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, South East Berkshire and West Surrey. The group provides a wide range of support, activities and services for members and their families. All of these 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 has an active and involved volunteer base and is a self funding organisation. For information on how to join Stepping Stones DS please see our New Parents page

Read More About Us…

Noticeboard

We have recently updated our Training page with our Training Programme for the 2019/20 academic year.  We are really excited about the broad range of topics and feel that we are offering something for all of our members, please see our Training page to see this online.

Our beautiful publication “Our Stories” is now available to read online. this publication is for members, for families, for professionals, and for anyone who ever wondered what life might be like with an extra chromosome, please see our New Parents page to see this online.

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

16 hours ago

Stepping Stones DS

To support learning during the Coronavirus outbreak, Special iApps are providing free access to additional resources that can be downloaded using Special Words or Special Words Pro.

These new resources can be downloaded using Special Words or Special Words Pro on Apple, Android, Amazon Fire and Chromebook devices. They are available to anyone who downloads or has already purchased either of these apps. Once you have downloaded any of these resources, you can personalise them for the individual learning needs of your child, and transfer them to any of our other literacy apps: Special Stories, Special Spelling and Special Sentences.

The new resources are available to download until April 30th, 2020. Once you have downloaded any of these, you can continue to use them after this date, for remote learning, home education, or at schoolTo support learning during this difficult time, we have created lots of NEW free resources that can be downloaded using Special Words or Special Words Pro ⭐ Find out how to download them ➡️ ow.ly/gecr50z0Mjc
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5 days ago

Stepping Stones DS

Did you know that you can raise FREE donations for Stepping Stones DS when you shop online?

We are so grateful to everyone who makes donations or fundraises for our charity but we know how hard it is to do so during these uncertain times.

One easy way to continue supporting Stepping Stones DS with no extra cost to yourself if by signing up with easyfundraising.org.uk and nominating us as your chosen charity. Why not start this weekend?

There are 3 easy steps :

1. Go to www.easyfundraising.org.uk and sign up for free. Now you have your account and have chosen Stepping Stones DS as the good cause you are supporting you can do the second thing...
2. Start shopping. Every time you shop online, head to easyfundraising first. They have over 3,000 retailers on board, so simply pick the one you want to visit and start shopping.
3. Now the 3rd and best thing, after you've checked out, the retailer will make a free donation to your good cause and it won't cost you a penny extra!

All you need to do is remember to go to easyfundraising before you shop to keep collecting donations.

Thank you, stay safe and well.
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2 weeks ago

Stepping Stones DS

Happy World Down Syndrome Day

We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to our supporters for all of their wonderful fundraising events and activities during World Down Syndrome Awareness week.

In a week of chaos and uncertainty, so many other matters have had to take priority yet you have still found time to support Stepping Stones DS

World Down Syndrome Day is held on the 21st day of the 3rd month, which is a nod to the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which leads to Down syndrome.

The campaign that fronts WDSD is #LotsOfSocks! People have been wearing #LotsOfSocks socks; brightly coloured socks, long socks, printed socks, odd socks, 1 sock even 3 socks for 3 chromosomes. Why #LotsOfSocks? . . . well chromosomes under a microscope look like pairs of socks. People with Down Syndrome have an extra chromosome; in fact, they have three of the 21st chromosome rather than just a pair.

We would love to see photos of you all rocking your socks along with all of the other fundraising activities you’ve been involved in! Send us your pictures or share them here.

Thank you once again, stay safe and well.
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1 month ago

Stepping Stones DS

Information Days; Developing Literacy Skills for Pupils With Down Syndrome and Communication Beyond Speech

This coming half term our information days look at Literacy, as well as Communication Beyond Speech.

Dr Kelly Burgoyne of LETS Go UK will cover what is known about literacy in children with Down syndrome and how best to support reading development. The day includes practical ideas and examples for teaching literacy including examples of teaching activities, suggestions for resources, guidance on tailoring teaching to individual levels of ability and strengths/weaknesses.

In addition Kelly will look at assessing current skills, progress monitoring and ensuring continued progress as well as discussing common areas of difficulty and providing strategies for dealing with these including motivation issues, difficulties with writing, phonics and comprehension.

