Astronaut Tim Peake has sent a very special message to a group dedicated to helping children in Huddersfield.
For Huddersfield Down Syndrome Support Group sent a tweet to Tim up on the international space station and were gobsmacked when he picked it up and then replied almost immediately.
The group said: “Hi @astro_timpeake I hope all is well in space! We wondered if we could get a retweet for #WorldDownSyndromeDay?”
And Tim replied: “Thank you @hdssg1 for all you do to support kids with DS.”
Group member Leanne Davies said: “I was absolutely astounded. I genuinely didn’t believe for one moment that he would reply, let alone within the hour!”
Today is World Down Syndrome Day and a new film in Huddersfield has been released to mark it.
Children and young people with Down’s Syndrome who attend weekly drama sessions with Slaithwaite-based charity Shabang! have created a short film called Look At The Stars which will be released on YouTube and social media to celebrate everyone born with an extra chromosome 21.
They worked alongside Andy Wicks from Holmfirth company Media Preview to produce it.
Shabang! work with a wide range of families with children with additional needs and are funded by Children in Need to run The Up Club, a weekly drama and communication session especially for children with Down Syndrome aged eight and over.
Kim Reuter from Shabang! said ” We make a film every year to honour our children with Down Syndrome and last year we were voted The Talk Talk Digital Hero Award winner. It’s about raising awareness and promoting inclusion.”
Kim is mum to Ruben Reuter who is currently starring in the CBBC award winning drama The Dumping Ground and is also in The Up Club’s film.
She added: ”In recent months there has been a lot of media coverage around the NIPT testing for Down Syndrome which is a non invasive prenatal test. Some reports speak negatively about the effects of Down Syndrome and we are hoping that our film, together with all the other local support networks, will be redress the balance a bit.” Another way the day is being celebrated is with the Lots of Socks campaign. Chromosomes look like socks and people with Down Syndrome have an extra chromosome so people are encouraged to wear as vibrant-coloyed socks as they can – or odd socks.
Huddersfield Down Syndrome Support Group organised a party for local families at The DRAM Centre yesterday and are delighted that a growing number of schools including Netherton Junior and Infant School and Middletown Juniors are celebrating with an odd sock day.