Welcome to Stepping Stones DS

Supporting children and young people with Down Syndrome and their families, one step at a time

Stepping Stones DS supports children and young people with Down Syndrome in North Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey. The group provides a wide range of support, activities and services for members and their families. All activities are designed to build confidence and support our members in reaching their potential.

We put a high priority on empowerment and provide training for parents, teachers and other professionals to allow them to better support our members. Stepping Stones DS is an entirely volunteer led, self funding organisation. For information on how to join Stepping Stones DS please see our New Parents page

Read More About Us…

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If you shop on Amazon then Stepping Stones DS is now registered with Amazon Smile, so every time you checkout you could be helping us support our members and their families, and it won’t cost you a penny, see our Donate to Stepping Stones page for more details.

You can now sign up for our half termly newsletter using the form in the footer of our website

VOLUNTEER LED

Stepping Stones DS is a run by parents, for parents and carers of children and young people with Down Syndrome. We are an entirely volunteer led group and would love to hear from you if you would like to support us.

Find out how you can help support us …

About

New Parents

Activities

Training

Latest from Facebook

Today we hosted our behaviour workshop for children up to secondary age, provided by Nick Barratt. Nick is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst specialising in the field of autism and learning disability, with a particular emphasis on behaviours that challenge. He works for not-for-profit organisation Dimensions as it's Head of Behaviour Support.

Attendees learnt about the science of human behaviour and applied behaviour analysis and how this can be applied to children/young people with Down syndrome. This was an interactive workshop with opportunity for discussion and also featured some learning through role play (pictured).

Feedback was very positive, including:

"The session was really helpful with a clear model to use to try and break down the reasons for challenging behaviours and how to develop strategies to then overcome these. Nick was a great presenter with a lot of knowledge and experience to draw on."

"Today's workshop has given me some excellent strategies and ideas to use when dealing with behavioural issues. Nick was incredibly knowledgeable and I really enjoyed the science-based approach."

For more information on our upcoming training, please visit www.steppingstonesds.co.uk/training/
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Today our Chair Sarah visited Gordon's School to talk to a Year 9 class in their PSHE lesson about Stepping Stones DS, Down Syndrome, inclusion and more!

The class have chosen to put forward SSDS in a competition to win a £1000 funding.

Sarah said: “It was a great opportunity to talk to the next generation about making a difference.”

A big thank you to all the Year 9 pupils for putting us forward!
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Please join us in congratulating Scott and Greg on their marathon efforts today!

Here’s what they had to say:

“I’ve done it! Thank you so much for everyone’s support and sponsorship to such an amazing charity. Don’t let me enter the ballot next year!!!” - Scott

“Done it in 4, that was bloody hard, but well pleased with that. Just having a sit down.” - Greg

Well done both of you, we are so proud!
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Keep going Scott and Greg you're doing great! ... See MoreSee Less

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Who is watching the London Marathon? We’re sending our support to Scott and Greg as they battle the heat today! ... See MoreSee Less

Months of preparation, hard work and sacrifice all to be part of the World's greatest marathon.... This is it. 🙌 #LondonMarathon #SpiritofLondon

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It’s Friday and this weekend is a big one for two of our families as it’s the London Marathon! We checked in with our runners Scott and Greg ahead of the big day to see how they are feeling:

Scott: Number collected. Final training run completed. Now I’m ready for the big day.
I’m really looking forward to running the London marathon. I’m lucky enough to have the support of so many people on this journey, and I hope I make them all proud.

Greg: Had lots of ups and downs throughout my training but I've really enjoyed the experience so far. Big thanks to Lottie, Oscar and Erik for putting up with my training runs and being so supportive!
Excited for the big day now and proud to be supporting such a fantastic charity.

Scott and Greg, we wish you both the best of luck! We are so grateful for your support.

If anyone would like to donate for Scott and Greg please see their fundraising pages in the comments.
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Today we were delighted to welcome Leela Baksi of Symbol to our newest specialist training session: Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder - A speech and language therapy perspective.

The course covered a wide range of topics including pathways to diagnosis, behaviours in ASD and DS, and managing anxiety.

Feedback from attendees included:
"Another great course with Stepping Stones. Leela Baksi is so knowledgeable and today's course was very insightful on Down Syndrome and Autism. Thank you!"

"Really pleased with today’s course on the DS/ASD connection. Very well organised by Stepping Stones and Leela is amazing, she offered such great information and personalised this course presentation from gaining information from the attendees."

Today's Dual Diagnosis course was commissioned by Stepping Stones in response to requests from member families. We organise a range of training workshops that help to open doors for our children and young people. We view this training as an investment in their future through sharing knowledge, information and support.

For more details on our upcoming courses including our behaviour workshop on the 25th of April, please visit www.steppingstonesds.co.uk/training/
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Good evening and welcome back from the Easter break!

Over the next few weeks, we are going to be introducing you to our dedicated team of Trustees. We hope you enjoy getting to know the people behind the organisation.

First on the list is our incredible Chair Sarah Sutton, who also manages Ops, PR, Fundraising, Premises & Admin.

I am Sarah, married to Gareth and have two daughters Zoe (DS) and Charlotte. Zoe is at a local mainstream school and had her second heart operation in 2016 summer time. I have been a trustee since 2010, before becoming Vice Chair and then Chair in 2015.

Before having children I worked in retail management for Waitrose and TOTAL UK, before having head office roles in marketing, communications and customer service and was part of a volunteer fundraising team for AMREF UK.

Apart from my role at Stepping Stones, in March 2018 I launched my new venture Sign in School, which will teach the use of Sign Supported English (SSE) to anyone who wants to use sign to support and promote communication.

Stepping Stones DS is a huge part of my life and I feel very privileged to be able to give something back.
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