In March, Leela Baksi of Symbolconnect will discuss using signs, symbols, pictures and means, and personalising formats and strategies to individuals. This session will explore alternative means of communication and plan systems for individuals that you can set up and use in everyday life. Attendees are invited to bring along any communication books, apps or other resources that you would like to review and maybe revise and update.

Leela will discuss:

*What is verbal communication when it isn't speech, and why is it so important?
*What communication strategies do individuals use successfully to express themselves, where are the gaps, and what can we do about them?
*Planning signing vocabularies, communication books, using communication apps- as appropriate to the young people you are concerned with.
*How to foster use of wonderful resources in everyday life.

Training is open to families, schools, medical professionals and anyone with a desire to learn more about Down syndrome. Places are not just limited to members so please do share!

Parent Price for SSDS Members;
Full Day £15

School/Nursery Staff Price for those supporting SSDS
Members;
Full Day £25

Non-Member Price;
Full Day £30

Please take a look at our online brochure; online.fliphtml5.com/crlrg/hvfp/

To book, we kindly ask that you use our online form; forms.gle/hjaz7yfgyq7WZkS2A

Training sessions will take place in Fleet. For more information please email; training@steppingstonesds.co.uk
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2 months ago

Stepping Stones DS

Celebrate WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY with Stepping Stones DS - 21st March 2020

We would be hugely grateful if you could join us in celebrating World Down Syndrome Day by wearing #LotsOfSocks to raise both awareness and funds.

World Down Syndrome Day (also known as WDSD) is a global awareness initiative, spearheaded by Down Syndrome International, which has linked up with national charities across the world to develop activities and events to raise awareness and support for those living with Down syndrome. It also highlights the facts of what it’s like to have Down syndrome, and how those with Down syndrome have, and continue to play, a vital role in our communities.

The date itself has been selected for very clever reasons; it is held on the 21st day of the 3rd month, which is a nod to the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which leads to Down syndrome.

The campaign that fronts WDSD is #LotsOfSocks! People are encouraged to wear #LotsOfSocks socks; brightly coloured socks, long socks, printed socks, odd socks, 1 sock even 3 socks for 3 chromosomes. Why #LotsOfSocks? . . . well chromosomes under a microscope look like pairs of socks. People with Down Syndrome have an extra chromosome; in fact, they have three of the 21st chromosome rather than just a pair.

As well as wearing #LotsOfSocks, previous fundraising ideas by Stepping Stones DS supporters have included cake sales, dress down days, sponsored runs, quizzes, raffles and much more. Events have taken place in schools, nurseries, in the work place and in the wider community.

We are also selling special edition WDSD2020 badges, to raise money for Stepping Stones DS. They are £1 per badge (+ P&P). Why not order them for your family or to give friends, colleagues, classmates or clients during Down Syndrome Awareness Week (15th-21st March). To order please email enquiries@steppingstonesds.co.uk

If you would like to raise funds for us and require any additional literature or information please email enquiries@steppingstonesds.co.uk.

Don’t forget to let us know about any fundraising activities you are planning, we'd love to share these on social media. We would also love to see photographs!

As always THANK YOU for your ongoing support.
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2 months ago

Stepping Stones DS

It’s been a busy day at Stepping Stones!

Vik Ralfs delivered an extremely interesting DS specific training session at our office looking at Behaviour in KS2 and beyond. We look forward to welcoming Vik again on 7th May when she will talk all matters RSE (relationship and sex education) - members and non members welcome so email training@steppingstonesds.co.uk for more info.

Meanwhile, a super morning was had by our pre-school members and their parents at our monthly Stay & Play Session. These sessions are informal play sessions for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. They provide a great opportunity to meet other members and their little ones.

Have a great weekend everyone 😊
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2 months ago

Stepping Stones DS

Throughout February you can support Stepping Stones DS by popping your green tokens in the Community Matters pot at Waitrose Fleet to determine the share of £1000 we will receive.

All Stepping Stones DS activities and services are paid for through fundraising, donations and grants, do every token really does help!
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