March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day and families from Laois based Down Syndrome Centre Midlands branch celebrated in colourful socky style.
The tradition of wearing odd socks in bright stripey colours represents the extra chromosome that people with Down Syndrome possess, as DNA resembles a stripey sock under a microscope.
Annemarie Fitzpatrick is chairperson of the group, which serves families in Laois, Offaly, Carlow and Kildare.
"It is a day to celebrate people with Down Syndrome and raise awareness that adults and children have it, and are able to live normal lives. Only 5% of people with Down Syndrome have a job but they have the ability to work. Its with early intervention at centres like ours that helps them. They can go to school, take part in society and be a vital member," she said.
The day is also a fundraiser. Many creches and preschools as well as some primary schools like Rosenallis NS, encourage their kids to wear colourful odd socks and donate to support the midlands branch.
"We are thrilled with all the support. it is so hard for any charity to fundraise at the moment. We are still offering speech therapy through Zoom. We have over 70 families as users. It is also a lovely day for our families to celebrate together virtually, while apart," Annemarie said.
Meanwhile Laois charity fundraising club The Barbacks are running a fun colouring competition with prizes.
Extra days to get them pics finished We are back again with our Rock your Socks colouring competition! Just download...Posted by BarBacks on Friday, March 19, 2021
One of the charity's users Leah made this cute video signing a Happy World Down Syndrome day message, with a dab thrown in at the end for good measure!
For more information contact Down Syndrome Centre Midlands on 087 1734767.