Charity Story: Stepping Stones DS

Stepping Stones LogoRun by parents, for parents and carers of children with Down Syndrome, Stepping Stones DS offer social events, training, a buddy system, and a specialised lending library.

Virgin Money Giving fundraiser Gareth Sutton wanted to give something back, so raised an impressive £6,600 from two sponsored events, including a Mountain Trail Challenge.

Sharon Smith, Joint Chair of Stepping Stones DS, said “It is only with fundraising efforts, like Gareth’s, that we are able to operate.”

Since his daughter Zoe was born with Down Syndrome 19 months ago. Gareth said “I don’t know what we would have done without Stepping Stones DS. We first got in touch with them when Zoe was just 10 days old and from that point on we knew everything would be alright. They provide us with friendship and knowledge, as well as practical and emotional support. Doing these challenges was my way of giving something back”.

Gareth used Virgin Money Giving to collect donations for the two challenging events raising an impressive £6,600. In September this year, he and two friends took part in the Mountain Trail Challenge, which required them to walk 30 miles in 10 hours, including climbing three peaks!

The Challenge was not without drama, the weather was dreadful, visibility was poor and Gareth’s boot fell apart after just 20 miles!

Boot falls apart

The money Gareth raised has enabled the Stepping Stones DS to set up fortnightly physical activity sessions for our pre-walkers encompassing movement, balance, co-ordination games and more, this activity supports and promotes all areas of the children’s development as well as giving parents an important chance to meet up and have a natter!

Without fundraising efforts, like Gareth’s, they wouldn’t be able to operate. The Charity needs £5,000 per month to run all their activities and support their evergrowing membership, which currently stands at 80 families.


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