21 Together are working hard in the local community to raise awareness and to truly effect change within areas like health, education and social care. We are running a programme in partnership with Canterbury Christchurch University to raise awareness of the positive impacts of people with Down’s Syndrome but also their needs and the needs of those who support them.
Most of us will have that moment of diagnosis imprinted on our souls forever, some of us have great stories to tell. Compassionate midwives and doctor’s, well informed and patient professionals who led us through a difficult time. Some of us have different stories to tell. Professionals who fell short or just plain didn’t know what to do. Was the moment of diagnosis rushed, did you feel unsupported? Those moments can never be re lived. Those emotions are with us forever. We have worked with professionals and families and what is very clear is that we all want to get it right; but how?
That is why WE NEED YOU! As part of our awareness campaign 21 Together is running a session for undergraduate midwives at Canterbury Christchurch University. The session is based around parents sharing their own personal story in any way they wish. We discuss what we were like before we had a diagnosis, how we were given a diagnosis, what that diagnosis meant to us, what does our journey look like. We also appreciate if people can share a bit about what their life is like now. We want to give the professionals a real idea of what our loved ones can achieve and what a positive impact they are on our lives. However, we also want people to know the harder things, the things that make it tough. If we want professionals to truly understand what we as families need then they need the whole truth. 21 Together do not hold any stance on peoples own choices during this difficult time, we believe that every individual should make their own choice. BUT. We are passionate that those decisions are made with all the information, not decisions made out of fear!
Can you help us to help the professionals of the future really understand what our lives look like and how they can help us? If there was one thing you could go back and tell the professionals who worked with you, what would it be? Those parents who have already shared their stories come away feeling empowered, it’s not an easy thing to do but those who have already been part of the programme have said it was “cathartic”, “empowering”, “supportive” and “fulfilling”. We ask that everything said in the session is confidential so people feel they are able to share the more delicate aspects of their journey. We don’t judge, we listen and we hope with a variety of different journeys and different decisions we can make a real impact on the practice of the professionals of the future.
Our next session is on Monday 24th October 2016 10am-2pm and is being held at the Medway Campus. If you would like to come along then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on the Facebook Page.