This week is all about #SmallCharityWeek. The awareness day is devoted to raising the profiles of the small charities around the UK. To celebrate this week, we arranged an interview with Rosie, the Founder of the Little Buddies Support Group in Kent, to find out more about this amazing small charity. The charity is designed with a group that is set up for children and parents blessed with that extra special chromosome. From a friendly voice on the end of the phone, days out and charity events, the Little Buddies are there to spread the word and share what these beautiful children can do. See below for the interview;
The Little Buddies Support Group started 9 years ago when I worked for another charity. I met another Mother who had a child with downs and we used to meet for a coffee every week, just because it was nice to talk to another person who had been through the same. Through talking to each other, we eventually invited other Mum’s in as we all felt like there is so much training for caring for a child with Down Syndrome, but no support at the moments when you need it the most.
I joined together with the charity I worked with and started a support group called the Little Buddies. Its tough at the beginning and it is devastating when you receive the news and the group was put together to talk to other people that have been through the exact same feelings. You soon realise that it is not devastating at all, and that it is an amazing gift. The group is there to share advice for parents and families and to create a place where they can be themselves. When a baby is born with Downs at Darren Valley Hospital, my contact details are given to the family to join the support group, incase they ever need advice, guidance or even just want to meet for a coffee. It eliminates the “myths” that are unfortunately created when you have a child with Downs, and we are there for a helping hand and to give hope to each other. Some Mum’s have more experience, and this is so helpful when giving advice to new Mothers. We recently had a paediatrician that joined our group that helps other Mum’s with medical advice. This is great to have as this eliminates the worry straight away.
The Little Buddies Group organises monthly trips, christmas and summer parties and a whole load of activities for not just the parents, but for the families as well. It is important for the Mums, Dads, Brothers and Sisters to talk to other families that they can relate too. We also help fund for any special equipment needed for the children, if that is ever the case. We started with 3 families at our first event, and now we have around 25 families that all attend from all ages. Everyone in the group just “gets it”, and its a great environment to be in.
I am so proud of the Little Buddies because it continues to grow. We watch all the children grow up and progress, we celebrate their achievements together, and then we get a new batch of younger Mothers join in! We recently just had 5 new Mums who have joined with new born babies, which is amazing. We celebrate if one of the children begins to walk, or starts to talk, and its those moments which make the group so special. I have always worked with charities, but the thing about the Little Buddies is that it is personal, and I wouldn’t want to ever lose that. We are a small charity and we love it. We are all so close, with great friendships and have created a group which are welcoming to new members.
We have a lot of different things going on in the future for us. I am working closely with local authorities to create a training programme which explains Down Syndrome to Nurseries and Primary Schools to raise awareness. We also are looking to bring in new forms of training within the group, like sign language, to help the Mums at the early stages.
Rosie, Founder of The Little Buddies Support Group
The Little Buddies Support Group organise many different events to also raise money and awareness for the charity. This Easter, 60 golfers got together to raise money on the annual “Feel Good Friday Golf Society day” and raised over £1500 for the Little Buddies. Big thanks to Rosie for speaking with us and sharing her story for #SmallCharityWeek. The Little Buddies is a charity which is close to our hearts, and we are so happy to be a part of it💙💛