning Team were called Minimum Effort, and they walked away with a generous hamper of comestibles, and of course, the coveted UpsideDowns trophy.

We enjoyed fritters prepared by Lisa Wade made from mussels donated by Liz Hunter, a bar stocked with support from Moa, Karma Cola, and Glengarry Grey Lynn, expertly staffed by Rachel Batters, Paul Batters, and Robyn Ancell, and chocolate generously donated by Remarkables Chocolate Co.

Our wonderful volunteers and Board members made sure the evening ran smoothly, led by our expert Quiz Master, Tom Pedlar.

The event was a huge success, and in the end we raised over $13,000 for children with Down syndrome!!!