Fundraisers will be rocking their odd socks at Rotherham Hospital on March 21 to mark World Down Syndrome Day.
Wearing miss-matched socks is usually a sign someone has got dressed in the dark, but The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust’s Antenatal and Newborn Screening Team also hope it will raise awareness about Down syndrome.
The team are inviting patients, their families and colleagues to show off their funky footwear at their fundraising event at Greenoaks, where they will be selling cakes and hosting a raffle between 9am and 5pm.
Jackie Durban, one of the Trust’s lead midwives for antenatal and newborn screening, said: “We’re really excited to be involved in this year’s world-wide campaign to raise awareness about Down syndrome and wearing odd, colourful socks will hopefully be a great ice breaker to get everyone talking.
“Our role in the Antenatal and Newborn Screening Unit is to support families through the screening process and to help them make informed decisions about their future if they are given unexpected results. Just like any diagnosis, learning about Down syndrome can be an unsettling and anxious time for parents.
“We hope our event will help us to raise awareness about the wealth of medical and non-medical support there is in Rotherham and nationally to support parents in their decision making and planning for the future.”
The theme of this year’s event is ‘leave no one behind,’ which aims to show that all people with Down syndrome should have equal opportunities to lead fulfilling lives.
World Down Syndrome Day is always held on March 21 to signify the extra, 21st chromosome detected in a baby’s cells which leads to a Down syndrome diagnosis.
The event will also be attended by representatives from the Rotherham Organisation for Down Syndrome (RODS) and the Maternity Voices Partnership, an NHS working group who review and contribute to the development of local maternity care.
All the money raised will be split equally between the Down Syndrome Association, which champions the rights of people with Down syndrome, and the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.
Top raffle prizes include vouchers for a three-course Sunday dinner at the Carlton Park Hotel, a month-long family leisure pass for the Holiday Inn Rotherham and a £30 beauty voucher for PINX, Rotherham.
Barry Mellor, Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee, added: “We’re really proud to be working with our colleagues in the Antenatal and Newborn Screening Team and partner agencies to showcase the support available for parents dealing with a more complex pregnancy.
“We hope to hear lots of questions, see lots of odd socks and even more money being raised for charity.”