17 March 2016
Marc Davies is Head of our Environment discipline.
What is your role at Sunshine & Smiles?
I have been a Trustee since April 2015, and am now Chair of Trustees.
What is the “I Am Me” photography project about?
One of the purposes of Sunshine and Smiles is to raise awareness about Down syndrome and help in the understanding of what people with Down syndrome can achieve and the valuable contribution they can make to society. We decided to undertake a photography project, which we have called I Am Me, to help capture a glimpse of the achievements of some of the children and young people who are part of our group.
The first stage of the project is being exhibited at Kirskstall Abbey Museum in Leeds to coincide with World Down Syndrome Day, which is 21st March – it is this date because Down syndrome is caused by 3 (instead of 2) strands of chromosome 21. The project will continue to include as many of our families as want to be involved, and our intention is that a touring exhibition and book will follow.
Why is it important for you to raise awareness about Down Syndrome?
My 2 year old son, Alby, has Down syndrome and so it is important to me personally. There remain many preconceptions and myths about the condition. We are all individuals and people with Down syndrome are no different. Helping society understand that someone who has Down syndrome can, with the right support, lead a full life in mainstream education and employment is important. Things are changing and certainly a lot better than they were 25 years ago, but there is still much to be done.
What can we do to support associations like Sunshine & Smiles?
Lots of things. We rely entirely on grants and fundraising, along with the help of wonderful volunteers, to enable us to provide the support work we do. You can find out more here.